Business intelligence in the age of binge watching streaming content

Solutions Architect, RSG Media

In the age of Netflix and binge watching series’ episodes, the media industry’s traditional tools for measuring success are insufficient at best, and detrimental at worst. How can media and entertainment companies utilize business intelligence capabilities to handle the digital transformation sweeping the industry?

Gaining a handle on digital transformation

A large percentage of the revenue that media companies bring in now originates from platforms that a decade ago didn’t exist. This change has been so disruptive that media companies today struggle just to keep up with their customer base. Getting ahead of customer demand seems near impossible.

Some initial resistance to digital content has been replaced by an acceptance—if not embrace—of downloading and streaming media. The industry realizes that over the last 20 years it has left money on the table, and the only way to survive is by enhancing business intelligence (BI) to get ahead of customer preferences

Making sense of media analytics

Media companies and content platforms today engage their respective audiences on a myriad of platforms, and in that process they collect a wealth of data about consumers. This treasure trove includes what content they watch, how and when they watch it and even what they might be interested in watching more than a year from now. Learn more about leveraging audience data via the IBM Behavior-based Audience Insight for Media and Entertainment solution.

But having access to the data and making sense of it are two different animals. Media and entertainment companies need to take advantage of all the data around the consumer, not just data in back-office or transactional systems. However, much of the new data that media companies handle is semistructured because it originates from social media, the web, mobile devices and Internet of Things devices in a wide range of formats and repositories. That kind of format means the data lacks a relational schema and is more challenging to analyze with traditional BI and analytics solutions. 

Delivering business intelligence — An RSG Media use case

RSG Media is a business solutions provider for media and entertainment companies. It needed a cloud-based data warehousing and BI capability that could pull semistructured data already stored in the cloud and structured data from more traditional on-premises data repositories, such as transaction or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. RSG Media also needed to be able to run analyses on a combined view of that data, and it had to be done quickly, if not on the fly. 

Presenting the big knowledge project at The Data Warehouse Institute (TDWI) 2016 event

In all, RSG Media has access to approximately 30 data sources totaling more than 25 PB. If it had the ability to combine these data sources seamlessly in a convenient cloud-based environment, rather than building an entirely new traditional data warehouse, the organization would gain a huge cost savings. 

Taking a 360-degree view of the audience

In additon, RSG Media required the scale and flexibility to create a true 360-degree view of consumers and offer a slate of analytics. This analytics offering would not only provide an inventory of what content is available, but it also could use predictive analytics that can score the appeal of content to targeted audiences. And not only did the company need to track viewership by platform, but RSG Media also needed to predict what content is best for a particular platform. In addition, targeting advertising to specific consumer groups and increasing its effectiveness by determining the best channel and the optimal timeframe to reach its target market was imperative. 

RSG Media required analyses to match the types of content that appeals to different audiences and to build a return on investment (ROI) model to help media and entertainment companies decide what it should green-light and what content it should pass on. That decision means that instead of playing catch-up with today’s consumers, media companies would be able to stay ahead of viewers before they click away from unwanted content in the era of digital and on-demand viewing.

RSG Media discovered these capabilities using IBM Cloudant NoSQL Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) software and IBM dashDB relational Data Warehouse-as-a-Service (DWaaS). You can learn more about RSG Media and its partnership with IBM Cloud Data Services by reviewing the Ovum enterprise case study, Understanding Customer Viewership and Behavior Across Platforms.

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