The Internet age has created a phenomenon we call Big Data. With more and more people living more and more of our lives online, the sheer amount of information that can be collected, processed, and eventually used by any number of interested parties is staggering.
The Media Industry
One of the most interested parties is the entertainment industry, which is leveraging everything it knows about the music, movie, and media habits of the public to influence behaviors, compare and analyze performance of music and movies, and boost its bottom line.
Whether we’re downloading a video or streaming a song, few of us give deep consideration to the amount of information we’re generating while doing so. Anyone with access to a person’s viewing or listening history could soon establish a fairly reliable profile of that person’s entertainment preferences — and that’s exactly what companies are doing.
Technology Manufacturers Get Into the Act
For example, entertainment technology manufacturer LG uses its newest line of devices to collect information about users, and then provides that information to advertisers. In turn, the advertisers use this information to tailor advertisements that appear on the devices.
Other manufacturers, including Samsung, are investing in the the data harvesting business as well.
It’s not just your TV that’s collecting your data, of course. Streaming media giant Netflix uses the information collected from members (some submitted voluntarily, some gleaned from viewing, reviewing, and rating habits) to reverse engineer both its catalog of entertainment and the original content it produces.
Is This Good or Bad?
Some folks cheer these efforts at hyper-customization of the entertainment experience, while critics charge that the company’s actions are slowly turning viewers into “puppets,” utterly at the mercy of collective, rather than individual, tastes and preferences.
With entertainment inching closer to an exclusively virtual, streaming experience, it’s likely that big data will continue to be a key part of entertainment marketing plans. Whether these plans will bear fruit depends upon the willingness of the average consumer to share their personal information and habits with those who are providing the lion’s share of popular entertainment.
Is this harmless and helpful to the user? Or is it nefarious and intrusive? It depends who you ask. What do you think?
How Big Data is Revolutionizing the Music & Movie Business
Is the entertainment industry truly worried about dwindling sales? These days, many brands are using data about consumer habits to change their business models and keep you right where they want you: spending your money.
Iron Maiden Turns Pirates Into Paying Customers
Paying attention to where your fans (and pirates) are can pay off big.
Iron Maiden ran analytics and found a surge of fans in South America, so they focused on touring there. A single concert in Sao Paolo grossed $2.58 million alone.
In the 12 months ending May 21, 2012, Iron Maiden got more than 3.1 million social media fans, mostly in areas of South America where they’d toured.
- The band ran a Maiden England world tour from June 2012 to October 2013.
- Their base grew by 5,000,000 online fans.
Netflix Reverse Engineers Hollywood
By paying users to watch and metatag their videos, they produced 76,897 unique ways to describe types of movies.
Combining these tags with customer viewing habits allows Netflix to “learn” customer desires, and better tailor their service to retain subscribers.
They’re now using the data to learn what they should be creating, as they move into producing their own original movies and TV series.
House of Cards for instance, is a Netflix original, and is based on exactly what their data shows them people want.
Orange Is the New Black, is also a widely successful Netflix original.
In 2012, they plan to double spending on original content, focusing on movies.
Multi-Screen Entertainment Analytics
In 2013, an analytics product was released to target broadcast networks, cable operators, and others working in television distribution.
It allows companies to use large data sets to analyze the performance of customer offers, special promotions, and ads.
Data is integrated from anywhere video is collected.
Companies will be able to target more specific niches as multiscreen entertainment grows.
- Uncover more value from their audiences
- Maximize ad revenue
- Increase ad inventory effectiveness
- Deliver scalable results to meet advertising campaign goals
Hulu Search Captions and Analytics
In December 2009, Hulu released a beta feature that allowed users to search captions of any video on a show’s page.
This allowed advertisers and networks to see which parts of videos were most viewed, and what was most important to users.
The feature never made it out of beta, and as of January 2014, appears to be no longer available.
Watch “In Theatres” At Home
In 2011, DirecTV launched a service that allowed customers to view Hollywood releases just 60 days after they hit theatres for $29.99.
Later they revealed the price tag is “too high” for most customers.
Netflix announced plans in late 2013 to negotiate deals to alllow customers to see Hollywood releases the same day as the theatrical release.
While it may not happen any time soon, the efforts are designed to combat dwindling DVD sales.