Home Opinions Data detectives: Au revoir Hercule and Sherlock, hello Clarissa

Data detectives: Au revoir Hercule and Sherlock, hello Clarissa

Marcus Evans, Lead Product Manager, Synamedia
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Having collapsed on the couch with your tipple of choice to catch-up on your favourite crime drama, own up if you’ve ever had to press the pause button to rewind and replay how a new piece of evidence fits with solving the case. Whether you’re watching Poirot or Holmes, piecing together plot twists and emerging facts to see the bigger picture can be mind-boggling. This is especially true when you are distracted by viewing companions making unhelpful comments at a crucial moment, or the unwelcome appearance of on-screen arch villain aka the buffering wheel.

For laser-focused, super sleuths like Sherlock Holmes, using logic and the science of deduction to unearth patterns and establish links between unrelated facts is second nature. But with the volume of data from a multitude of video services and billions of connected devices growing exponentially, it’s not so easy these days for Pay TV providers and OTT operators to play detective.

A key perpetrator: video data silos

In today’s hyper-connected world, service providers have access to huge amounts of internal data across their video ecosystem – from platforms, through delivery networks, to client devices – but the real value of this data comes not just from collecting or owning it but, as Hercule Poirot might say, using those little grey cells to interpret it effectively.

One of the biggest issues is that much of this available video data lies in multiple, unconnected data silos. As well as running the risk of making decisions based on a partial view of available sources, these disparate data silos mean service providers are missing out on the holistic view of their video data – a view which can bring a wealth of benefits including valuable and potentially revenue-generating insights into business processes and subscribers’ preferences.

Solving the case

All service providers have their work cut out attracting and keeping subscribers happy and staying one step ahead of the competition. They need to provide compelling content to the right people at the right time to keep viewers engaged, which isn’t easy, as current churn rates reveal. While consumers are subscribing to more services than ever – driven by lockdowns and the influx of new streaming services – they are also dipping in and out of services regularly to watch the content they want. According to Deloitte’s latest digital media trends survey, this has sent churn rates soaring to 37% over the past 14 months.

As consumers watch video content across a myriad of services and devices, they leave behind a trail of valuable content consumption, navigational and platform performance data. Service providers need to gather together all these clues that are left behind, then delve deep into the data to unearth insights that lead to valuable business outcomes. And in order to reveal actionable insights – whether that’s pushing digestible, on-demand content to a customer’s preferred mobile device or playing ads in front of the right eyes at the right time – service providers need to be able to fully interrogate their data to reveal answers to complex questions such as:

  • The content conundrum: Do subscribers prefer period dramas, sports or is space their safe place? On a particular series, when does engagement peak or drop off? Which content is binge-watched compared with content consumed on a weekly linear schedule?
  • Subscriber experience reveal: How much of a headache is content discovery? When do users simply give up? How can UI designs be optimised for different users and subscribers?
  • Spotlight on viewing quality: How consistent is the video experience? How many users are struggling to consume content due to external factors, user error, and service issues?
  • Unravelling advertising insights: Who’s watching what, where and when?

The Case for Clarity

Stand aside Sherlock – Synamedia Clarissa is the first “made for video” business insights solution to take a holistic view of Pay TV/OTT business through a video magnifying glass. Using AI and ML, it makes the links between all video data, collating and analysing siloed data across networks, platforms, services and client devices from linear, time-shifted, and on-demand services via satellite, IPTV and OTT platforms.

Unlike video analytics solutions designed for a specific purpose – such as measuring viewing quality or content availability – Clarissa brings together siloed data sets to achieve a universal view across six main areas of the overall video experience: content consumption, subscriber experience, viewing quality, content development, operational insights and advertising insights. It lets service providers get inside the minds of subscribers and unlock new business insights by revealing how changing any element of their service will impact the entire subscriber experience.

Taking the guesswork out of business decisions, service providers can now address specific business pain points and predict answers to perplexing questions such as “Which content rights should I renew, and on which devices/platforms, to boost engagement?”. This allows operators to reduce their long tail of unloved content and only renew rights for those platforms and devices that viewers actually use, increasing ROI on content licensing and acquisition costs.

The big reveal  

The ability to harness the potential of video data across all available silos is a crucial business differentiator. Joining up the dots and finding new connections across the video ecosystem can drive better outcomes by revealing to business and operations teams what needs to be done to boost revenue, lower costs, reduce churn and keep viewers satisfied and engaged. You can now take the headache out of video data by integrating and interrogating your data to give you the clues to solve your next mystery and uncover your next potential business opportunity.

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