The ways in which we consume media have greatly changed over the years, with on-demand media becoming our main mode of entertainment. The best strategy for surviving in today’s digital age is to gather, compile, and analyze data about viewers’ watching habits in order to create better business strategies. With this in mind, let’s discuss the benefits that media companies can gain from using data lakes.
What are data lakes?
Essentially, data lakes are a kind of repository that can store large amounts of raw and unstructured data. This means that the data is stored in its native format and reconfigured into a new one only when you need to access it. As a result, data lakes usually have lower operating costs than data warehouses, which require data to be formatted to a specific structure before storage. Data lakes thus allow you to keep a pool of raw information to pull from. This is great for creating meaningful connections between two seemingly unrelated types of data. For media companies, this means they can gain insights into their viewers’ watching behavior including the exact time and place they engage with content, the devices they watch with, and what types of shows, directors, genres, and actors they routinely search for.
These are all useful pieces of data that could be hard to store if you had to format them for a data warehouse beforehand. With an enterprise data lake solution, though, you can store all of this data in bulk and worry about retrieval and conversion later. With this gathered data, you can make real-time marketing decisions about how to cater to your specific target audience. Here are some of the ways you could take advantage of this information:
1. Determine the success of a potential new show.
These days, content providers no longer need to produce pilot episodes, which are samples made to test a show’s potential for success. Instead, media companies can simply mine their existing audience’s behavioral data to determine the perfect formula for a successful series. For instance, fans of one particular actor may happen to also be fans of a specific genre, so one can find the intersection of these viewer preferences and create a new offering that merges these different aspects.
2. Recommend shows based on past viewing history.
According to Netflix, around 75 percent of their audience’s viewing habits are driven by their recommendation algorithm. Media companies can be sure that they’ll serve the most relevant content to the right types of viewers. Media companies also no longer have the same limits as to what programs to syndicate, nor do they have to worry about choosing the best time slot for a show to perform well.
3. Create different trailers and sponsored ads to target different markets.
Because media companies now have detailed statistics about their viewers, they are better equipped to create finely-tuned trailers that can work with specific audience segments. For example, a company could create a trailer for female viewers using primarily female characters of a show. They could also create another version of the trailer that features a specific actor so as to target that celebrity’s fans.
At the same time, companies could also determine what types of sponsored ads are effective with which types of viewers. They can provide the audience with ads that are closely relevant to their interests. They can also determine, among others, the perfect ad length that leads to high rates of conversion.
4. Customize mailing lists and promotional offers.
Most customers do not appreciate generic mail since they have enough spam to deal with on a daily basis. If a media company wants to get their viewers’ attention, they should provide an experience that is tailor-fit to their preferences. With the vast amounts of information stored in data lakes, companies can determine the best modes of contact for each viewer. They’ll also be able to determine which types of offerings—such as free trials, bonus content, and discounts—work best on which types of audiences.
With on-demand content delivery becoming the norm, media companies must also adapt how they develop and market their offerings to their target audiences. Data lakes could prove to be a valuable resource for the entertainment industry to continually come up with innovative solutions. By constantly taking note of viewer behavior, media companies can continually release hit after hit, taking fewer risks while also raking in big returns on their investment.