Audience Insight: Listen, while they watch.

As a mother of two amazing daughters, and a jet-setting Technical Executive, I have very little time for scheduled television, and very little patience for ad breaks.  When faced with the choice of a relaxing, warm bath or watching TV, I say “why choose?” and stream my favourite TV shows and TED talks directly to an iPad next to my picture-perfect bathtub.

And I’m not alone (on the streaming TV part, can’t comment on the picturesque nature of everyone’s bathtubs!).

Streaming technology is rapidly closing in on linear TV, with over 75% of people watching streamed on-demand video several times a week, compared to 77% who watch scheduled broadcast TV.

So how do you market to an audience that dictates when and how they watch their favourite TV shows?

The marketing and advertising landscape in the world of media and entertainment is changing, where it is predicted 20% of TV ad dollars will be spent via programmatic TV products by 2018.  With over $6.2 billion expected to be spent on digital advertising this year in the US alone, it comes as no surprise that media conglomerates are fighting to make every advertising dollar count by personalising the consumer experience.

Now more than ever, it’s critical that TV and video advertising is more relevant, more personalised, and less intrusive.  In fact, 40% of viewers today indicated they would like to actively specify the ads they want, and 30% want personalised recommendations for content.

Add to that the growing influence of social media on TV program success.  It’s estimated that 85% of people who tweet during primetime hours are tweeting about the TV program they were watching, with 72% tweeting while the show is on live.  What’s even more interesting, is that 90% of people who saw TV-related tweets took action to tune in and watch for themselves!

For this reason, it’s critical that media organisations are listening to what the viewers have to say about programs, scheduling and delivery modes, and taking decisive action to provide them with a more personalised offering of their favourite content delivered how- and when- they want to consume it.

This means, tapping into sources of data and insight that traditionally may have not been available or leveraged to its fullest potential.  Adding to the wealth of insight from ERP and CRM systems, marketing data and 3rd party audience market research, organisations are bringing in information about online purchases and interactions, social media, behavioural data, and even email and chat correspondence – all with a view to get a better understanding of what audiences want to see and how they want to see it.

AMC Networks

Access to this 360-degree view of audience behaviour can provide better insight into how distribution windows impact content and ad value.

Increasing information transparency between departments can provide real time visibility into add inventory and ad value.

Understanding content preferences to tailor recommendations and ads can create new profits from the highest value customers.

And the result?

  • A cable TV company generated more than USD $8 million in new revenue from enhanced DVR services and increased advertising reach by 12%.
  •  A major publisher uses advanced analytics to provide real-time insights into audience preferences, increasing total advertising revenue by 80% in one year.
  • A top film studio predicted opening weekend box office within 72% accuracy, identifying key social influencers that could be used to reach new markets.
  • A leading online advertising network increased accuracy to nearly 100% by analysing complete data sets, giving customers improved projection of campaign performance.

Analytics represents an opportunity to drive value across the entire media supply chain — from creating content that appeals to each segment, generating the right message for the right people, distributing it in a way they want to consume it, maximising the monetary value, understanding what consumers really thought, and taking that feedback as input into the next round of content creation.

Audience Insights

Getting to know the audience better allows organisations to:

  • Realise increased content value;
  • Improve targeted advertising;
  • Identify consumption drivers;
  • Drive engagement and reduce churn;
  • Improve reach to target segments;
  • Increase campaign conversion;
  • Predict outcomes of new content and revised schedules; and
  • Optimise the mix of media and delivery platforms.

And what’s most important, is it doesn’t take an army of technical specialists and years of coding to get there.

IBM recently announced a set of industry solutions targeted specifically for media and entertainment clients. Behaviour-based Audience Insight is designed to collate information from various different data sources (eg. competitive data and historical ad revenue), uncover hidden trends and patterns in the data, and visualise insights through an easily customisable dashboard.  This means companies today can rapidly understand their audiences and quickly and accurately make decisions regarding future advertising, content development and marketing campaigns.  Behaviour-based Audience Insight enables TV broadcast networks to improve program content and maximise viewer experience, and is does so leveraging the existing analytics platform that clients are already using today to tackle challenges and capture opportunities across every aspect of their business.

But most importantly, it’s going to make my bath time a whole lot more enjoyable!


Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Media & Entertainment, 2015
eMarketing study, 2015