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Digital disruption induces the broadcasting industry to experience a huge transformation through a customer-centric approach.
FREMONT, CA: The effect of digital transformation has hardly left any industry untouched. Undoubtedly, in broadcasting, shift towards OTT (over the top) format, has transformed the traditional way of creating, delivering, and consuming content. A recent study shows that 65 percent of consumers use cable or satellite, and 69 percent of them use OTT streaming service. This is because OTT service provides more value to the consumers at an affordable price than the traditional cable services. In recent days, content providers face difficulties in giving on-demand content for the consumers whenever and wherever accessed via a range of devices. However, when technology applied in the right manner can provide extraordinary user experience, while helping the broadcasters automate and optimize their services.
With machine learning engines, content providers can provide desired content for the viewers, irrespective of the channel. Also, broadcasters can deliver appropriate messages to specific audiences via ads using AI technology. The giant media service provider, NETFLIX using the AI technology has successfully automated workflows and reduced churn saving around US$1 billion annually. Embracing digital technologies can put broadcasters at the forefront of the whole industry.
Empowering Omnichannel Experience
One can never stop the exponential growth of content; however, one can make use of this myriad of content efficiently using technology. The consumers have particular expectations from the broadcasters in terms of quality of the video, viewing experience, loading times, and type of content. Technical difficulties are also rarely forgiven. Consumers will be overwhelmed if they are given a chance to resume the video they were watching when accessed from a variety of devices. In that way, broadcasters need to offer a seamless experience, and the platform should be flexible enough to acquire new features.
There arises a need for the broadcasters to embrace technological innovation to meet the expectations of the audience. These broadcasters should be able to tell when modern digital experience, engagement, interaction, and community matters the most. These preferences encourage the creation of new formats, most importantly, user-generated content along with branded content and influencer contributions. End-users contribution towards content has gained significant traction forcing the broadcasters to open their platforms to the audiences.
All the trends mentioned above are aimed at providing an omnichannel experience. Traditionally, the broadcasting industry is a one-way medium, and this silo can be disrupted by the adoption of social media and mobile technologies. As the audiences are increasingly getting engrossed in multiple devices, it has become crucial to engage them in a variety of channels. The viewers have now been made a part of the content strategy by live question and answer sessions, polling and more, resulting in a more interconnected digital system. Various broadcasters have experimented this by enabling viewer participation as in local news or other events broadcast.
Nowadays, the viewers look for a sophisticated platform that can allow them to engage themselves on other applications and also use the browser to get additional information while watching videos. The duties of the industry multiply with increasing customer expectations.
Creating New Monetization Streams
While delivering flawless customer experience, the broadcasters should also focus on deriving benefits monetarily from the content they provide. Probable ways include subscriptions, premium access systems, pay-per-view, gamification, and advertisement options. These advertisement options are centred around branded content, influencer collaborations, or dynamic ad insertion. “Addressable TV” is a new umbrella term for the advertising ability that shows different ads to different households while they are watching the same program, thereby targeting a specific viewer. By using big data, broadcasters can identify consumer behaviour and is a basis for targeted advertising.
When targeting narrows down to specific individuals, the amount spent on advertising gradually reduces. It is estimated that addressable TV could reach $4.7 billion in 2020 as it is a win-win approach for all parties including advertisers, broadcasters and viewers. An example would be Channel 4 that experimented with addressable TV where it tested its AI-driven contextual version on almost 2,000 people. The results were amazing owing to a sharp boost in brand awareness, and ad recall doubled to 64 percent. Even companies like Samsung and Vizio are using the addressable ad services on smart TVs and other connected devices, while some are incorporating it into their live TV service.
The display of promotional messages and ads shown pre-roll or mid-roll in Facebook and Google-owned YouTube are still not supported by the viewers as it degrades the viewing experience. These are new challenges for the broadcasters who must explore new methods to make ads more convincing for the end-user. Displaying advertisements in a smaller window within the screen while viewing content can achieve viewer satisfaction and gain their attention.
Powerful Recommendation Engines
Ads solely cannot be a means of targeting the customers because it is the engaging and customized digital experience that brings excellent results. In other words, a real achievement for the broadcasters is when the time spent by the customer for watching is higher than that of the time spent for selection. While it’s now the viewer’s responsibility to choose the content, it’s the responsibility of the broadcasters to guide this selection. More than 80 percent of TV shows watched on Netflix come from its recommendation engine, putting content discovery at the forefront of every broadcasting platform. It is possible by recording information about viewer preferences, favourite content, watching history, clicking activity, viewing frequency, and more.
AI systems and machine learning together can help broadcasters track individual habits in real-time. When AI systems can obtain meaningful insights from data by establishing correlation among them, broadcasters utilize the combined ability of AI and Machine learning set up to suggest the viewers with the best “what’s next” options.
Undoubtedly, by embracing the technologies, broadcasting industry must keep in pace to serve the audiences and to maintain their positions. To win audiences in this digital world, broadcasters must provide a full entertainment package that fulfils their heightened expectations that change with digital evolution.