Dorota Żurkowska, Board Member of TVN Discovery Group
THERE IS NO FUTURE WITHOUT ENTERPRISE - Dziennik Gazeta Prawna Special Edition
The power of good content
Content is king. Bill Gates’ famous quote is still true today. Viewers look for content to keep them fascinated and engaged. Thanks to modern measurement technologies, media companies are now able to very closely track consumer satisfaction with their products. Nielsen shows us precise behaviours, changes in viewer engagement, and audience ebb and flow for every minute of a programme. Streaming platforms give us even more insight, as we are able to pinpoint what part of a given programme was watched, what users search for and when. The combination of all these data builds a huge treasure trove of knowledge. The companies that can read it best will be the ones to win the race.
But data is not everything. The world is changing at an unprecedented rate and viewer preferences are evolving just as rapidly. This is best seen in some iconic productions: what was once widely acclaimed, such as the TV show “Friends”, today is no longer iconic to the younger generation. What’s more, even superfans of the show admit that some parts of the show have not aged too well. The acceleration of change means that what was popular six months ago may already have lost its relevance altogether. Thus programme planning done solely on the basis of data – especially from a few months ago – does not guarantee success. This is where non-measurable elements such as intuition, courage, room for experimentation, and at the same time, profound social awareness on the part of decision-makers play a crucial role.
As consumers of content, we have become accustomed to freedom of choice. Films and series can be watched on linear, TV streaming platforms or VOD via TV screens, computers, phones and tablets. In recent years, most technical innovations have been aimed at creating platforms with the broadest functionalities and designing a unique User Experience. Streaming platforms invest millions in the right infrastructure to make watching content as smooth as possible. Content quality is evolving (4K), and as television technology develops, we can expect picture quality to increase continuously. We can see new search engines which operate on a pan-platform basis, and recommendation engines that tap into artificial intelligence, as well as smart advertising which ensures that even intermittent marketing
messages are adapted accordingly.
Revolution around the corner
Personalised content in the digital advertising world is already the norm; we have become accustomed to ads that reflect our previous searches. But we are now at the brink of another revolution – precise targeting of TV ads. Dynamic Ad Insertion means changing commercials in real-time advertising breaks based on data about the viewers who are tuned into a given programme. Such solutions, though still rare, already exist in the US and Scandinavian markets. Taking into account the fact that television gathers a huge audience, the combination of its scale of influence and adjusting commercials broadcast to the individual interests of viewers means nothing less than a brand new level of efficiency. This will be possible not only on IPTV (Internet TV) or OTT platforms, but also on terrestrial TV. The roll-out of DAI will significantly expand the possibilities that TV can offer its business partners, allowing marketers to reach their target groups with greater precision and providing them broader optimisation opportunities resulting from, e.g. control over the frequency of advertisements, and, as a result, a higher return on investment.
Ad targeting and personalisation, which will boost the effectiveness and profitability of advertising campaigns, is possible thanks to, e.g. hybrid television (HbbTV). The combination of linear television with the interactivity of the digital environment means that viewers are no longer just receivers of content, but that they can also actively participate in and respond to what is happening on air. HbbTV expands television by giving viewers access to additional content and functionalities such as quizzes, polls and competitions, but also enables content personalisation, i.a. in advertising. The number of hybrid TV viewers is increasing significantly, along with a growing share of those who are connected to the internet.
Hybrid TV looks very promising for “direct-to-consumer” products, where the appropriate use of the interactivity of TV equipment and two-way communication will soon offer the market a completely new and very user-friendly experience.
The prospects regarding the development of television also have certain implications for the business environment of media companies. Implementing the outlined solutions entails high demand for knowledge about users, and thus for data analytics and enrichment, in order to allow for segmentation of recipients according to, e.g. geolocation, demographic or psychographic data (such as their lifestyles, preferences, and attitudes). Their providers will certainly have their hands full in the coming years.
In today’s world, “TV” means so much more than simple television, it means “Total Viewing”. As the boundaries between traditional television and digital advances become increasingly blurred, we see the spike in innovation. The linear and the digital learn from one another, meaning the end user gets the best of both worlds. But the new media landscape will be beneficial for all involved – broadcasters, operators, advertisers, and vendors included.