In Broadcast - IBC 2015 - 26


26

www.inbroadcast.com | IBC2015 InShow Guide | 11-15 September

Go Big Or Go Home...
According to analyst firm IDC, the global big data and analytics market will reach $125bn
in 2015. Neil Berry, EVP Commercial, EMEA at Piksel examines how value-based
analytics is impacting the TV industry and the inhibitors for its wider adoption...

B

ig data is a perennial buzzword
and it's not surprising. In the TV
industry broadcasters look longingly at
the likes of Google and Facebook, who
in just over a decade since launch have
gone from start-ups to having combined
revenues in excess of $70 billion, much
of it founded on clever use of big
data. While big data usage is still in its
infancy in the TV industry, it's definitely
growing despite how challenging the
current data applications appear to be.
It's worth noting some big data
fundamentals. The term is somewhat
of a misnomer; big data is actually a
catch-all for three slightly different
data paradigms known as the three Vs.
These are velocity, volume and variety;
and in general having at least two of
these factors at an extreme level can
provide both a challenge, but also
potentially unlock an opportunity.
As an example it is always useful to
ground this in the world of TV. Say for
example as a broadcaster, one of your
advertising customers want to know if
its ad spot is effective. The traditional
method is to look at the ratings of
the programme it sits within to gauge
reach, but this method is imprecise
and does not actually reflect how the
audience is reacting to that spot.
Analytic Value
A big data solution to this challenge
might be to instead gather all the
remote control data from say 100,000
set top boxes when that advert is
playing and analyse what users
actually did. If a large percentage
switched channels to surf the internet
during the break, or worse, turned the
volume down as the advert started,
it might be time to think of a new
creative or timeslot. This is a velocity

"...the fundamental
challenge is the
integration across devices,
turning that data into
actionable insights"
Neil Berry
EVP Commercial, EMEA, Piksel

and volume big data problem, as
capturing and storing all this data from
a large number of STBs can be tricky
although not impossible. Yet this is just
the beginning.
Imagine you then correlate this data
set alongside your subscriber database
and census information based on
household and region. This adds
additional variety into the big data
mix allowing you as the broadcaster
to deliver some really valuable
insights for the advertiser. Piksel
calls this approach - turning data into
knowledge to enhance your offering -
value-based analytics. Where value can
truly be derived is through creating
actionable intelligence about a user,
their behaviour and their preferences,
to deliver tangible results from
powering more targeted advertising
insertion or programmatic advertising
strategies to enhance the customer
experience.
Another example of insights in
action is during the content acquisition
process. The refrain "are we paying too
much for content?" can be quantified,

especially in VoD environments, by
looking at viewing behaviour alongside
subscriber habits and retention rates.
Content which may at first glance
appear to be low value may in fact
attract and retain a core of affluent or
specialist interest subscribers that are
actually much more profitable over the
longer term than 'butterflies' that only
subscribe to binge on high visibility,
but short duration episodic content.
Consumer Control
The potential use cases within the TV
industry for value-based analytics are
numerous. The technology to gather
data and analyse it is already in the
marketplace but the fundamental
challenge is the integration across
devices, turning that data into
actionable insights using data science
analysis skills.
This is compounded by the massive
surge in online video that has
transformed TV. A new generation
of software driven, technologies are
often at odds with many of the core
skills sets within the TV industry. Yet

Devices place the viewer in control

this is changing. A few innovative
broadcasters, content owners and
MSOs are increasingly building these
skills sets up internally, but many more
are turning to third party specialists
to help kick start these transformative
projects to better understand viewer
behaviour and use analytics as a
strategic imperative.
This approach is allowing access
to personalisation technologies and
content recommendation engines
hosted in the cloud that are designed
with the TV industry in mind. With
time to market often the difference
between a Google-style success and an
also-ran, the big data hype train is no
longer just a speck in the distance.
In today's competitive environment
it's very clear that the consumer is in
control. With so much competition
and an increasingly fragmented
content market, understanding how
viewers consume your content with
rich value-based analytical insights
and personalisation must become top
priority if you are to thrive.


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