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Six Ways Broadcasters & Media Organizations are Leveraging Big Data Analytics

Six Ways Broadcasters & Media Organizations are Leveraging Big Data Analytics

Have you ever wondered what led Netflix to invest around $50 million for each season of the ‘House of Cards?’ Or how Chennai Express broke the Box Office collection record in 2013? The answer to all these is advanced data analytics.

The media industry is increasingly leveraging analytics to predict audience sentiment, woo the new audience, and retain the existing audience. Be it OTT media service providers like Netflix or Amazon prime, or the film and music industry; marketers are using advanced analytics and machine learning to generate a pull for their content.

As technology, social media, and analytics become available to the media industry to leverage the power on the Internet; we look at six ways in which media and entertainment industry is using the power of analytics:

Generating targeted content

Data-driven decisions are the future of media and entertainment industry. With the huge amount of data available for analysis to draw inferences, predict customer preference, and decide on what will work – the industry is no more dependent on intuition to make a series or a film work. For example, Netflix claimed that while they invested on the series House of Cards, they already knew it would be a hit – thanks to the viewership data that helped them analysis viewers’ habits over many millions of show views.

Optimizing scheduling of content

Big data gives the power to media houses to collect data from diverse sources and understand customer preference – be it the type of content, the time, or the device used. Using advanced analytics, they can then optimize the scheduling of content. For example, on a local holiday, broadcasters can stream popular movies, or more home-oriented content during afternoons.

Optimized scheduling is not only limited to general analysis, but a more detailed prediction based on browsing history, weather conditions, or time of the day.

Relevant recommendations

Considering the massive amount of data that the media and entertainment companies generate daily, analyzing it to gain insights into the popular genres or preferred time is not an easy task. However, if appropriately interpreted with a good recommendation engine, the data can increase user engagement manifold by providing an effective recommendation.

Media and entertainment companies are increasingly using machine learning and advanced analytics tools to analyze viewership data in real-time and provide relevant recommendations to the audience.

Targeted advertising

Thanks to big data, analysts have a better understanding of the consumption behavior across multiple platforms. With advanced segmentation and complete customer views, companies can micro segment customer to personalize ads. Targeted ads will ensure that the right people view the right ads, increasing the click-through rate, thereby increasing conversion rates and ROI.

Retaining and wooing viewers

Data gives insight into why viewers subscribe or unsubscribe to a channel. Media and entertainment companies can use the viewership data to device the best product and promotional strategies to attract new viewership and prevent churn of existing viewers.

Finding newer sources of revenue

Considering the ever-changing equation of customer preference and new technology, it is essential for media and entertainment companies to explore new sources of income continually. Advanced analytics can help companies do that – identify additional sources of revenue apart from advertising or partnerships. For example, companies can create a proprietary platform using their exclusive data and earn revenue from advanced advertising.

While the media and broadcast industry has always primarily relied on data in the form of ratings, viewership, TRPs, etc. to measure success, advanced analytics has taken it a step further. By analyzing real-time data from multiple sources, predictive analytics is now not only helping them measure success but also strategize future.

How Cultural Institutions are Leveraging Photo Archiving

How Cultural Institutions are Leveraging Photo Archiving

Museums and cultural institutions play a valuable role in preserving the rich cultural heritage of our planet.  By recording the history of different era and communities, such institutions help us understand our history, deepening our knowledge and respect for various cultures and traditions.

However, with time, the ways of accessing the history is changing. G. Wayne Clough, the author of Best of Both Worlds, says, “Today digital technology is pervasive. It is mandatory that museums, libraries, and archives join with educational institutions in embracing it.”

To keep with this trend, photo archiving has been a prime focus of many cultural institutions. Some forerunners in this space are:

Pharos

Pharos, the “International Consortium of Photo Archives” – a joint effort of 14 institutions like the Getty and the Frick, the National Gallery of Art, the Yale Center for British Art, Rome’s Bibliotheca Hertziana, and the Courtauld Institute among others will host 25 million images – 17 million artworks and 8 million supplemental material. The Consortium aims to have 7 million images online by 2020.

