The coronavirus outbreak and resulting lockdown culture we find ourselves in highlights the true power of live TV and shared experiences. Conviva’s Streaming in the Time of Coronavirus report, published in early April 2020, found that global streaming jumped by more than 20% when compared with figures from the previous month. Virtual, shared experiences are of greater significance now more than ever, and personalised content is a way for media companies to differentiate their services from others.
Even before the Covid-19 outbreak, the media industry had been shifting attention towards monetisation opportunities which accommodate the mounting demand for more personalised and relevant video experiences to the widest range of consumers. In an era of soaring content acquisition rights and pervasive content digitisation, maximising revenues from every potential viewer is critical. To manage the increasing challenges of content distribution negotiations, media content companies need to find innovative ways to distribute the high-quality content to expectant viewers.
The ever-increasing amount of direct-to-consumer (DTC) and TV Everywhere (TVE) multi-screen services offered by broadcasters and operators are enabling advertisers to move from a traditional “one to many” linear approach to “one to one” session-based conversations with targeted audiences in a high value Premium TV environment.
This targeting is made possible thanks to high quality, first-party data gathered from long-standing relationships established with end-users.
What is targeted advertising?
As today’s consumers embrace OTT video services, programmers and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) must look for new methods of monetisation through targeted advertising.
(Server-side) dynamic ad insertion (DAI) enables broadcasters and service providers to effectively personalise and monetise multiscreen video services across linear, OTT, and streaming services. As targeted advertising to consumers through OTT or VOD services has not yet been fully monetised, broadcasters have a great opportunity to add real value and relevancy to consumers. By analysing consumer profiles, in full compliance with privacy protection regulations, TV operators and service providers can gain a better understanding of consumer behaviour, and the type of content that different audience segments regard as premium.
Through a more personalised advertising offering, broadcasters and service providers can ensure better control of the content delivered to viewers, based on geographical location, device restrictions and local window programming, as well as enable new monetisation opportunities for existing inventory and content assets. This can range from personalisation of titles within OTT or VOD libraries to helping distributors and buyers decide which shows to purchase, based on audience demographics.
Collecting data, actionable insights and privacy
In addition to budget considerations, broadcasters and content owners must comply fully with distribution rights and local regulations to achieve the highest possible means of monetisation through advertising and to gain a deeper understanding of their audiences’ needs.
As TV services start to overlap with social media and mobile viewing, there is a need for a balance between data collection, privacy, and creating actionable insights. For all the potential benefits, there is also the potential for a consumer backlash if data is mishandled.
However, the process of advertising management and delivery must be flexible enough to deal with these regulatory requirements, as well as the technical hurdles of international distribution. The complexity behind implementing these agreements is de-multiplied by the number of criteria that drive such deals (zip codes, device types). This results in millions of possible different combinations that require careful management, particularly in the case of large U.S. operators.
This complexity is one of the main drivers behind the launch of the SCTE-224 standard, the most advanced and standardised data model dedicated to distribution rights. SCTE-224 is being rapidly adopted by both broadcasters (as a way to define rights) and operators (as a way to enforce them), in order to cater for each local market.
Having the key technology in place is a requisite for operators but almost as important is the ability to adapt with the market shift. Yet, at a time when the current global health crisis is changing the dynamics of an already evolving media landscape, operators and broadcasters must continue to react to the needs of consumers and advertisers, and the challenges of a digital world.