MAD Perspectives Blog

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 Big Data - Changing the Business of Media

Peggy Dau - Monday, April 21, 2014

Every industry is focused on data, yet the broadcast industry has perhaps been the most obvious in its use of data to drive audience. From Nielsen black boxes to the use of social media to capturing subscriber data from set-top boxes, content owners and distributors aggregate, analyze and assess data. Their goal is attracting an audience relevant to their advertisers as this is their source of revenue. The Guardian refers to this increasing focus on data as Moneyball TV.  Examples ,regarding industry's love affair with data, are everywhere.

  • The new era of data driven content started with Netflix and their analysis subscriber data to justify the production so its hit series House of Cards. But data is being used to drive more than content, it is the basis for delivering new experiences to an easily distracted audience. There is perhaps no greater influencer in the broadcast industry than sports. New technology is typically developed with sporting events in mind and then adapted for other uses. And, sports broadcasters and fans alike love data. Have you ever had a conversation about your favorite team that does not include a significant data point? Both the NBA and NASCAR have invested in combining live viewing experiences with incremental online data, or is it the other way around?

NASCAR has created a Fan Media Engagement Center, using HP's Interactive Media Command Center, to synthesize social and online data in real-time to create greater brand engagement with its fans. The NBA has created the Video Box Score, a destination site combining its comprehensive statistical database with videos of EVERYTHING that happens in a game. The relevant videos behind the statistics are available online to fans, giving them both context and a more engagement experience when reviewing game data.

Less exciting perhaps, but equally important is Time Warner Cable's aggregation of data from public sources and online media combined with their own detailed customer profiles. The resulting insight allows TWC to deliver targeted multi-channel advertising campaigns.

At last week's NAB Show, in Las Vegas, big data was being discussed by vendors across the media supply chain from storage vendors such as Quantum, Hitachi Data Systems and EMC-Isilon (all touting their storage system capabilities) to RSG Media (capturing data by managing rights and royalties across the content lifecycle) or Aspera, an IBM Company (managing the delivery of billions of data sets. The hunger for relevant data never dies. The media industry, like others, can be overwhelmed with data. The key is to clearly define needs and find the tools to extract the most relevant data points which when correlated and analyzed provide meaningful knowledge. 

This desire for deeper insight about customers, content, processes, and revenues is driving the need for technology to gather and analyze data and the tweaking of business models to take advantage of it.

What's your perspective?