The consumer viewing experience today has changed drastically from the traditional experience of watching television. Gone are the days when the entire family sat in front of a TV set and watched a show in its entirety, including commercials, without distractions from other devices or alternate sources of programming. Shows were developed for mass audiences, and there were long term syndication rights associated with them. Broadcast media is still an integral part of consumer’s lives, but the industry faces challenges on many fronts and is being forced to reinvent itself as it faces demands for more personalized content by consumers, threats from varied distribution systems and the need to find new sources of revenue to remain viable. More and more, the broadcast media industry is finding that innovative software can help them to solve these problems, allowing them to better reach and engage consumers in their programming. Discover below the top 3 software trends affecting the broadcast media industry today; find out the major opportunities and challenges each presents and see how businesses are looking to utilize them to increase viewership!
The Top 3 Software Trends Affecting the Broadcast Media Industry:
1. Multiplatform Content Delivery
A 2013 survey by Devoncroft of 10,000 broadcast professionals identified Multiplatform Content Delivery as the most important trend affecting the industry by far.
Consumers now want and expect access to broadcast media that is immediate, flexible and available on the device of their choice. Because of this, broadcasters must provide content on the web, mobile phones and tablets in addition to traditional TVs. These additional devices require multiple formats, bit rates, and piracy protection. In addition, each format has its own servicing issues for rights management, ad management, social data integration and development of user interfaces. Live content in particular is especially difficult to deliver via web and mobile devices. It is estimated that broadcasters have to create between 50 and 250 formats per title to accommodate all the different formats.
Thus far, multi-platform capabilities have generated much work for the industry with little additional revenue, but the opportunity is there.
- Those who are able to develop seamless platform integration can increase their access to and connection with consumers. For example, HBO GO and Netflix allow consumers to begin watching a show on their tablet and then pick up exactly where they left off on their television.
- As mentioned earlier, online platforms may be a way to increase ad revenue, especially if ads can be personalized through social media & search engine data.
- Broadcasters may be able to sell across platforms and lower costs.
- Those who become more efficient in managing these complex delivery models will have greater operating efficiency.
- Multi-platform content delivery requires a lot of work to achieve:
- Time required for all this development is no small investment
- Cost to the business can be a deterrent
- Skills needed for multi-platform development are often not in-house
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2. Social Media and Big Data
The availability of social media data can enable broadcasters to develop a better understanding of the demographics and preferences of their audiences. As audiences now tweet about programs and “like” them on Facebook, broadcasters have a plethora of personalized data about them. Media companies can add this new data to the internal data they already collect on customers, including their viewing habits, in order to get a pretty complete profile on each.
- Large amounts of personalized data on customers can enable broadcasters to evaluate and adjust content, gain an improved understanding of their consumers, and evaluate platforms by analyzing social media data.
- Broadcasters can make recommendations to customers about what to watch by analyzing their previous selections, giving customers more of what they want and engaging them longer.
- Broadcasters can also give viewers more targeted ads that they’ll actually watch, appealing to their advertisers’ goals and increasing ad revenues.
- It can also assist broadcasters in offering the most effective resource scheduling.
- Large amounts of data must now be captured and organized to be utilized effectively, requiring big data capabilities. Traditional departments will be unable to handle, for example, the massive amount of tweets that can come from a popular show. (A single episode of X Factor can generate 14 million tweets!)
- Data is often siloed, making it difficult to share across the business in order for it to be utilized for revenue-driving opportunities.
- Data that’s collected must be useful data that leads to new insights for the business.
3. Personalized, Interactive Viewing
Consumers now want to customize and personalize their viewing experience. This will increase as more consumers purchase smart TVs over the next few years (By 2015, smart TVs will make up 55% of the market as global shipments climb to 141 million units). It is estimated that 60% of consumers use other devices while watching TV, engaging a second screen to view details on show storylines, to tweet messages, to search for information, or just to multitask. In fact, this interactive experience of second screen viewing makes consumers more engaged in the TV content they see, as studies show that those who tweet while watching TV have better ad recall. This theory presents new opportunities for broadcasting companies to offer fresh and interesting digital content related to the shows being watched to encourage renewed engagement.
- Programs that are more personalized and engaging will build stronger ties with consumers and offer the possibility of new revenue streams for broadcasters.
- This is a relatively new area that needs more research.
- Personalized programming will take much experimentation and adaptation to get to the point where it can successfully capture the attention of consumers based on their individual likes and dislikes.
- OFS recently completed a project with a major American broadcasting company to develop a smart TV app to accompany a major sporting event, enabling viewers to get more of the information and facts they crave, right on their TV, while they watch the event. Projects like this capitalize on the industry’s desire to provide a more personalized, involved experience to help increase ratings. It helps prevent consumers from wandering away from the broadcast since they don’t have to use another device to engage in additional digital activities, thus protecting and perhaps enhancing broadcasters’ prime source of revenue – TV advertising. Click Here to check out our blog post on smart TV apps!
Look out for our next blog post on why technology management will need to act like a software vendor in order to effectively build and manage enterprise software, connected products, and mobile services!
*Denise Houghton was consulted by OFS to research and report on data in the broadcast media industry.