Gastronomic circles have often deployed the phrase ‘you are what you eat’ but increasingly, the same thought process could be applied to today’s media services – ‘you are what you watch’! Certainly, the objective of any TV service provider is to better serve their audiences with the content and user experience they desire and modern over-the-top (OTT) services are starting to adopt this approach through analytics and data-led recommendation.
Today, broadcasters can better understand, segment and deliver viewing experiences that leverage and build upon much wider sets of data and continual feedback loops. Today’s modern set-top-boxes are often linked to Internet connections, and with that, there is an inherent return path offered by pay-OTT services. In short, there are more opportunities than ever before to collect more granular data from multiple sources in a time frame that enables meaningful augmentation of the customer experience and service quality.
Yet the ability to offer more accurate viewing recommendations is just the start. As TV service providers start to cross-reference multiple viewer data points that span not just TV choices but also lifestyle, education and potential spending patterns; the benefits start to extend further. This can reach from personalization of titles within Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) carousels to helping distributors and buyers decide on which shows to purchase based on the demographics of the audience.
However, the balance between data collection, privacy and creating actionable insights is both an ethical and technical question. As TV services start to overlap with social media and mobile viewing, the potential for benefit and consumer backlash grows. The first step for many will be small scale pilot projects that test the collection and analytics processes with a view of scaling in the future. For these tentative steps, media operators need to take onboard the lessons learnt from retail, telecoms and others and then adapt to the realities of the current TV landscape. With technologies such as Machine Learning potentially able to remove some of the subjective guesswork; now is the perfect time to accelerate and integrate these technologies into future services.
At NAB Show on Tuesday April 9, 3.40pm – 4.00pm (N258), I will be joined by Tariq Mondal, Senior Director, Innovation and Emerging Technologies, National Association of Broadcasters, to discuss how actionable insights and the true benefits from media platform analytics are an industry imperative for today’s TV service providers. We will address a number of topics, including why the use of data in the right way is the next step in the transformation of media infrastructure. We will look at how this wealth of data can – and must – be processed to turn raw inputs into actionable insights to enable smarter, data-driven decisions, which can then be passed on to the consumer through benefits such as tangible improvements in services.