The global pandemic has changed many different aspects of our lives, but one that is undeniable is the boom in the streaming industry and how we now consume much of our content. For example:
- The number of new streaming services exploded (apparently just add a ‘+’ to your company name)
- The sheer volume of streaming viewers increased exponentially (what else were we going to do sitting at home in our basements?)
- The on demand and live content which is now available to all of us is extremely diverse (if you ever wanted to watch your favorite hobby or obscure sporting event… you are guaranteed to find it somewhere!).
The phrase ‘Content is King’ is truer now than ever before and it remains at the top as your most important asset. But, your Consumer Relationships are the 2nd most valuable asset and are essential in growing your media business. We have always known that creating strong, trusted consumer relationships are critical to driving media revenue. However, the pandemic has exponentially accelerated the significance of leveraging your 1st party data to forge stronger relationships with audiences. Here are a few factors why this is the case:
- Death of the Cookie — even the kids know that cookies are going away. The cookie-less future will be the new reality in the digital landscape as soon as 2023 and companies must prepare. Revenue impacts due to the changing tracking landscape have already started to be felt with Apple’s implementation of its identifier for advertisers (IDFA), which almost 40% of companies in the US and UK say caused a reduction in Ad revenue. It will be critical for video streamers to replace targeting solutions centered around disappearing 3rd party, anonymized data, with 1st party capabilities which can enable consumer value and revenue well beyond the solutions of the past. This is one big reason why 1st party data is now critical among more complex pressures that companies are facing.
- Direct – to – Consumer (DTC) — streaming has now allowed traditional media companies to go DTC via their Over-The-Top (OTT) streaming channels. Paramount, NBCU, ESPN, Warner Bros. Discovery and many others are now directly engaging with the end consumers and collecting 1st party data which did not occur when their content was only delivered through an MVPD or broadcaster. While this is incredibly valuable it also puts immense pressure on Media companies to protect their consumers’ 1st party data and act upon it NOW. The next point explains why.
- Eyeballs Everywhere — it’s a consumer’s paradise — more content than ever, amazing variety, more DTC channels to choose from, and new digital FAST channels being turned on every day. Who would have thought that I can now watch Exeter City vs Forest Green Rovers battling it out for the first spot in the fourth tier of the English soccer? I can watch it live, or on demand, I can see the 2-min highlights or the extended ones, and so on. While that’s great for the consumer it can be a nightmare for the content provider who used to garner all the eyeballs when fewer consumer options existed. In the past, audiences were focused on 2-3 channels in certain prime time segments, but now they are fragmented across multiple platforms and thousands of content options. The options are endless as media companies continue to expand and adapt to consumers’ wants and opinions. Everyone can now produce content, stream it, attract and engage with audiences. If they do it well, soon enough, they too may end up on a big streaming platform — remember ‘Content is King’ and the bar to enter this new streaming content world is now very low.
This is why audiences are now scattered everywhere. They can leave you anytime for the next best thing. And of course, that makes YOUR customer relationships and YOUR 1st party data so much more important to prevent them from leaving.
- Consumer Privacy — Lastly, privacy regulations are also an increasing factor around 1st party data. Because the 1st party data which is collected is increasing, so does the pressure to safeguard and protect user data. GDPR and CCPA are already well-known examples around needing to plan and implement privacy focused solutions and services, but did you catch that 4 more states have also recently followed suit? You now need to account for California, Colorado, Virginia, Utah, and Connecticut — do you understand the differences and are you ready? It’s only a matter of time before more states follow.
The winners in this new competitive landscape will be the ones who understand their audiences best and build deeper relationships with them. The winners are going to be the ones who:
- Bring TARGETED CONTENT to increasingly fragmented audiences — aka media intelligence
- Build trusted relationships with consumers leveraging their 1st PARTY DATA — aka consumer intelligence
- Are able to MONETIZE their content to grow their business — aka content monetization
Infinitive helps you build trusted consumer relationships and helps you monetize your streaming content. We do this in a 3-step process:
Step 1: Collect – is all about collecting your consumer 1st party data and ‘decorating’ with as many valuable attributes as possible. This is where the Customer 360, Data Clean Rooms, and Identity Resolution solutions play their roles.
Step 2: Protect – is about protecting your 1st party data. It used to be that content programmers were not in a position to collect direct consumer info, but that has now changed. Through its Cloud Governance Data Protection framework, and Consumer Privacy solutions, Infinitive can help you safeguard your 1st party data.
Step 3: Connect – is where the rubber meets the road and all best practices of collecting and protecting data eventually turns into increased revenue through activation. That activation happens through multiple business use cases, for example: Customer Lifetime Value and Churn Analysis for the Marketing or Sales Teams, driving higher CPMs by segmenting audiences more precisely for Ad Sales teams, identifying the video content driving the highest ROI for the product and licensing teams, etc.
In the next blog, we will describe how Infinitive helps in Step 1: Collect your 1st party data. We will then dive into the rest of the steps to put it together into an end-to-end roadmap on how to optimize what may become your most important asset of all – your trusted relationships with your consumers.