- AI and ML technologies are helping drive the customer experience agenda for organizations, by creating more localized high-quality content and enabling data-based decisions.
- Businesses seek to leverage cloud for innovation to enable faster content creation, deployment and monetizing of newer formats of digital content.
The evolving demographics, changing consumer behaviour and technology trends have dramatically remodelled the media and entertainment landscape. Now the industry has already been through several waves of digitalization – file-sharing, streaming, social and mobile – driven platforms for the consumers to access any content from anywhere in the world at any time. Media consumption is increasingly happening on digital platforms and the devices used to access digital content have evolved in the last few years. This industry has always been in the forefront of adopting innovation for business.
At the recent edition of “Digital Leaders Club”, curated by CORE Media and powered by Google Cloud India, CIOs from media and entertainment enterprises and Google India executives, exchanged viewpoints and experiences in adopting technology, the dynamism of the industry and the future of media and entertainment.
Anoop Mathur, Founder & President, CORE Media, moderated the session and addressed the CIOs and Google experts stating, “In the media and entertainment space, the consumers have a plethora of choices on the back of advancing smart devices, faster connectivity and a vast array of channels. The internet has been and continues to be a disruptive force impacting distribution and consumption. Brands today have the opportunity to acquire consumers and retain viewership in such a competitive market by streaming the right content to the right audience and innovating with the format of content as their core strategy. Digital transformation is transmuting the businesses but there is a lot to be explored in terms of newer content formats and evolving business models.”
Chirag Sanghani, Head - Media, Entertainment & Gaming Business, Google Cloud India welcomed the CIOs with his opening statement, “The media and entertainment industry played a crucial role during the lockdown and new normal. The massive shift towards digital consumption accelerated during this time. India has around 350 million digital media consumers and this is expected to double in the coming years. While there is rapid growth, it also brings in evolving consumer expectations. We have worked very closely with media and entertainment companies to tackle challenges and identify potential streams for business growth.”
Cloud for the hyper-competitive market space
Digital disruption is changing the medium of operations in the media and entertainment business. This digitalization is compelled by changing consumer behavior and expectations, and consumers who demand instant access to content, anytime, anywhere.
Speaking on the benefit of cloud adoption, the technology head of a leading news and entertainment media from South India said “We are 100% on cloud for our online and OTT media. We are planning to use AI based solutions to identify new mediums to reach our target audience. We want to leverage technology to let our consumers access the content of their choice.”
The Vice President – IT and Infra of a content and news aggregator application emphasized on the need for cloud strategy and shared his insights, “Cloud is de-facto for us. We started with cloud, moved to on-prem and remained Hybrid for a long time. The essence of the digital transformation journey is driven by three factors - getting the mindshare of the users, getting the timeshare of the users and building a market share. What we need to understand is how do we pick the right components either from the cloud, or from the marketplace products and build up business solutions to address these 3 factors? We seek to collaborate on the business front and leverage the cloud to design solutions that help us acquire mindshare and market share.”
Addressing the need for business solution, Sudarshan Aravamudan, JAPAC Market Development Leader, Telecom Media & Entertainment, Google Cloud said, “We work with a lot media companies in the country, as well as globally, and we have our own research in terms of how consumers are behaving in this highly competitive market. The entire cloud journey starts with consumers and identifying where the consumers are and how we can cater to them. Business solutions on the cloud are designed to cater to the customer while generating substantial business value.”
The media and entertainment industry is a highly competitive space and businesses are neck to neck in acquiring consumers. Businesses that are in the vanguard of digitalization and leveraging technology to innovate are able to generate maximum business value and hold a larger market share.
Localised Content and Newer Formats of Content set the trend
With over a billion smartphone users and connectivity even in the remote areas, the market for regional language content is considerably increasing. 9 out 10 viewers tend to be regional language consumers. This is a potential market and media and entertainment businesses are leveraging AI and ML algorithms to generate localised content for various categories of consumers.
Speaking on the innovation in the content management space, CIO of the world’s largest television measurement science industry body in India said “In the last 18 months we have collaborated with Cloud partners and we have worked on localizing content and developed such applications for advertisers. We are looking at leveraging analytics to create monetizing assets from the data. We are using the cloud for transforming our products for the advertisers consumers.”
IT Head of a media conglomerate headquartered in Kolkata, highlighted the trends and technology need, “Most media companies have online portals. We are into many allied businesses too and these all began as cloud native. Most of us are aspiring to move from an ad-driven model to a subscription-driven model. Regional language is important and text to speech solution is the current requirement. What we need is readymade solutions and tools that we can easily identify and deploy.”
A few years ago, no one imagined that short format videos would be the next big trend in visual content. There has been a phenomenal change in the way the content is consumed, content is streamed and in the customer expectations. Digital media evolved as a new tool and we carry entertainment in our pockets. On-demand content, cloud gaming, podcasting, videos, etc. will give rise to a new segment of consumers.
Emphasizing on the new trends and technology solutions, the CIO of a leading entertainment company mentioned, “We recently used one of the GCP services, wherein we translated the entire content into 10 languages and on an average for each language we succeeded with 95% accuracy. Going forward we are looking into gaming, short videos, NFT and Blockchain. We are waiting for GCP to bring in their media serial to monetize certain new content formats. However, we need readymade models and want to collaborate with the solution providers and not merely technology providers.”
Connectivity is the key
Media companies succeed in getting the users come to the content, but speed matters. Consumer behaviour research states that a delay of a few microseconds can lead to a put off and the consumer is distracted or directed to another medium or content platform. The speed of engagement relies on connectivity and infrastructure. Telecom services are an integral part of the media and entertainment ecosystem.
The CIO of a leading telecom service provider mentioned, “The customer expectations are not merely in terms of what is streamed on their device but also at the speed of streaming. We are a multi customer telecom infra player and we understand the need for increasing capacity and the pressure to roll out faster and better connectivity whilst maintaining the service. Data insights rely heavily on quality of service. We have initiated many projects to scale the current services, collection and processing of data. However physical deployment brings out many hindrances. As the operators pursue more nuance rollout and with 5G evolving faster, network analytics will have to be leveraged. Also, this can open up monetizing options for us. Edge computing seems to be the upcoming trend and we are keen to explore the solutions.”
As creation and distribution of content becomes fragmented, partnerships in the media industry will become important. Technology and service will be the key enablers in these partnerships. CIOs insist that their businesses need simplified technology that is more outcome driven. They seek robust technology platforms and infrastructure to deliver a seamless user-experience across mediums, maintain quality of service and achieve precision in data insights.