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Paving the Way for Data-Driven Media & Entertainment

Author: Vimal Venkatram, Country Manager, Snowflake India

Not too long ago, media and entertainment companies relied on audience surveys, ratings and blockbuster charts to arrive at business and investment decisions. Insights to viewers’ wants and preferences were limited, and many projects were often hit-or-miss affairs. As digitalization continues to transform many industries, including the media and entertainment sector, the scenario is changing rapidly. With the availability of data from a host of content delivery platforms including mobile devices, computers and HD boxes, the entertainment industry is awash with tools to be predictive and more accurate in making decisions.

The amount of data the media and entertainment industry generates – from viewership records to social media sentiments, demographics to device data – combined with the accelerated adoption of digital technologies such as cloud, artificial intelligence and machine learning, presents vast opportunities for media and entertainment firms to understand what content, shows, movies and music consumers want. To harness the opportunities with the growth in content consumption, build up a comprehensive 360° view of their customers and open new revenue streams, industry players must solve their data challenges and empower their organizations to become truly data-driven.

Unlocking the Power of Data

In 2020, India’s media and entertainment sector witnessed a shift in consumer demand and consumption patterns. As the whole country was forced to stay at home due to the health crisis, consumers turned to their mobile devices for entertainment and information. According to the recent EY Media and Entertainment Industry Trends report[1], Digital and Over the Top (OTT) subscription registered the highest growth rate for the year 2020 at 49% (53 million subscriptions taken up by 28 million people, a 10.5 million increase from 2019), while Online Gaming was reported to be one of the fastest-growing segments in India as online gamers grew from 300 million in 2019 to 360 million in 2020. With the upcoming 5G rollout in the country, more entertainment and gaming innovations such as virtual and augmented reality will be introduced to the market. As such, the demand for hyper-personalized content and immersive entertainment will continue to increase.

With the explosion of data, particularly in the OTT and streaming services space, new approaches to advertising, customer acquisition and product development are emerging. This has opened tremendous opportunities for companies within the media and entertainment sector in India to move seamlessly across platforms and stay competitive in a fast-evolving digital world. However, gaining insights into audience preferences while complying with consumer privacy regulations is just one of the hurdles companies must overcome to provide engaging and customized experiences. Let’s look at a few examples elucidating importance of data in the media and entertainment vertical:

  1. New product development and predictions on Audience interests: Viewing history, searches, reviews, ratings, location and device data, clickstreams, log files and social media sentiment are just a few data sources that help take the guess work out of identifying audience interest and produce more relevant content.
  • Content monetization: Data can also help media and entertainment companies generate additional sources of revenues, suggesting new ways to incentivize consumer behavior, revealing the true market value for content, or identifying a new product or service opportunity. Advertisements can be tailored to suit festivals, local weather and many other pivots allowing advertisers insights into which products will sell more under what conditions.
  • Effective advertisement targeting through micro Segmentation of customers: Since consumers access media and entertainment on multiple devices at the same time, it’s helpful to use big data insights to understand when consumers use a different device to consume the same content. With this, campaigns can be optimized across devices resulting in more apt and segmented advertising initiatives.

With the multitude of ways consumers access content, data proliferation and segmentation has become a challenge within the industry. To deliver personalized content and experience, companies should first create a single source of truth by storing, integrating, and querying all their data — whether structured or semi-structured—in a single location. By breaking data silos and leveraging data at scale, companies can aggregate data from various sources, gain market insights and create a holistic view of their customers.

As mentioned earlier, with data on consumers’ consumption patterns and habits, companies can enhance content development and acquisition and make better decisions on which projects to fund or which channels to launch their content. Apart from a single data source, what organisations need are factors of near infinite scale, concurrency and performance so large workloads on data can be run in near real time, providing real time actionable insights.

The future of media and entertainment is data-driven         

To understand customer behaviour and preferences and uncover the factors that drive customer interest and churn, advertising, media and entertainment companies in India must unlock data-driven insights. With the help of platforms and data analytics technologies, companies can scale their use of data while complying with consumer privacy regulations and reducing their costs.

Through data-driven decision-making, companies within the media and entertainment sector can deliver personalized content and experiences, retain customers, grow their business and build a data-driven future.


[1] https://www.ey.com/en_in/media-entertainment/playing-by-new-rules-media-and-entertainment-industry-trends-2020

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