This article first appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of The Record.
As more and more people opt for video on demand and live streaming services, the traditional broadcasting business model is being turned on its head. Pioneers in the industry are having to adapt and change at a phenomenal rate, delivering the new, digital experiences that many customers expect, while at the same time meeting the needs of their traditional TV audience.
What’s happening is that broadcasters, cable providers and satellite companies now have the challenge of following their audience wherever they are while, at the same time, competing with internet advertising. As a result, they need to find new ways to better identify their audience so that they can offer advertising agencies and marketers a more targeted method of distribution. Once this is accomplished they can apply all that information to optimise the different TV advertising buy/sell processes and increase revenues.
This careful balancing act can only be achieved with the effective use of data. The TV industry needs the tools to quickly understand which shows are popular, which medium is most effective and how effective advertising campaigns are across all platforms. They need to understand each viewer’s footprint and preference across all mediums and have access to information that is clear and transparent.
Historically this has been difficult to achieve. Broadcast TV is measured and valued based on ratings systems which are mostly focused on demographics. The rest of the data comes from digital sources.
They need a solution that combines big data, machine learning, cloud and analytics technologies with cutting edge intelligence capabilities, that sanitises and normalises all data (from traditional and digital advertising) against ratings systems and provide actionable insights that will directly impact advertising revenue, yield optimisation, scheduling, planning, content creation and content acquisition.
The Microsoft Cortana Intelligent Advertising Analytics Suite is delivering all of this and more. It enables the television industry to turn data into intelligent action. They can gain far better visibility into customer needs, personalise customer experiences using advanced analytics and make accurate predictions to increase advertising effectiveness and boost revenue. What’s more, Cortana Analytics suite will provide an intelligent over-the-top (OTT) platform to capture audience loyalty and learn brand preferences.
It’s an exciting time to be involved in broadcasting. While it’s understandable that many enterprises operating in this field are concerned about what the next few years hold for them, it’s clear that those that relish this huge opportunity to transform will be the ones that succeed. TV will not disappear, but it will evolve. Don’t stand by and play witness to the evolution, be a part of it.
Dario Scacciati is senior director of business development for Microsoft’s Media and Entertainment division
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