In an increasingly complex ecosystem, it is becoming more important than ever that solution vendors co-innovate with customers, as well as with other tech partners. That is the view of Philippe Leonetti, CEO at Viaccess-Orca, who says the advanced use-cases now seen across everything from business and marketing analytics to targeted advertising demands this increased focus on collaboration. “You cannot invent and own everything,” he acknowledges.
Outlining the forces he thinks will shape television in 2022, he listed co-innovation, data and analytics, greater use of the cloud, and super-aggregation as stand-out items.
Targeted advertising is a great example of why we need more co-innovation, he suggests, pointing to the value of end-to-end technology solutions, but also the need to work within local regulatory and business relationship contexts that platform operators and broadcasters/streaming services are sensitive too. “It requires a huge transformation [for media companies] to introduce advanced advertising and there is lots of work with customers to clarify the business detail and their objectives, as well as preparing for the technical integrations,” Leonetti confirms.
Viaccess-Orca (VO) supports server-side and client-side ad insertion for broadcast and streamed television, across linear and on-demand, to support targeted advertising, and this solution can be pre-integrated with programmatic infrastructure, including from Smart AdServer. The advanced advertising offer draws heavily upon the data analytics expertise at VO and along with co-innovation, it is data and actionable analytics that will help to differentiate solution vendors in the years ahead, Leonetti reckons.
Advanced advertising, next-generation user experiences and the evolution towards super-aggregation are all built upon strong data capabilities, and Viaccess-Orca has been outlining how data impacts each one. With advertising for example, one of the keys to success is the privacy-compliant use of first-party media owner data, including viewing data, to create specific audience segments that an advertiser can address.
Some of the data being fed into the decisions about which ad is served to which households include household composition, personal interests and life moments. All three of these inputs can be partly or largely derived from viewing data. Artificial Intelligence algorithms help to extract these insights and contribute towards an understanding of purchase potential. AI is also being used to fit the advertising experience – including the ad display models used – to viewer preferences, including taking account of sensitivity to advertising.
When it comes to the UX, Leonetti points to the way that marketing teams have been unleashed thanks to a better understanding of what is happening on platforms and how individual consumers use a service. QoE is a crucial starting point, so you know viewers have an uninterrupted and high-quality video experience.
“Now set-top boxes are using home Wi-Fi you have to know the quality of the Wi-Fi, which has a huge impact on QoE,” VO’s CEO offers as one example. Outlining another, he adds: “You may discover that what turns out to be a must-use feature is hidden too far down the menus, and you can improve the customer journey.”
One Viaccess-Orca Pay TV customer increased the revenue on their TV service by an astonishing 12% thanks to a better understanding of subscriber behaviour and better content discovery, all of which stemmed from harnessing existing data.
There is an important correlation between UX and advertising: personalisation and higher engagement means more hours spent watching video and so more targeted ad insertion opportunities. Studies have also shown that consumers welcome relevant ads, so targeting is thought to add to the overall uplift in the user experience.
Item No.3 on Leonetti’s list is the cloud, which is where more of VO’s data and analytics solutions are now being hosted. “We have many RFPs still asking for on-prem deployment so we must support this capability, but we see high demand now for cloud migration. We are leveraging the cloud for our next-generation of analytics solutions. This is not about cost savings for customers – economics is the wrong reason for doing it; it is about the ability to adapt quickly so you can create new features and solutions every month.”
Viaccess-Orca is helping customers create privacy-compliant data lakes that different departments can tap into for their different applications – with marketing and UX product managers being among the beneficiaries. “Something [data] that was previously used by just a few people is now open to everyone,” Leonetti declares.
Super-aggregation is the fourth trend VO is helping platform operators to tackle and this also requires core data management skills that have already been used to populate and update EPGs and drive recommendation engines. The difference, Leonetti says, is that the use of data to link and surface content is now being expanded beyond broadcast and local on-demand services to onboarded streaming services.
“There are more services, there is more data. Content is duplicated. You have to identify the same content that is appearing in different services,” he observes.
And how far do the onboarded apps share viewing data to help with content discovery? “On the set-top box that depends on what our customers can negotiate with the SVOD services. Some are very open to full integration into the operator ecosystem, although it is different from one content owner to another.”
Leonetti adds: “The integration of SVOD services is becoming a must. All Pay TV providers are trying to position themselves as a super-aggregator; this is a priority and a major trend.”
Do these priorities resonate with you?
Super-aggregation, content discovery, advanced advertising and operations transformation are all on the agenda at Connected TV World Summit 2022, which addresses ‘The Great Recalibration’ of TV. Discussions include how media owner first-party data can be fully harnessed to create incremental value to advertisers and new revenues for TV. You can find more information here.