Big data is making waves across all sorts of industries, enabling executives to more easily identify the best strategies for success. This not only opens the doors to all types of improvements and enhancements, but can offer a competitive edge for the organizations that bring analytics practices into the fold.

This is true across nearly all verticals, including the media and cable industry. With more options for viewers than ever — including not only traditional television and cable, but online streaming platforms as well — media decision-makers are beginning to leverage the insights that big data analytics can offer.

But what information are these firms gathering, and how are they utilizing it for their continued success? Today, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of analytics in the cable and media market, examining a few of the top strategies that have been advantageous so far.

Where does data come from?
Before we can identify and explain the approaches and practices media organizations are using to analyze their data, we must first discern where this information is coming from. According to a 2014 white paper from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, media institutions have a range of sources they can mine for big data. This includes:

  • Social media posts: Facebook users post a total of 532 million new statuses each day.
  • Video, audio and photo: 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
  • Emails: 294 billion emails are sent on a daily basis.
  • Viewing habits: Viewers across the globe watch 22 million hours of TV and streaming movies every day.
  • Other online activity: Mobile users send and receive 1.3 exabytes of data via their mobile devices every month.
When it comes to big data analytics in the media and entertainment industry, the possibilities are nearly endless. As these strategies are increasingly utilized, experts are gleaning even more use cases that better position firms in this sector for success.

When it comes to big data analytics in the media and entertainment industry, the possibilities are nearly endless. As these strategies are increasingly utilized, experts are gleaning even more use cases that better position firms in this sector for success.

These sources can be analyzed for a wealth of information, and have been gaining attention in this marketplace, especially as analytics become increasingly important.

“Big data is a huge opportunity for media companies,” noted white paper author Martha L. Stone. “The payoff for media companies specifically are many, including engaging the audience more deeply with more targeted news and advertising, more relevant and socially engaging content, more discoverable and compelling videos and photos, and most of all, the ability to compete with other sophisticated online media companies that are frequently ahead of traditional media companies with advanced technology strategies.”

With so much potential for success, it’s no secret why the media and cable industry is flocking to big data analytics as a way to remain relevant in the marketplace.

Once this information has been gathered, media companies have an array of strategies they can use to analyze, understand and leverage their insights.

1) The 4 Vs of big data
As Stone pointed out, one of the first approaches here is mastering the four Vs of big data: Volume, Velocity, Variety and Value. This practice helps organizations make the best use of their available information in a way that benefits their goals.

“The media industry can think of big data as the four Vs, including the volume of data; velocity of data, meaning it needs to be analyzed quickly (especially in news); in a variety of structured and increasingly unstructured data formats; which all have potential value in terms of high-quality journalism and business insights and revenue,” Stone wrote.

When data is treated in this manner, firms are better positioned to glean the most impactful insights during the most advantageous time period. With well-timed, meaningful analysis, media companies can apply these to their processes and help ensure their overall success.

2) Personalizing the viewing experience
After subscribing to the four Vs, media and cable organizations can leverage their analytics in several ways, including establishing a stronger connection with viewers. One of the best ways to achieve this is to provide a personalized experience that viewers don’t get elsewhere, which shows that the firm is seeking to better understand customers’ needs and preferences.

Qubole contributor Jonathan Buckley noted that analytics can provide an in-depth look into the customer experience, showing each person’s interests, as well as the media they are most likely to appreciate. Using this data, companies can establish a connection with viewers, provide custom recommendations and enhance the overall experience.

This is an approach that’s being seen more often with on-demand and streaming platforms. By analyzing viewers’ habits, media providers can glean that customers of a certain age or in a specific region tend to prefer animated content, for example, and recommend additional shows that fit this bill.

3) Predicting success
Cable and media organizations have also been able to leverage their analytics findings to determine the success rates of specific types of content. As Buckley pointed out, organizations in this marketplace are under constant pressure to identify projects that will grow to become the next big hit. And with big data analytics on their side, these choices are much easier to make.

In fact, Stone reported that firms that utilize analytics in this manner are five times as likely to make faster decisions than their peers, and three times as likely to execute these plans as they originally intended. When it comes to the entertainment industry, this ability is key. This could mean the difference between picking up what will become a hit show and exclusively producing it, as opposed to missing out on a huge opportunity.

This strategy also means cable and media companies can prevent losses that might occur during projects that don’t get off the ground, or do not work out as planned. In other words, as opposed to funding a show — hiring staff, building sets and producing a pilot — that ends up failing, companies can recognize a low success rate and instead move on and save their capital for another project.

4) Visualizations to identify patterns
Another beneficial strategy used in this sector is data visualization, where analytics findings are presented in a more graphical format. Items like charts, graphs or other informational images can help decision-makers identify key trends and patterns that could help shape the services they deliver to their customers.

For instance, a visualization of client demographics might show that a certain company has a high number of dedicated viewers within a certain age bracket. From here, the business can leverage additional information about these viewers’ habits, social media activity and other preferences, and create content and advertisements that appeal to this group.

When it comes to big data analytics in the media and entertainment industry, the possibilities are nearly endless. As these strategies are increasingly utilized, experts are gleaning even more use cases that better position firms in this sector for success.

For more information about best practices for analytics in this market, contact the experts at Aunalytics today.