How data integration and UX can help drive innovation and growth in the broadcast industry despite COVID-19
Without a doubt, COVID-19 has affected many lives and businesses, and the broadcast industry has been no exception. With interruptions to the production of shows and live sports, how will this impact audiences’ tuning and consumption habits in the long-run?
As a proud Canadian company that works closely with broadcasters, we think there are a couple of areas the broadcast industry can focus on today to help drive innovation and growth not just now but also as we contemplate a time when the pandemic is over.
Those two key areas are data integration and user experience.
1. Data integration
We view data integration as a way to see the big picture. As the volume of data collected around the globe continues to grow, integrating it and making sense of it will just become more challenging and important. By combining audience data with sales data you can find revenue opportunities that you may otherwise not have noticed or by uncovering unique audiences or unique ways of looking at duplication of audiences can help you monetize or reach these audiences better. Not knowing what the combined ‘gain’ is from both sets of data means you are missing out on opportunities and potentially making bad decisions.
In our experience, clients are typically looking to integrate their proprietary sales and set-top-box data with forms of audience data including TV, radio, streaming, social and psychographic data. There are two main challenges around integrating audience data in Canada: the unique landscape and metadata management.
Canada: a unique media landscape
There are very few companies around the world that actually understand how unique the Canadian landscape is when it comes to audience data, particularly when it comes to TV data. What may work in the U.S. or the U.K. won’t work out of the box in Canada (trust us, we’ve seen enough people trying and failing over the years). Here are a few examples that help illustrate why the Canadian landscape is unique: simultaneous-substitution, out-of-market viewing (that can also be in-market viewing), stations that are networks (and networks that aren’t networks), buying programs and not programs… Integrating Canadian audience data, given the examples above, is not for the faint-hearted or inexperienced.
Incorporate the metadata that matters
If you’re interested in broadcast in Canada, you want to incorporate the currency data that matters. Whether it’s TV or radio, Numeris is the data used to benchmark performance and underpin airtime trading. However, it’s not straightforward integrating that data, particularly in any kind of automated context. There are manual steps that allow each company/individual to label a spot however they wish. This means there are inconsistencies in the metadata and therefore in reporting. AI can start to help match up spots accordingly but it’s a long way from perfect at this point.
2. User Experience
Another opportunity we feel will help drive growth in the broadcast industry is the user experience. Consider a Facebook or LinkedIn campaign. You can check-in on the progress of your campaign daily. You can see who’s clicked or how long they viewed a video, giving you the sense that something is working. That doesn’t mean this social campaign is any more effective than your radio or TV buy, in fact research often proves it’s not. These platforms have given advertisers access to immediate data and the sense that the campaign is working. Broadcasters can do the same. Having spoken to many broadcasters over the past year we feel this is a huge opportunity for the industry.
By creating a more modern user experience for advertisers, broadcasters can showcase the effectiveness of their campaigns faster and more efficiently. We’re always looking for ways to help the Canadian broadcast industry grow and lead the world in terms of innovation. Over the past few years we started to see this shift as we partnered with broadcasters to build better front-end systems (like SAM from Bell Media and Cynch from Corus). We’ve also partnered with technology firms like TVbeat to help the broadcast industry optimize inventory and yield to build a truly addressable TV proposition in Canada.
This is just the beginning and we are excited to see how we can help more broadcasters thrive in this new landscape.
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