Primarily aimed at scholars, Pharos uploads a work’s provenance, attribution, exhibition, conservation, and bibliographic histories. The Consortium currently has more than 100,000 images and 60,000 artworks of early Christian art from the National Gallery, classical and Byzantine art and mosaics from the Frick, statuary from the Bibliotheca Hertziana, and photographs of Roman pottery among other collectibles.

Smithsonian Design Museum

Cooper Hewitt, popularly known as the Smithsonian Design Museum has embarked on an ambitious digitization project where they have digitized more than 92 percent of the 3000-year-old museum collection.

Durham Museum

The photo archive of the Durham Museum in Nebraska documents the history of Omaha in more than 1 million images from the 1860s. Dedicated to the long-term storage of photographs to preserve a part of the past, the photos document moments like Presidents on parade, streetcars, storefronts, and images from the early days of the city.

Oslo City Museum

The Oslo City Museum, with over 2 million objects, has started archiving photos to preserve the lifestyle, history, and development of the city in time. More than 100,000 photos have already been digitized in the museum’s system.

Norwegian Labour Movement Archives and Library

Four special groups are working together to organize the collection of Norwegian Labor Movement Archives and Library, which comprises of 1,500,000 items about Oslo History in general aspect and narrative about labor history.

Google

Google has a similar project – Google Art Project – which lets users’ virtually tour 17 of the world’s major institutions like Ufizzi, New York Met, and Tate among others.

Benefits of photo archiving

While the benefits of archiving history are many, here is a list of the four prominent benefits:

  1. Reachability: With photo archiving, learning about history and culture is no more only restricted to museum booklets or guided tours. With web-based virtual walk-through and videos, museums and cultural institutions can reach out to a broader audience base.
  2. Multiple revenue sources: Photo archiving has opened new revenue sources for cultural institutions. Many museums have websites selling online tickets, replicas of artifacts, historical DVDs, and 3D immersive trips to let the audience experience history from the comfort of home.
  3. Long-term preservation of cultural heritage: Physical copies of photos and artifacts are subject to wear-and-tear and natural calamities. Digitization has made preservation of history easier and more accessible.
  4. Ease of research: Photo archiving has made researching on an era or finding the right image for a project easier. For example, Pharos, the Consortium of Photo Archives has made millions of photos accessible to the artists and researchers in a click, saving time and energy.

With digitization, consumers have easy access to media and information through connected devices, making sharing more accessible and faster. Hence, more cultural institutions are trying to expand their horizon to reach out to new audiences and digitize their collection for long-term preservation.

Top 4 Challenges Faced by OTT Players in India

Top 4 Challenges Faced by OTT Players in India

McKinsey [1]reports that globally about 2.5 billion less-than-25-years-old digital customers spend 315 minutes daily on an average online. Keeping up with the trend, OTT subscribers in India is also witnessing a growing trend. According to a report by Ernst & Young[2], India had 250 million video consumers in 2017, of which 190 million were aged between 15 – 34.

Low-cost smartphones coupled with fall in data tariffs and increased internet speed will continue to drive greater demand for online content across India.  EY estimates that with the evolving OTT service consumption of the Indian audience video consumption can reach 500 million by 2020.

However, these opportunities have also thrown some strategic challenges to the OTT service providers in India. We list below four such challenges that the OTT providers need to address to succeed in the game:

Monetization

Reports [3]predict that the Indian digital advertising market will grow by 30 percent Y-o-Y to ₹120 billion in 2018, of which approximately ₹18 billion will be spent on the video. Despite the growth of online advertising, it comprises only about a fifth of TV advertising.

