The Media industry today is faced with a number of unique challenges. From the deterioration of traditional business models to the explosion of new distribution channels, from a fragmented customer base to the new varieties of content demanded, from redefining their influence on the society to finding new ways to restore their audiences’ interest in them, all Media houses are at the roads end. Fortunately, they can leverage new technologies to analyze their target audience’s demands, generate personalized content and automate repetitive tasks. In light of that fact, Embee’s tech trackers analyze the media tech trends that will be most impactful in 2018.
Data Analytics will see increased usage in the media sector in 2018:
While media happens to be one of the early adopters of data analytics, its true potential is yet to be realized. 2018 can well be the year when this changes. The massive amount of data that is generated in this sector, mostly in digital form, holds the power to change the consumer research space. From Bollywood to Hollywood to major entertainment companies like Netflix are using Data Analytics to understand user behavior.
There are many other channels where it can be implemented including data-driven journalism, semantic publishing, social media analysis, consumer research, product development, targeting, marketing, advertising and distribution and more. For example – in journalism, analysis of large datasets can extract new insight, stories, and contents, which can be monetized to create alternate revenue sources for news channels. Other applications include algorithmic scalable approaches and predictive analysis to achieve profitable results, semantic graph data canalization using inference engines, data visualization, cross-sell etc.
In this video, PwC’s Todd Supplee, Global Data & Analytics Leader, Entertainment & Media, explains how analytics is transforming decision-making in the industry:
Adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will increase:
Artificial Intelligence has already been noted as one of the top six disruptive technologies of 2018 and with good reasons. In Media, AI is well positioned to both automate workflow activities as well as generate useful insights from collected data. Thus, media industry is experiencing breakthroughs in multiple areas like natural language processing (NLP), facial recognition, anomaly detection and more.
AI and Machine Learning (ML) is enabling substantial cost savings by automating existing tasks in content management, media operations, video Analysis, translation, transcription and tagging, animation, structural and semantic analysis of video, script proofing, content cleanup, scene sequencing and more. All these are significantly improving customer engagement and experience. AI-powered voice assistants are intuitive and mature in combining consumer’s knowledge graphs, geo coordinates, voice inputs and rich content metadata (cast, synopsis, quotes, locations etc.) to optimize content search and offer personalized recommendations. Based on the complexity of scenes across multiple quality metrics, AI systems are determining required level of compression and improving fixed bitrate chunking to scene-based encoding, thereby enabling uninterrupted video streaming in emerging economies where low bandwidth is a recurring issue. Netflix has already started leveraging this technology.
AI and machine learning is increasingly able to master visual perception – facial and pattern recognition, opening rich avenues in content editing and automated content creation. This is how Facebook tags individuals in photos without the user having to manually tag them. Apart from these, tasks like script proofing, content production, content cleanup, scene sequencing, video skimming, 3D character and scene creation for animated movies, first round of video editing, video quality assessment and more are now conducted to a large extent by AI.
In this video, Ryan Steelberg, President, Veritone, details how AI is impacting the media industry:
Blockchain has the potential to disrupt existing business models:
Blockchain will be creating waves in the media industry in 2018.The biggest benefit of blockchain technology probably rests with the fact that it helps to create a digital marketplace which is decentralized yet secure from undue manipulations. In this marketplace while transactions are recorded chronologically, which increase its transparency to users, all the data is encrypted, making it tamper-resistant. This decentralized yet secure environment is exceptionally useful in media where it has always been difficult to standardize fair payment for creative work, largely due to the ease of creating copies and sharing on digital medium.
For instance, music streaming sites and rights holders face difficulty in agreeing upon trillions of song streaming and often get entangled in legal fights, as was the case with Spotify. A blockchain-powered model that contains music assets and their rights holders can resolve this issue. It can automate the entire royalty payment procedure by tracking on a song’s consumption, including streaming. The Open Music Initiative (OMI), comprising of 200 members including the three major labels Sony, Music, and Warner, and also YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, and Viacom, plans to modernize royalty payment mechanisms with blockchain-powered systems. Piracy, one of the most acute problems plaguing the Media and Entertainment industry, can also be solved by Blockchain.
VR can prove to be a game changer:
With substantial investments happening in Virtual Reality technology, it is all set to reshape the media industry. Paramount Pictures are to launch their first VR movie theatre, where audiences who own VR headsets can sign up for a show. The experience allows them to walk into the theatre, sit among a virtual audience (other members of the audience), and even interact with them before the show starts. Media companies aren’t simply leveraging VR to make content more entertaining but are also using it to shed light on critical social issues. The United Nation’s 360-degree 3D film “Clouds Over Sidra,” used VR to give the audience a sensation of being in the Syrian refugee camp of Za’atari in Jordan, thereby creating deeper understanding and empathy. You can get a glimpse of the film in this video:
These media tech trends suggest, the industry is just beginning to experience a new phase of disruption. The era of artificial intelligence has commenced and with it the use chatbots, voice search, virtual assistants, AI-generated content, augmented reality, and more, are readily becoming mainstream. At such a juncture, media organizations need to rethink their strategies to better cater to their audience. Technology is once again ready to transform media for both professionals and consumers.