The first annual World Television Summit was kicked-off just a few days ago in the beautiful city of Barcelona, bringing together industry-leading media companies, broadcasters, and telecom operators, such as Canal+, BT, Al-Arabia, Deutsche Telekom and NBCUniversal, to name a few. Focusing on the transformation of traditional TV through technology, I had the pleasure of speaking at the event and participating in an insightful panel discussion alongside representatives from BT, A+E Networks and SRG.
We all shared our concern with today’s escalating competition in the television industry, in particular within the Cloud TV space. On one hand, the plethora of available options to chose from leads users to subscribe to several services simultaneously, while on the other, contract-free packages and lack of loyalty contribute to increased churn rates. Maintaining subscribers’ loyalty is a big challenge and we discussed the multiple measures that can be taken to overcome it: from introducing interactive sports experiences, adopting advanced technologies for easy delivery of new features, all the way to improving content discovery and getting the right content in front of the right user.
During my session, I addressed how Cloud TV operators can stand out in this highly competitive space by harnessing the power of data. Through deep understanding of the user-base characteristics coupled with analysis of content consumption and viewing habits, service provides can create more targeted and personalized offerings for their subscribers. This will allow them to keep their audience more engaged with the service, and at the same time meet their business goals.
What started a decade ago as a complementary OTT video experience, evolved into full-fledged Cloud TV services. Today, just to keep up with the market’s dynamic evolution, operators are expected to deliver services with the scalability, robustness and resilience of the traditional Pay-TV alongside the flexibility, personalization, and easy feature-extendibility of OTT.
Media processing and distribution, user management, content discovery, commerce, security and rights management are the foundations of Cloud TV. The additional layer of data-driven targeting and personalization is what actually takes Cloud TV to the next level of its evolution, and will help to differentiate one service from another.
To effectively target their viewers and tailor their promotions, service providers will have to start with identifying the right audience by implementing advanced segmentation models that can be dynamically adjusted to reflect the most up-to-date user groups. Then, service providers will have to identify the right time to present the offers and promotions in order to create the most effective impact on the viewers. At the same time, they must be able to define the most suitable offer to display, whether it’s a single piece of content, a collection of titles, SVOD, TVOD, or a coupon offer. Finally, a proper communication channel will have to be utilized to ensure the viewers are aware of the promotions, personalized content, or special offers in the most efficient way.
Another aspect of this topic was addressed during the panel discussion, covering the challenges of effectively reaching out to specific audience segments of heavy streamers, such as millennials, that expect high availability of the content they want, at the time they want it, on a platform of their choice. We discussed several options to win the hearts of those highly engaged and less loyal users, such as using the ability to provide a personal content feed, specialized offerings, and content targeting.
Witnessing the transformation of the TV industry over the years, from traditional broadcast to flexible and dynamic Cloud-based TV broadcasting, definitely indicates how different content consumption will be in the future. With many pieces still missing in this puzzle, one thing we know for sure – the data will be at the heart of every successful ne