OTT players are exploring various revenue models – advertising, subscriptions, and freemium to achieve profitability. With the decrease in profitability from 90% to 40% despite the increase in advertising spends, OTT players need to provide a personalized quality viewing experience on a robust technology platform to ensure monetization.

Relevant content

With traditional TV, the audience paid a fixed amount for a choice of 200+ channels across genres, languages, and domains. As the paradigm shifts to ‘pay-for-what-you-watch,’ generating relevant content that will grab the audience attention and continue to get them hooked is a challenge. With the millennial getting into the habit of binge-watching, many often complain that after their favorite shows are over, not much is left to watch.

For OTT players in India, the fact that ‘content is king’ is now truer than ever. Though global players like Netflix are streaming global content, the need for quality regional content drives the viewership and subscriber rate.

Moreover, with a variety of content to choose from, OTT players are challenged to provide a personalized experience to the audience. Services need to improve content discovery and mapping functionalities to suggest content based on the viewer’s preference.

Video quality

For OTT services to rival broadcast television, they need to provide optimal viewing experience to the consumers without jitters or buffers. However, the current broadband infrastructure of India does not allow for that seamless experience everywhere. With the lower than average Internet speed, buffering does cost the OTT players almost a quarter of their audience.

OTT players are collaborating with telcos to bundle their entertainment offerings with 4G services to address this challenge.

Privacy & licensing

Streaming of live TV channels contributes to a bulk of traffic for the Indian OTT players. Live streaming also exposes them to privacy issues. With the growth of broadband, it is becoming increasingly difficult for OTT players to track piracy and illegal streaming.

Moreover, complex IP protocols, royalty definition, character rights, geographical restrictions, and platform diversity are not only impacting their revenue but also exposing them to copyright infringement risks.

OTT players are here to stay and grow in the coming years. Content and user experience will be the key for wider adoption of the service. For monetization the value needs to be shown with respect to viewer numbers for the advertisers.

[1] https://www.forgeahead.io/blogs/the-top-threats-and-opportunities-affecting-ott-today/

[2] https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/trends/entertainment/the-rise-of-ott-players-streaming-platforms-and-the-threat-to-the-box-office-2688531.html 

[3]https://brandequity.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/digital/digital-advertising-market-to-grow-30-in-2018-report/64014990

7 Document Management Trends to Watch Out For

7 Document Management Trends to Watch Out For

Businesses world over are undergoing a digital transformation and organizations are investing in tools, technology and processes to go paperless by converting their documents to digital formats. These documents may be forms, invoices, letters books, journals, photos, maps, manuscripts, office records or other printed materials.

Apart from being eco-friendly, the benefits of going digital are many, ranging from instant access, distribution and longevity to reduced cost of storage and more. As the world goes digital, let us look at some of the key document management trends that are shaping in the future:

Cloud-Based Document Management

With cloud storage being around for quite some years now, the initial hesitation has given way to adoption. The ease of accessibility and scalability has fueled the adoption of cloud storage for document management. Cloud storage ensures availability of documents on the go – without the need of being within a closed network.

Social Integration

Digital record managers are integrating social media technology into document management, making collaboration, storage, organization, and revision of the files a seamless task. Integration with social media also has the advantage of sharing documents in varied formats across various platforms for a wide range of audience.

Artificial Intelligence

With artificial intelligence gaining popularity, document management will witness new search capabilities in the coming year. AI will make search simpler with the right keywords and voice search, allowing professionals to focus on their work rather than spending time searching for the documents that they need.

Robotic Process Automation

Robotic process automation is gradually gaining popularity to avoid mundane tasks and focus on tasks that create value. In the coming years, software “robots” will automate labor-intensive repetitive activities that are prone to errors. RPA will see more adoption for document sorting, classification, automating routine operations, and integrating unstructured data like emails, forms, photos, and files.

