CES courts Hollywood

Content and hardware to share spotlight

It was only a matter of time before organizers of the Intl. CES, the massive consumer electronics show Thursday through Sunday, began courting Hollywood.

It’s one thing to have the latest high-tech trends in technology on the exhibit floor, but the show, which is run by the Consumer Electronics Assn. and draws more than 100,000 attendees annually, is hoping to draw even more attention by making a play to become the go-to place for content as well.

Inevitably, media companies would be drawn to looking at electronics,” says Stephen Chao, CEO of WonderHowTo.com, a Web site that focuses on how-to videos.

With his background in TV as president of Fox Television Studios and USA Cable, coupled with his experience with the Internet, Chao was a natural fit to be one of the keynoters for the debut program “Up Next at CES: Creativity, Content and Cash.”

The session will focus on the challenge of how to monetize new media. “I think the big question is, how do you jump into this particular landscape and make money at it?” Chao asks.

As part of the same series, Illeana Douglas (“Factory Girl”, “Six Feet Under”), who acts in and produces the IKEA-sponsored Web series “Easy to Assemble,” will speak on a panel about success stories in the online content realm.

According to Douglas, the show attracted 4.8 million views its second season and currently is filming its third season.

It’s becoming a big story in terms of advertising and branded entertain­ment,” Douglas says. “It’s an interest­ing alchemy of we found the right brand and the right relationship with IKEA.”

This program will feature panels with senior entertainment and consumer electronics executives to discuss trends and issues facing these converging technologies.

In 2008, Nick Orfanopoulos, senior content advisor for Intl. CES, was recruited away from the Natl. Assn. of Television Program Executives to lure Hollywood toward the electronics show.

A few years ago, CEA kind of took note of how many Hollywood executives were attending CES, and that triggered the question of how can we look into this and capitalize on it?” Orfanopoulos says. “CES has all the elements to create a vibrant business environment for the content community.”


What: Intl. Consumer Electronics Show

When: Thursday through Sunday

Where: Las Ve­gas Convention Ctr., Hilton, Ve­netian, Renaissance

Web: cesweb.org