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CES 2013: Content and connectivity beat hardware in show buzz

January 15, 2013|By Dawn C. Chmielewski
  • Sharp's Aquos World LED TVs on display at CES this month in Las Vegas. A new study suggests that content and connectivity, not hardware, dominated social-media discussions about the conference.
Sharp's Aquos World LED TVs on display at CES this month in Las Vegas.… (Joe Klamar / AFP/Getty Images )

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas may have set records for the amount of exhibit space devoted to televisions, phones and gadgets of every ilk (1.87 million square feet), but hardware wasn't the real buzz of the show, according to an analysis of social media conversations.

Content and connectivity dominated online discussions, based on research from Digitas, a digital brand agency, and Brandwatch, a social media monitoring firm, that analyzed more than 330,000 mentions about the trade show, which concluded Friday. 

The research found that the most-discussed product attributes were connectivity, the content available on products and applications -- eclipsing other features such as size, display or processor speed. That suggests Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates may have been right when he predicted in 1996 that "content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet."

TVs dominated social media conversations in the months leading up to CES, the study found. But mobile phones earned more mentions than the new televisions, PCs or tablet computers during the week of the show.

"CES has traditionally been all about hardware, with a particular emphasis on television," Chia Chen of Digitas North America said in a statement. "But this year ... software, apps and content became a crucial part of the show."


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