The following is the third in a series of three blog posts from Adrian Drury, Lead Analyst, Media & Broadcast Technology & Services, Ovum Research, that will cover some key findings from a survey conducted in August 2012. Ovum, in association with Avid, conducted an independent survey of 200 senior broadcast, pay-TV and studio technology and operations executives to take a reading of where these industry leaders saw the industry going, and how fast.
Many key broadcast ecosystem players are making strategic moves to take a position in a market moving towards increasingly personalized content creation, delivery and measurement. A vital catalyst, as many readers of this blog will be aware, has been emergence of a rich source of viewer engagement data from the major social platforms. It is no surprise therefore that Nielsen has moved to cut deals with the major social platforms. In the latest in December, it announced the signing of an exclusive multi-year agreement with Twitter to create the “Nielsen Twitter TV Rating” for the U.S. market.
As the Ovum survey has clearly indicated, it isn’t just about the television anymore. It’s about the content service provider’s ability to deliver an integrated, well-packaged, personalized viewing experience across multiple devices and exploit measurement potential of second screen engagement to deliver better services, make smarter content acquisition and programming decisions, and create a proprietary audience data asset that can support the GRP and ROI arguments for broadcast ad spend.
We are seeing greater acknowledgement of this trend by the networks. To quote David F. Poltrack, Chief Research Officer at CBS, in a comment related to the Twitter, Nielsen deal “the proliferation of smartphones and tablets has generated a substantial ‘connected’ TV audience that is simultaneously watching television and accessing the Internet through these devices. As this form of viewer engagement evolves into a mainstream activity, it presents ways for CBS to enhance the viewing experience for our viewers and our advertisers.” Likewise, Chloe Sladden, Twitter’s vice president of media states that Twitter users “love the shared experience of watching television while engaging with other viewers and show talent.”
The statistical methodology behind panel-based ratings exists because traditionally there been no explicit technical feedback loop between channel programmer and audience. Now not only does the market now have household-level STB data, but it now has named individuals logging into catch-up services on personal devices such as smartphones, and likewise named individuals with rich social, preference and behavioral graphs effectively “logging-in” to individual shows on a social network and providing feedback. This is inevitably moving the industry towards more personalized service delivery and audience measurement. The challenge is now for the industry to put the systems and processes in place to make full use of this data.
Fortunately, multi-platform distribution and asset-based workflow orchestration tools with the cost and access advantages of a cloud infrastructure model are no longer on the horizon, but actually available here and now. They are key to the ability of the industry to profitably deliver personalized, experiences drawn from TV, online, mobile, and social platforms.
To learn more about the Ovum/Avid survey, please go to: Avid.com/OvumReport.
Lead Analyst, Media & Broadcast Technology & Services, Ovum Research