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Streaming Media NYC Sneak Preview: Pain in the Apps with NBCU, Hearst, and Hub Entertainment Research

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Streaming Media returns to New York City, the epicenter of the digital media universe, May 20–22 with Streaming Media NYC, chaired by Media Industry Cartographer Evan Shapiro and curated in conjunction with the Streaming Media editorial team. Located in Manhattan’s Midtown East at the dazzling InterContinental New York Barclay, Streaming Media NYC features three days of engaging programming on cutting-edge topics and packed with dynamic panelists and keynote speakers from the upper ranks of the media firmament. In this Sneak Preview series we’ll zoom in for a close-up look at key sessions in the program and the expert speakers who will bring them to life.

On Tuesday, May 21, Hub Entertainment Research Principal Jon Giegengack will moderate an all-star panel on streaming app design and the challenges of delivering smooth, satisfying, and consistent user experiences across a range of platforms. Confirmed panelists include NBCUniversal Director, Creative Products Shannon McKenzie and Hearst Television SVP, Streaming Services Andrew Fitzgerald

Titled “Pain in the Apps,” the session will expose the major pain points in streaming app design and UX and offer practical remedies and strategies that content providers and product managers can apply directly to the challenges they face.

“Streaming has changed the game for TV lovers: there are more shows, better shows, and countless platforms on which to watch them. The dark cloud in viewers’ otherwise sunny day is the user experience,” says Giegengack. “With so many options, it’s more complicated and clunky to use them. In this session, we’ll share findings from new research on which user experience issues are most common, which are most frustrating, and where there are opportunities for maximum ROI, such as design changes that are relatively easy to make but have a big impact on viewer satisfaction and engagement.”

hub entertainment research best bundle report

Hub’s 2023 “Best Bundle” report, which surveyed 1,603 adult broadband-subscribing media consumers and explored how they “choose and use providers in this new TV environment,” found that viewers are still juggling more than 6 TV sources on average.

Shannon McKenzie, an Emmy-winning producer and sports media innovator, leads the design and development of enterprise platforms and consumer products at NBCUniversal. As the producer of more than 800 digital experiences for entertainment, news, film, and sports, she has delivered premium events like the Olympics, World Cup, Super Bowl, and Oscars to screens large and small. Thus her experience confronting the gamut of experience design pain points is considerable.

“From a design perspective, pain points are invaluable insights that help us define design requirements,” McKenzie says. “They’re essential information for shaping the future of products, features and ultimately the user experience. Content discovery, simplification of user interfaces, consistency in cross-platform brand recognition, and optimizing personalization are all design challenges that help us address user satisfaction in a competitive streaming landscape. Exploring opportunities in these areas in a user-centric, human way is what helps create a content journey that is more intuitive and enjoyable for everyone.”

Joining Giegengack and McKenzie on the panel is Hearst Television SVP, Streaming Services Andrew Fitzgerald, who is also GM for Hearst’s popular free streaming app Very Local. Launched in 2021 to provide streaming access to local news and weather and new, original unscripted local programming. Now available in 27 local markets throughout the US, Very Local content is featured on most streaming platforms and its FAST channels through multiple aggregators.  

"Consumers increasingly expect to find the television content they’re accustomed to on streaming as well as linear platforms, available on demand and live," says Fitzgerald. "This presents special challenges for news broadcasters generally and local news broadcasters, especially— designing products on platforms meant for national and international scale.”

“Pain in the Apps” takes place on May 21, concluding Day Two of Streaming Media NYC. Check out the full program here to learn more about the conference’s action-packed offerings.

Register today for Streaming Media NYC! Early bird pricing ($100 off) available through April 19.

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