nScreenMedia OTT multiscreen media analysis

Three ways big data is changing OTT video

There is no part of the OTT video entertainment industry left untouched by the arrival of big data. Here are three areas especially impacted, according to a group of industry insiders.

At DEW 2018 in Los Angeles on Monday, I had the privilege of moderating a panel discussion entitled The Future of Next Gen OTT and Monetization.  One strong theme at the show was the pervasive influence data was having on the content industry. I asked my panelists to name one way data is changing the OTT video business. Here’s what each had to say.

Data accelerates the path to originals for Passionflix

PassionFlix is a six-month-old SVOD service targeting the romance novel audience. It’s unusual to find such a young service commit to producing a significant amount of original content, particularly when there is plenty of quality licensable content available in the genre. However, that’s exactly what Tosca Musk, Founder, and CEO, decided to do when she studied the data. In 2017, the company produced three movies, and when Ms. Musk looked at the viewership of those originals versus the content she had licensed for the service, the direction she needed to take was clear.

Tosca Musk PassionFlix“Data is helping us make the decision about what to make next and what to do next. We thought that our licensed content numbers would be significantly higher. They’re not. That data has helped us decide to make much more original content much faster.”

In 2018, the company will make eight movies.

A long way to go with recommendations

How much value does Netflix deliver with all the work it has put behind its recommendations system? Not enough, according to Sam Toles, Senior Vice President of Digital and New Platform at MGM.

Sam Toles MGM“67% of people say there’s not enough content for them to watch and yet we have more content than has ever been produced in history. We need to move filmed content entertainment from where it is today and apply the right analysis that gets us to that Spotify model. Then we can sit down and go from an OTT hunt-and-peck system to a linear system where content is just served to us based on our individual preference.”

Personalization is key

Barry Tishgart, Senior Vice President and GM of Technical Services at BAMTECH Media believes data is helping service providers get the right content to the consumer. BAMTECH is trusted by such brand names as HBO Now and Hulu Live to handle the delivery of their online services. As part of that service, the company gathers and processes consumer user data. Mr. Tishgart says that data is enabling critical functionality:

Barry Tishgart BAMTECH Media

Barry Tishgart, BAMTECH Media

“Personalization, because that comes from the data analytics of user data and metadata. So, when you have those two big data sets and can cross-analyze them effectively you can recommend to consumers what to watch and what kind of packages to enjoy.”

Why it matters

Data is touching every part of the video entertainment business.

It is helping companies make key decisions about how to spend money for content.

Combining large data sets allows service providers to better personalize a service.

The art of data processing needs to advance if it is to produce a truly lean-back experience.

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