Digital Entertainment Showcase UbiQ Logs Off After 2-Day Run

The first annual Paris event featured showcases, keynotes and networking opportunities with top companies from the TV, music, games, web and advertising industries.

While they may have led separate lives in the past, traditional entertainment and digital platforms were married at the first annual digital Entertainment showcase UbiQ that wrapped in Paris on Tuesday after a two-day run.

Nearly 700 participants came out for the multi-platform matrimony that brought together top names in the TV, music, games, web and advertising industries to exchange ideas and talk about transmedia opportunities. Monetizing digital media and the crossover from traditional to more modern entertainment models were ubiquitous themes at the unprecedented event that featured showcases, keynotes and networking opportunities.

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“It’s exactly what I wanted,” UbiQ founder and CEO Gwenael Flatres told The Hollywood Reporter of the brand new event. He added: “We’ve been able to bring together TV, music, games and all of the other companies involved that make up the ecosystem to share the experience together.”

The event’s showcases and keynotes were streamed live on UbiQ’s website, thanks to Ooyala. As the global entertainment landscape continues to change in the face of rapid advances in digital technology, the good news for the entire business is that “video is actually not dead – it’s just evolving,” Ooyala co-founder and CTO Sean Knapp confirmed as he talked about “improving the analog to digital exchange rate” during a showcase devoted to web video.

The event kicked off with a keynote from Facebook’s former marketing director Randi Zuckerberg, who has now branched off to form her own company R to Z Studios, Inc. Ogilvy Entertainment President Doug Scott, fresh from the airport after a delayed flight and Paris traffic, arrived just in time for his keynote that featured a montage of images with a song “the end of TV as we know it” to the tune of R.E.M.’s “It's the End of the World."

Scott cited “a fundamental shift in the industry” and talked about how digital technology is shifting the power to the audience, a common theme throughout the two-day event.

Authenticity was a key theme of several showcases.

“Forget it if you’re doing crap. You need to have quality content,” Ubisoft’s Louis-Pierre Pharand said, adding his advice for companies looking to monetize their digital content: “Give fun to your consumers. Consumers will give you the money if you engage them and give them quality content.”

According to Scott, “content is the context in which brands will live in today’s culture. It’s no longer about product placement.”

Speakers focused on how traditional product placement models are becoming obsolete as brands need to put the power back into consumers’ hands in order to be successful. Worldwide Chief Creative & Strategy Officer at Digitas Mark Beeching focused on companies who “build brands by working for their customers” and used American Express as an example of delivering live experiences to online audiences.

CCO of FCCE and producer of “The Entertainment Experience”Justus Verkerk told THR that he tells his employees to “treat consumers like your best friends.” Social media and how it can make the entertainment industry more profitable was also a major topic at the event.

“Social media isn’t about making money. As a ‘friend,’ you can say ‘hey take a look at this’ and then you can expect them to work with you,’ Verkerk explained. Social media has become a necessary component of any media brand.

SVP of Viacom International Media Networks Phillip O’Ferrall said that “engaging audiences in a 360 manner is key” and added that “every piece of content has to be available on every platform.”

UbiQ was quite the social event as participants gathered on the steps of the event’s venue, former Paris stock exchange the Palais Brongiart’s, on Monday night for a cocktail to the tune of hits from music on demand platform Deezer and a VIP dinner for top speakers including Zuckerberg, Pharand, Knapp, Samsung’s Director of Strategy and Business Development Roberto Mauro and Disney Mobile’s Head of Business Affairs and Music Licensing Gwen Bethel Riley among other high-profile guests. The after party continued at David Lynch-designed Paris nightclub le Silencio late into the evening on Monday before participants rose early for the all-day showcase on Tuesday.