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Media + Networks

Where Content Meets IP

Real-time business analytics enables data-driven decisions for service providers

Collecting reliable user behaviour data - and knowing what to do with it – can turbo-charge your service monetisation possibilities, writes Kai-Christian Borchers, Managing Director, 3 Screen Solutions. It will also enrich your feature roadmap and help you get more out of your content negotiations with Hollywood and co. 

Content owners and platform operators increasingly rely on the collection and intelligent interpretation of real-time business analytics. Today and tomorrow, success will be underpinned by data.

We see signs that there is now widespread recognition of this by the fact, for example, that university degrees focusing on big data specialisation have emerged.

There are multiple dimensions to what people ambiguously refer to as ‘big data’. Smart management and processing of dynamically captured analytics help a broadcaster or service provider ensure that each particular piece of content is ‘paying its way’. When you can accurately understand how popular a particular programme is with viewers, how much return on investment the programme is actually delivering and is likely to deliver, you are empowered to make swift and smart decisions as to what elements of your offering to keep and which to ditch.

You can also craft marketing offers which cross-promote service elements in a highly informed way, with unprecedented ability to “sweat your assets” in ways that yield truly attractive offerings for viewers.

An important benefit of this too is that you can better maximise the value of the ‘real estate’ in your user interface.

Tools at the service provider’s disposal include testing and optimising offerings through use of focus groups, limited time market testing, etc. but in order to serve the business well, this analysis can’t be done only occasionally. You’ll need to dedicate resources to it.

First you need the technological platform, software and hardware, capable of collecting the data, and also you need creative and business-savvy specialists standing by who can specify, gather, assimilate and interpret it. This is a continuous process – there’s no quick fix or shortcut.

As our industry moves forward, data analytics and provable metrics demonstrating any asset’s popularity will also increasingly embolden service providers in their negotiations with the big studios.

Platform operators and service providers will no longer need to crystal-gaze, guess or otherwise blindly predict how popular any particular piece of content will be, and they can understand with statistical evidence how the content ‘performs’ over time.

The ability to feedback to editorial, marketing and senior management teams whether or not a movie, or a particular actor for example, resonated with viewers will significantly level out the playing field for service providers and platform operators. A kind of meritocracy will prevail – where providers who put all the hard work in, and develop smart, attractive cross-device products with long-term appeal, will succeed.

Moreover, this depth of intelligence will help providers build stronger bonds with their subscribers. And it will give them a real helping hand in our increasingly competitive media landscape.


3 Screen Solutions provides world-class software solutions to multiscreen service providers and technology innovators. Customers include major satellite, cable, IPTV, OTT and mobile TV operators, such as Unitymedia, Vodafone Kabel Deutschland, SES / MX1, Eutelsat, and 02/Telefonica. 3 Screen Solutions is Swisscom's principal development partner for the multi-award-winning Swisscom TV 2.0, widely acknowledged as having set a new benchmark for immersive, joined-up cross-screen content discovery and usability.