Mobile Access

With the changing structure of the workplace environment, as more employees are working remotely, accessibility of documents from a wide variety of devices has become a necessity. As the world becomes a global village, workers need to be able to access the documents from devices including smartphones and tablets and work on them efficiently.

As mobile usage continues to grow, document accessibility is not the only requirement for the professionals who are always on-the-go, document management software also needs to be user-friendly to provide a seamless experience.

Collaboration

As geographical boundaries deem to exist, professionals are no longer dependent on face-to-face interaction. While working on emails already exists, it can be cumbersome and confusing. Collaboration and project management tools has been around and it is now becoming a part of mainstream platforms, which will make document management easier.

Coming years will see document managers collaborating online within a single social space in real-time which will make working on and managing multiple projects faster irrespective of the geographical location of the professionals.

Scalable Solutions

Scalability is a necessary criterion to keep up with the growing volume of documents. Modern Document Management Solutions will not only have the capability to let employees collaborate and edit on a single platform but will also enable the clients to scale up with the growing number of users, storage requirement, multiple locations or the volume of documents. Cloud based solutions will have an edge as they’d be able to offer pay-per-user or pay-as-per-storage pricing models.

Cloud computing, collaboration, and the proliferation of mobile devices are making lives easier for document management professionals. Coming years will continue to see the growth and mass adoption of technology giving birth to integrated, user-friendly solutions, blurring the physical space issues.

5 Classics Films Restored for the Digital Age

5 Classics Films Restored for the Digital Age

Movies made with photosensitive films and analog cameras until the 1990s had great details, but was also susceptible to dirt, temperature changes, and rough handling. As classics and old movies fall prey to the effects of time, content producers are digitizing to restore them.

With easy access to video on demand anytime anywhere, film producers and archives are leaving no stone un-turned to make the classics available to the viewers. While the film makers are setting new aesthetic standards with high quality and clarity of 4K resolution for restoring oldies, it comes at a time when watching movies on smartphones is more popular than DVDs or Blu-rays.

However, film restoration isn’t as simple as scanning the original 35mm film to produce a new version. It involves multiple steps like manual and automatic cleaning of the film to remove dust, scratches and other signs of aging, enhancing colors, sound and editing into single segment and adding special effects if necessary.

As the efforts are underway across the world to re-master and preserve classic films, we look at Hollywood’s past to list some of the best digitally remastered classics.

  1. Casablanca
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Credit: Google Images

With the Blu-ray 4K restoration, released in May 2017 to mark the 75th anniversary of the film release, the 1942 classic Casablanca never looked better. The scan restores the most dynamic and richest image and sounds possible, making the hard work behind the restoration job evident.  The film have been earlier restored twice for its 50th and 60th anniversary.

Casablanca, the winner of three Academy Awards, is a story of a romantic triangle between Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), his wife Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) and her ex-lover Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart).

  1. North by Northwest
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Credit: Google Images

To mark the 50th anniversary of Alfred Hitchcock’s sleek masterwork, Warner Home Video restored ‘North by Northwest’ in 1080p from original VistaVision and made it available on Blu-ray and DVD. Each frame was painstakingly transferred into the digital domain at 8k for the restoration, revealing a depth of field and clarity that was unimaginable before, thereby heightening the thrill of the classic.

  1. Dr. No
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Credit: Google Images

The 1962 adventure of James Bond – his first adventure to be precise – is given a new life (and look) by the Lowry Digital. With a fresh 4K scan and clean-up, the remastered film in Blu-ray looks amazing with bright, clear picture, and sharp resolution.

  1. Gone with the Wind 
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Credit: Google Images

The new 8K scan of the 1939 Civil War epic based on Margaret Mitchell’s novel has cleared the dirt and age defects away from the classic. Although the image is soft at times, details shine through. According to the critics, this edition is the best the film has looked to date, and that includes the theatrical release.

