The rapid development of streaming services worldwide tends to be dominated by discussions around content. Asking questions such as, who is producing it and how it’s being consumed. But in the understandable excitement around these new platforms and services, it’s clear that some key technical issues have been overlooked – none more so than the role of video players.
As pay-TV operators and service providers look to boost their monetization, targeted TV advertising is gaining significant traction. Even Netflix has surrendered to the trend, joining the rest of the other streaming giants in the AVOD world by launching its own advertising tier.
With recessions taking their toll and subscription income flatlining, scouting out new monetisation options to boost balance sheets has never been more critical for the media and entertainment industry.
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Jeff Bezos once compared Amazon’s approach to customer experience to hosting a party 24/7. “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job, every day, to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” Bezos’ comments came way back in 2004. But they could just as easily be describing the challenges facing broadcast media today as brands look for growth in the OTT market.
Broadcasters and media companies are implementing technologies powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) across the value chain. We see countless use cases for AI based automation or support and new opportunities keep emerging. So far, the focus has been on the usefulness of AI systems in terms of accuracy and performance in relation to a specific task. This is now changing with a wider uptake of AI, new capabilities for ML and public debates on this technology.
Some sports are undoubtedly global leaders, with an audience to match. Then there are others, which enjoy immense popularity in certain markets but are less well known elsewhere. Ice Hockey, for instance, is a national obsession in Canada but is still relatively niche in the UK. Rugby has an estimated global following of 475 million people, but its popularity tends to be concentrated in specific regions. When it comes to building up a dedicated audience in new markets, there are several challenges that need to be overcome.
Previously, specialist, regional and niche content providers had very few options when it came to monetizing their content. Try and deliver it themselves, and the results would often mean spiraling costs and limited functionality for their audience. Buddy up with a big player who’ll do the heavy lifting, but realize there is a limit to the rewards they would reap.
The two basic premises of broadcasting haven’t changed for the last 100 years or so. One, give viewers compelling programming and they’ll watch. Two, effective monetisation is critical for supporting all that programming.
Most of us are social creatures and even when apart, we strive to be together. The bond that we create from shared activity, such as watching movies together, runs deeper than one might think. Research published in a scientific journal which involved chimpanzees watching a video in pairs, showed how they became more sociable with each other after the viewing session ended. This indicates that the bond we form from activities such as watching video content together has deep evolutionary roots.