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Media Content: From High-demand Topics to Ultra-personalization

Global issues form the basis of content production

It’s not easy to see how things happening in your country affect people in other regions of the world. First, because your own personal experience and culture inform your perception, and second, your community will address the situation under its principles and the interests of the majority or group in power.

That said, media organizations across platforms, radio, social networks, TV, OTT, and web are the ones capable of raising awareness at scale. This, paired with widespread interest of consumers to stay up to date on one or more of these topics, is largely why these global issues identified by the United Nations form the basis of content production and media coverage:

Refugees Democracy
AIDS Poverty
Atomic energy Food
Climate change Gender equality
Decolonization Health
Population - Youth and Ageing Migration
Big data Oceans and water

But content consumption behavior is changing...

While covering the above topics to gain larger audiences and retention makes sense on paper, we have had hints that appealing to high-demand topics is not enough in today’s shifting media and entertainment landscape.

One theory that confirms this is the television broadcast of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Spoiler alert: TV viewership was at 30+ year lows in major markets for this global event. On average, there were 15.5 million people watching it broadcasted in the United States, a 46% plunge compared to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The company that owns the broadcasting rights to the Tokyo Olympics also missed its expected return by a longshot in other major markets.

At the same time, the Tokyo Olympics were the most-streamed Olympics ever, hitting a record 5.5 billion streaming minutes across other non-television mediums. Peacock (NBC’s streaming app) had its best two weeks since its debut last year due to its exclusive streaming of popular US Olympic content to US viewers. 

Never had we gotten to experience the Olympics in such a personalized way, making the 2020 Summer Games extremely unique—not to mention, packed with lessons learned about shifting consumer preferences around content.

The shift is from segmentation to an audience of one

In recent years, streaming services have saturated the market with more personalized content and experiences on their platforms. In consequence, many TV networks have also launched platforms to compete with the giants already dominating the space, aware that audiences are constantly seeking out more fitting experiences.

Now that the ability of media organizations to personalize content and experiences has become normalized, media strategies are changing once again. In fact, the most successful marketing agencies in the world today don’t focus on the segmentation of audiences as much. To achieve superior revenue, customer engagement, and loyalty, ultra-personalization is key— this means each individual consumer is an audience of one.

Here are some milestones that must be reached along the path to “Ultra Personalization,” according to eNautics research:

  1. 100% personalization accuracy. 98% of consumers have exited a purchase decision due to incomplete or inaccurate content. Can you imagine the profits had those transactions been converted into sales?
  2. My past, a reflection of my future. 78% of consumers will not engage with a branded offer that is not related to a view or purchase made by them in the past with the same brand. Consumers want to be individually recognized.
  3. Real-time personalization. When personalization happens in real-time, it is ultra-personalized. To deliver value during the most decisive moments for individual consumers, organizations require tools to turn rapidly-flowing big data into insights in order to create one-to-one communications.

Ultra-personalization is a function of data

To know how, when, and why to engage with us, media companies are dealing with data. A lot of data. Let me put it into perspective:

Every month, the average smartphone user generates 40 exabytes (one billion gigabytes) of data. Today, there are 5 billion smartphone users, meaning about 200 billion exabytes of data that companies can leverage to better understand the customer and transform the CX and UX. The data generated on the internet is even more impressive—every minute, 4.5 million videos are watched on YouTube, 1 million comments are posted on Facebook, and 188 million emails are sent.

With these immense numbers, leveraging big data to create valuable experiences for individual consumers is daunting. The most future-ready businesses are leveraging data multi-dimensionally through the "Five V’s" of big data:

  • Volume
    • Big data is broken down into chunks and can be stored and communicated through systems in different forms.
  • Velocity
    • Data is collected and analyzed from the moment it's generated, ideally as close to real-time as possible. 
  • Variety
    • Data is leveraged from a variety of internal and external sources depending on need and can be handled in structured, semi-structured, and unstructured forms.
  • Veracity
    • Data is clean and able to provide valid insights, thus having value to offer.
  • Value
    • The data positively impacts the business and knowledge about the customer.

To create personalization initiatives around data, data scientists rely on different frameworks (like Cassandra, Hadoop, and Spark) and parallel processing. This combination allows data scientists to break down data into multiple tasks, allocate tasks to different processors each generating their own insights, reassemble the results, then communicate them transparently and quickly to the right stakeholders and decision-makers. With this effective use of big data, any department in charge of creating content and communications to secure retention and lock-in purchases can leap into action during the most decisive moment for individual consumers.

Softtek supports your big data and ultra-personalization journey

Softtek has an array of services to store, manage, and process data through its Centers of Excellence dedicated to providing information management, advanced business analytics, and database and storage administration. Additionally, Softtek delivers customer experience design and engineering, and digital innovation services for your content production needs.

Media and Entertainment: Scale faster than fans can stream.


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