  1. Sleeping Beauty 
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Credit: Google Images

Restored from the original 2.55:1 negative, the 50th edition of Sleeping Beauty is a beautiful rendition. The original soundtracks were converted from Berlin Symphony Orchestra to DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack. Both the picture and sound quality are superb, making the edition better than the original version.

Some other classics that have been digitally restored are The Third Man, The Godfather, Star Trek Original Series Seasons 1 – 3, The Wizard of Oz, and Pinocchio. Remastering classic movies in 4K not only preserves the cinematic heritage for the new generation but also make movies look better than the past.

5 Technology Innovations in the 2018 FIFA World Cup

5 Technology Innovations in the 2018 FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup has always been the center of introducing new technologies when it comes to sports broadcasting. For example, 2014 saw technologies like vanishing spray, goal-line technology, and mind-controlled robotic suit in action.

As 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off, we look at the five technology innovations that will be used for the first time in the most significant soccer competition of the world.

1. Video Assistant Referee (VAR)

With the International Football Association Board approving VAR in March 2018, Russia is witnessing the first World Cup using video technology as an additional tool for referees. FIFA has deployed VAR at all the matches, where a dedicated team with a lead VAR and three assistant VARs is located at the Moscow International Broadcast Centre.

According to FIFA, VAR is used as an additional tool to “correct clear and obvious errors and missed incidents in clearly defined match-changing decisions.” 33 broadcast cameras and two dedicated offside cameras are transmitting feeds directly to the VOR using optical fiber – eight of which are in super-slow motion and four in ultra-slow motion. VARs can also speak to the referees on the ground using a fiber-based radio system.

2. Electronic Performance and Tracking System (EPTS)

In 2018 World Cup, the coaches of all the 32 playing teams have access to a tablet-based system to track the statistics and real-time video footage of the players. Based on wearable technology, EPTS is a camera-based system that captures data via two optical tracking cameras on the main stand and selected tactical cameras.

EPTS is considered as the second significant innovation for FIFA after VAR. Each team has three tablets – one each for the analyst on the bench, in the stand, and the medical team. The system will also provide statistics around player positioning, passing, speed, and tackles, and match footages with a maximum of 30-seconds delay.

3. Adidas Telstar Ball

For the first time in the history of FIFA, Adidas, the official manufacturer of the World Cup match ball since 1970, has introduced NFC chip in the ball. Telstar 18 – the ball used for World Cup 2018, includes a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip apart from a new carcass and panel design. The chip allows the ball to communicate with a smartphone. Adidas claims that the new model will dramatically improve the performance durability of the ball.

4. Virtual Reality (VR) and 4K UHD Video

4K UHD videos that were tested in 2014 Brazil World Cup is made available to the broadcasters in 2018 Russia World Cup. BBC has confirmed that 4K streams of the match are available on BBC iPlayer on a first-come-first-served basis.

BBC has also made a VR feed available via its VR application to give the viewers a feeling of watching the match from a private box at the stadium.

5. 5G Services

Though yet to be available commercially, the 2018 World Cup is a testing ground for the 5G services for the network providers. Ericsson and MTS have confirmed to install 5G-capable radio equipment covering cover fan zones, stadiums, transportation hubs, and famous landmarks across more than 40 sites in seven of the 11 host cities.

Additionally, Megafon and TMS – the official communications partner, is holding trials of the 5G network across cities during the event.

While the players play on the ground, sports broadcasters are busy competing for innovations off the field to make the experience more real-time and competition more transparent. But for now, enjoy the game!

 

10 Web Series You Must Watch

10 Web Series You Must Watch

Thanks to cheap data plans, quality content, and competitive marketing, web series is officially thriving in India. Gone are those days when family members used to flock together to watch a series on television, and missing an episode meant taking updates from others.

Recent surveys also underline the preference for online content. A survey conducted by Chrome Data Analysis & Media[1] unveils that 44% prefers watching exclusive online content. An Ofcom[2] report suggests broadcast TV viewership by 4 – 24-year-olds fell 33% between 2010 and 2016.

