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News in the Digital Era: Tips for Broadcasters

News in the Digital Era: Tips for Broadcasters

Do you prefer reading news on social media? If your answer is yes, you belong among 51%[1]  of the population who prefer so. Research by Reuters Institute reveals that 64% of the population between the age group of 18-24 rely on online media for information.

Which makes us wonder – is digitization transforming the way viewers consume content? As the F.O.M.O. and the favor of personalization over objectivity give rise to social media and aggregators like ‘In Shorts,’ ‘Feedly,’ and ‘Digg Reader,’ do traditional media need to change their broadcast/distribution strategy to retain the audience?

In an age where what goes ‘viral’ sells, here are some tips to utilize the power of digital media to capture the audience.

Intriguing Storytelling: While the information remains the same, how the broadcaster presents it is what pulls and retains the audience in the ‘mobile first’ world. With the same story available across multiple platforms, readers look for a unique perspective, and perhaps, an intriguing way to share the same news. To retain the audience, storytelling has to change – it has to be short, visual, timely, and hyper-relevant.

‘Snackable’ Content: According to Forbes[2], adding infographic is a sure shot way to boost news traffic, as 90 percent of what we remember is based on visual impact. Short-form videos play a vital role in capturing the viewer’s attention for a longer time, thereby driving user engagement and revenue.

Explainer Videos: With the information overload that comes with the Internet, an average person is attacked by the equivalent of 174 newspapers of data a day. Explainer videos are a great way to cut through the information overload. Focusing on the facts, explainer videos often have only subtitles without any sound highlighting the crux, which usually works well for breaking news.

Focus on Soft News: Humans are primarily driven by emotions. Therefore, viewers tend to connect more with the soft news that has a strong emotional element. A simple story presented objectively with an emotional perspective works better for news broadcasters.

Choosing the Right Distribution Platform: With offsite news video consumption growing fast, broadcasters need to focus on the distribution channel to ensure maximum reach. For example, videos uploaded to Facebook or shared on Twitter get more views than those uploaded on the website. Therefore, sharing the breaking news on social media, and do a follow-up story with detailed analysis and context for the website will have more viewers than uploading a detailed video on the website.

Going Live: Thanks to the video appeal, user engagement, ‘in the moment’ value, and instant feedback, live video has become an interesting trend in the broadcast industry. With Facebook Live, Snapchat, YouTube, and Periscope allowing wider reach, media houses are competing to bring interesting and valuable live videos to their customers.

Having Defined Goals: Not all content is created with the same purpose. While the cyberspace is flooded with news and videos, each trying to carve a niche and attract the audience, a broadcaster needs to have defined goals like monetization, engagement, or brand extension before generating the content. It is important to have a strategy in place, which the broadcasters should review and refer to at regular intervals.

Creating Video Community: Media houses are increasingly turning to platforms like Talenthouse, Tongal, and Zooppa to have new video content that explains key issues simplifying business/hard language. Creating video community is a great way to crowdsource ideas in thousands, connect with the audience and empower them, and create a loyal viewers’ community.

Having Ready-made Templates: News, if not communicated as soon as it breaks, become stale. Therefore, it is important not to waste time in deciding the ideal content format or creating videos from scratch. Having templates for various kind of news across different platforms enable quick packaging and sharing of videos and news, thereby helping broadcasters share information as soon as it happens.

As broadcasters embrace the new digital world and make their presence more prominent across online platforms, it is important to have a right strategy to ensure increased engagement with the audience.

Big Data and Media Organizations: A Big Impact

Big Data and Media Organizations: A Big Impact

If we were to define “Big Data” in the simplest definition, the term refers to voluminous amounts of organized and disorganized data that organizations can potentially mine or examine for business gains. Big data includes volume of data, velocity of data, variety of structured and unstructured data and most importantly data which has perceived value in context to business insights.

The ability to access, analyze and manage vast volumes of data while rapidly evolving the Information Architecture is crucial to Media & Entertainment Companies. Media companies procure reams of data every minute from every sector of their organization-advertising/sales, readership, user ship, content and accounting. The main sources of data collection are Social Media, Web Browsing Patterns, Traditional Enterprise Data from Operational Systems, Data from Data Aggregators, Advertising Response Data, Demographic Data & Historical M&E Data.

No one in the enterprise can ignore the 24/7/365 onslaught of news and social media. The amount of global media, including worldwide production of online and print news, articles, blogs and broadcast has exploded. Business data is doubling every 1.2 years. Social Media is the significant platform for big data. More than 1.4 billion online consumers are spending 22 percent of their time in social media. 172 million individuals visit Facebook each day, 30+ billion pieces of data added to Facebook each month, 40 million Twitter individuals each day, 22 million LinkedIn individual users each day, 20 million Google+ individual users each day, 17 million individual users each day and 2 million blog posts are written each day. Surprisingly, streaming videos take up more than 1/3 of the internet traffic during normal television watching hours. 72 hours of videos are added to YouTube every minute and this number is surely mind boggling. 1.3 exabyte’s of data sent and received by mobile internet users each month, more than 35million apps are downloaded each day and finally “more iPhone’s are sold than babies born each day.”

This revolution in technology will make media advertising enjoy a renaissance of sorts. Technology innovation will make it possible to trim a great deal of waste out of advertising by making it more precise. As advertising becomes more precise, it will become more efficient, which will drive up its ROI. This higher ROI will then lead to more investment in advertising. High advertisement budget will become smart business move. Accessing the right data-set and filtering out the noise contributes immensely to the success of the process.

Netflix’s creation of “House of Cards” is a well-documented example of Big data vis a vis Media & Entertainment Companies. Netflix concluded from the analysis of their customers their likes and dislikes, including ratings that indicated that many were fans of political dramas. Netflix also comprehended that they liked the actor Kevin Spacy and that they appreciated David Fincher’s work. Such well-researched data-set helped frame the highly successful creation of “House of Cards”. The impact on Netflix is that targeted programming is bringing them more subscribers and greater revenue, profitability, and market share.

Finally, not only Media & Entertainment companies, political data analytics has advanced from simple micro targeting to true predictive data science, and the track record is good. The Big data team of Donald Trump, President-elect, United States of America has a mammoth role to play. The polls, the pundits and the models predicted the win months back.  Oczkowski, Director of product for the president-elect’s data team Cambridge Analytica, says, “Data’s alive and kicking. It’s just how you use it and how you buck normal political trends to understand your genre.”

The pattern of consumer consumption of information, movies, music, television and entertainment as well as the competitive nature of M&E companies assure that those that take advantage of big data to augment what they know about their business, will continue to be leaders. They will continue to invent new and better business processes and efficiencies and they will do so by evolving their Information Architecture in an impactful manner.