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Please, Wait
14th November 2022
What is the future for large media companies? Stream and grow.
By Sushant Rai
Launching the streaming service into a new geo, in a different currency and on a new set of devices without incurring huge resource, infra and time costs enables the key decision makers to make better and more decisions faster.

Distribution was never easy, but the revenue was predictable. Strong relationships, built over decades are being upended because millennials are cutting the cord. They want to watch TV, but they do not want to flip channels or watch things when they are on. I am old enough to want to be cantankerous about it — but I want to tell you about the promised land I've discovered.

You, the media company owner, never knew your viewer. Now, I know about the surveys and the immersions and everything else you did with a sample of your viewers, but you didn't know them. You knew your advertisers. But you didn't know your viewers. Your distribution partner barely knew them either — they didn't need to as long as someone paid the bill every month.

Streaming changes this, and how.

Today, the viewer gets access to your content, and you get access to the viewer in real-time. You can get to know them intimately — not just who they are and where they're from, but what they like and dislike, what bores them, what captures their imagination and so much more.

This treasure trove of data belongs to you and you can use this in so many ways: from picking content that works for niche audiences, to offering advertisers user segments that will have them salivating (and paying you a premium).

Let's go deeper and think about this opportunity through the different lenses internal teams will use:

  1. Marketing:
    I know my subscriber(s) prefer action, car chase sequences, exotic locales and a good music score in high-res or even 4K. I can send targeted emails pushing the soon-to-be-released series of either a James Bond/Fast & Furious/Jason Bourne complete set for TV (possibly on a specific Smart TV brand that's just been partnered with for this campaign) 4K with surround sound for the best experience. Periodic reminders can be sent till the release date. Follow-up communication can continue through the series to ensure maximum time spent on the service OR If FAST channels of this genre are available in the catalogue, Promo codes could be given to Try-&-Subscribe on iPad Pro (1080p with surround sound).
    This is the very definition of D2C. This is the best way to spend marketing dollars - based on hard data - targeted and personalised for higher RoI and enhanced customer experience.

  2. Product:
    Based on the transcoding ladder and devices addressed and the content load time, buffer time, etc., I can now create more profiles/resolutions/bit-rates to address that new target segment of AVoD customers.
    If the customer wants a specific Payment Gateway - based on regulatory requirements or popularity or partnership - to be integrated, using the present APIs, the time to go live is drastically reduced ensuring adherence to local laws, or customer demand or commercial requirements. This, when compared to hiring resources with specific skillsets/expertise for that particular project, time taken for dev, testing, integrating, is a lot faster, easier and proven.

  3. Content:
    Content production pipeline/syndication decisions can now be based on hard data. “Give the customer what they want and they'll come back for more”. Are 13 episodes in a series good enough to ensure an annual subscription decision? Or is the funnel prepped and ready to ensure long-tail engagement? Based on the same first-hand data of search factors - keywords used often, success, actually matched, etc., premium subscribers could be given the capability to search in their language for content based on talent/genre/location/time period/dialogue, etc.
    For longer engagement, I can now display associated metadata - no, not shopping links - but, gossip/activities during the making of the program/about the actor/location, et al.

  4. Business:
    I know that a significant number of my paying subscribers are watching their HD package content on their 4K Smart TVs. (i) I could partner with the most popular Smart TV system and have my App certified/approved and integrated into their App ecosystem and take advantage of the inherent features of the TV OR (ii) upsell the 4K package based on this data.
    In order to augment my subscriber growth, I'm ready to tie-up/partner with Telcos and/or Content Aggregators. Mutual agreements can be signed wherein I'll get access to viewership data of my content on those respective platforms. This will help me further the partnership and its effectiveness.

  5. Management:
    Good hard decisions are fact-based - not on guestimates, presumptions and assumptions. With an eagle-eyed focus on increasing RoI & customer satisfaction, key decision-makers have all the visualised data at their disposal. Being aware, at any point in time, of what the net revenue in each region makes for faster decision-making and changing tack, if need be - thus becoming agile and responding to or driving market conditions.
    Launching the streaming service into a new geo, in a different currency and on a new set of devices without incurring huge resource, infra and time costs enables the key decision makers to make better and more decisions faster.

This is very unlike the legacy distribution models - Terrestrial, Digital Cable, Satellite, and IPTV.

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