A survey by the Diffusion Group (TDG)[3] reveals that SVOD services are more popular among 18-24-year-olds. Though 57% of those surveyed chose traditional pay-tv over SVOD, around 66% 18-24-year-olds and 54% 25-34-year-olds prefer SVOD services.

The disinterest in traditional television among the youth has led to the rise of on-demand services like Amazon, Netflix and Hulu to name a few. The freedom to choose what, when, and where (in which device) to watch for a fraction of the cost of most cable subscriptions is one of the primary reason for the rise of over-the-top (OTT) content providers. The high rate of mobile and wireless broadband penetration also contributes to the rise.

With so many web series across various OTT service providers, choosing a host of ‘must watch’ is difficult. To make the task easier, we list the most popular digital original television shows based on audience demand across India:

1. 13 Reasons Why (Netflix): Produced by July Moon Productions, 13 Reasons Why is an American mystery teen drama web television series. The series revolves around Clay Jensen, a high school student, and his romantic interest Hannah Baker, who commits suicide after a series of traumatic and demoralizing circumstances

MG_BLOG_10 best web series
Pic Credit: Netflix

2. House of Cards (Netflix): Based on a novel by Michael Dobbs, House of Cards is an American political thriller. First aired on February 1, 2013, the final season of the web series with six episodes will be released in 2018.

MG_BLOG_10 best web series
Pic Credit: Netflix

3. Inside Edge (Amazon Prime): Based on Mumbai Mavericks, a fictional T20 cricket team, Inside Edge captures the world of cricket and entertainment. First aired on July 10, 2017, the Indian-American web television series follows the twists and turns in the lives of powerful characters.

MG_BLOG_10 best web series
Pic Credit: Amazon Prime

4. Bose: Dead/Alive (AltBalaji): Spread over 9 episodes of 20 minutes each, the series is a well-researched story of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his allegedly mysterious death.

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Pic Credit: AltBalaji

5. Pitchers (TVF Play): Launched in 2015, Pitchers features in the IMDB’s Top 250 TV Series List. It traces the lives of four young professionals who quit their jobs to venture out into the wild entrepreneurial world.

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Pic Credit: TVF

6. Baked (ScoopWhoop): Produced by ScoopWhoop Talkies and Pechkas Pictures, Baked is an account of the misadventures of three university flatmates who decide to start a midnight food delivery service.

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Pic Credit: ScoopWhoop

7. Life Sahi Hai (Luv Films): Revolving around four guys, the sitcom explores the hilariously challenging situations they land themselves in every time they deal with their bosses, girlfriends, or each other. Living independently for the first time, they realize that their new-found freedom doesn’t come for free. The first season of the web series aired in 2016, and the second season in 2018.

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Pic Credit: LuvFilms

8. Stranger Things (Netflix): First aired on July 16, 2016 Stranger Things, set in the fictional town of Hawkins, focuses on the investigation into the disappearance of a young boy amid supernatural events.

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Pic Credit: Netflix

9. Sense8 (Netflix): The American web fiction drama traces the story of eight strangers from different parts of the world. These strangers suddenly get linked mentally and emotionally. The series explores subjects like politics, identity, sexuality, gender, and religion.

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Pic Credit: Netflix

10. Man’s World (Yash Raj Films): A ‘what if’ series, Man’s World traces the journey of a man walking in women’s shoes, in their world. The series, which portrays what if women treat men the way men treat them, is a comedy with an underlying social message.

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Pic Credit:YRF

Sources:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/739033/india-most-in-demand-digital-original-tv-shows/

[1] https://tvnews4u.com/70-watches-web-series-night-study-chrome-data-web-series-consumption/

[2] https://www.ibc.org/consumption/engaging-audiences-the-death-of-linear-television/2660.article

[3] https://www.marketingcharts.com/television/pay-tv-and-cord-cutting-79072