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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.

What will 2018 hold for media broadcasters?

What will 2018 hold for media broadcasters?

2018 will see broadcasters streamline their content, technology, and operations for a new segment of customers who consume content on-demand. Driven by the changing content consumption, we foresee media organizations looking at following:

Dawn of the OTT Era

Industry reports reveal that an average Indian consumes 8.5 hours of video content every month on Facebook and YouTube, which accounts for 47 percent and 42 percent of market share. Add the popularity of Over the Top (OTT) platforms like Hotstar, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Jio TV, and VOOT to that, and you’d realize that the way Indians consume digital content has changed over the years.

In India, the popularity can be attributed to access to faster and cheaper internet, affordable smartphones, and the wide range of content on offer. With over 460 million internet users, India is the second largest online market[1] whose smartphone penetration rate is expected to reach more than 28 percent by 2018.

While some broadcasters have already launched their platform like Ozee, others will pick this trend in 2018 and look at launching their platforms. Some may also look to optimize and produce their content on commercially successful OTT operators. Broadcasters will be seen investing in tools and technology to prepare their content and distribute it to CDNs.

Solving the Content Conundrum

OTT has changed the way content is created and consumed. As viewers consume content anytime, anywhere, and on any device, the demand for short-form, high quality ‘snackable’ content has been on the rise. Citizen journalism is gaining momentum, with viewers recording events and posting live on social media for the global audience.

Original, consistent, and addictive content is on demand. With players like Apple planning to invest over $1 billion in original content and Facebook spending a chunk of its marketing budget on content, fresh content production depending on current affairs, mood, and preference of the viewers is on the rise.

However, creating fresh consumable content is only one side of the story. To retain subscribers and provide a shared experience across devices, OTT providers also need to recreate the legacy content with proper archiving, metadata and tagging, and digitization. For this, broadcasters will need to dig into their archives to sort, organize, digitize, restore and optimize legacy content to enable easy search, access, and distribution of content across channels.

Embracing Virtualization

Newer digital broadcast avenues like OTT are creating pressure on traditional broadcasters to lower their Broadcast Operations and Engineering (BO&E) budgets. A survey by Devoncroft reveals that more than 40% M&E vendors have products that operate in a virtualized environment. While it is debatable if ‘virtualization’ refers to only IT infrastructure or the entire content supply chain, the fact is – new, small, and medium-sized broadcasters are gradually migrating their infrastructure to cloud-based solutions.

Moving to IP comes with the benefits of using a standardized connectivity and infrastructure to transport videos from locations to the central facilities and on to distribution. Therefore, broadcasters will continue digital transformation keeping content at the center of business to achieve faster time-to-market, scalability, and agility at a lower TCO.

Enhanced User Experience with 4K, HD Formats

A 2016-report by Chrome Data Analytics and Media[2] reveals that 8.34 million households in India have HD televisions, of which 89 percent have DTH HD connection and 11 percent have digital cable HD connection. However, only 9 percent or 91 channels out of 857 permitted private satellite television stations and more than 190 government channels in India are High Definitions (HD).

With the market share of OLEDs, 3D and 4K television increasing every day, viewers often forget to ask – does India have enough 4K and 3D channels? Wikipedia lists only five 4K channels and one 3D channel.

To address the change in viewership, media organizations will continue to upgrade their technical infrastructure to broadcast in HD or beyond (4K). With 2019 General Elections in sight, it is expected that news broadcasters will upgrade their technology, investing in workflows and solutions for presentation and analysis of election results in high definition.

To summarize, 2018 and 2019 will be the year of digital transformation and adoption of technology focusing on improving the viewer experience.