>Play 2016 Digital Media Conference Explores On-Demand Culture

A scene from the >play digital media conference

The days of rushing to be in a particular place at a particular time to watch a particular thing seem like a quaint, bygone era: we now expect to watch or listen to whatever we want, wherever we want—and we’re frustrated when it takes too long to load.

The >play 2016 Digital Media & Technology Conference will explore how on-demand culture is transforming the media and entertainment landscape. The conference is expected to attract 600 students, professionals, and industry leaders to San Francisco’s Regency Center on Friday, Nov. 4.

“This year we wanted to move away from a broad technology focus and shift back to digital media and entertainment,” said Cynthia Song, MBA 17, who is co-chairing the conference with Mike Matheson, MBA 17. “As the dominant industry trend, on-demand culture was the logical choice for a theme.”

>play conference logoOrganized by students in the Digital Media & Entertainment Club, >play is the largest student-run digital media and technology conference in the country. A team of more than 40 students from the full-time and evening & weekend Berkeley MBA programs has been working since last spring to put on the 12th annual event.

Each of the four panels and speakers will touch on how on-demand culture has changed how content is created, distributed, and consumed—including new developments in augmented reality and virtual reality. “On-demand content is becoming more dynamic via games and video entertainment on new, immersive devices,” Matheson said.

The morning keynote speaker is Adrienne McCallister, MBA 03, Google’s director of global partnerships for AR/VR, who helped launch the company’s Chromecast streaming device and led content partnerships for Google TV.

Panel topics include new media and how user-created content has altered the “relationships between suits, creatives, and fans;” navigating online identities in digital marketing; what’s next for the music industry; and the future of AR and VR—expected to be a $150 billion market by 2020.

The conference also includes product demos by HTC Vive, Oculus Gear VR, and video animation producer Baobab Studio, as well as a career fair with recruiters from Amazon, Google, and more.

>Play is sponsored by SoFi and TubeMogul, along with Google, Deloitte, and Amazon.

Tickets and more information can be found at playconference2016.com.

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