The future of television
Media and entertainment (M&E) companies need to do more than react to today’s challenges — they need to start driving operational change that will prepare them for the future of television.
Several emerging trends will impact established business models for ad-supported, subscription and pay-per-use content monetization. Here are the six trends that we see as having the biggest impact on the future of television.
- Storytelling will evolve to make better use of an omniplatform environment.
Metadata that enables synchronization between screens is a key enabler to this experience. Initiatives such as the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement’s (CIMM) Trackable Asset ID (TAXI) will help.
However, this has implications for almost every system in a media company’s supply chain, from content creation and preparation through sales, traffic and distribution. Omniplatform programming will strain digital supply chains even further.
- Ubiquitous screens will demand greater content mobility.
Content providers will want to measure engagement and captivation across not just multiple platforms, but also multiple screens to determine how to optimize the experience and ad placements.
More screens mean more potential opportunities for ad impressions, provided the experience is carefully calibrated and tuned for a multiscreen lifestyle.
- Social dynamics and synergistic experiences will drive more event-based viewing.
Although consumers will continue to demand time- and place-shifted viewing, M&E companies may want to consider creating event windows to drive relationships with content franchises, and deliver value to advertisers that is “DVR-proof.”
While the viewing landscape grows increasingly fractured, consumers still want to be part of the collective social experience of events such as the World Cup or the Academy Awards. If content creators can build a strong social experience around a program (e.g., gaming and other social second screen experiences) viewers will not want to be left out and be driven back to the screen.
- Innovation in program discovery and television controls will drive new techniques to cut through the clutter.
Content providers will have to engage in “content discovery optimization,” similar to today’s search engine optimization practices where content is continuously tuned so that it can be discovered by the broadest possible audience at the right time.
This will need to go far beyond the descriptive show metadata and into parameters, such as sentiment of show, optimum watching circumstances (screen size, etc.) and shared creative heritage.
- Bingeing will drive more innovation in measurement and personalization.
M&E companies will need to measure “bingeing” (where a viewer consumes several hours of the same back-to-back content in a single sitting) more granularly than broadcast television is measured today. Using data analytics, companies can then package the right experiences for advertisers and monetize them directly by building a model that caters to different types of binge viewers. The challenge to be solved is obtaining this data from distribution partners.
- New entrants demanding unique content will drive innovation beyond the traditional studio system.
New relationship models will enable a larger number of players within the M&E industry to take more creative risks. The corresponding impact on systems to track and calculate rights, profits and participations, and revenue realization will have to account for an even more complex fabric of participants and interested parties.
Develop relationships with viewers
At a foundational level, the six key trends we have described will require M&E companies and content providers to develop much richer relationships with viewers.
To cultivate these relationships, affected M&E industry players will need to invest in the technologies that will enable them to analyze audience data, deliver deeper engagement with advertising and prove incremental value to brands.
Most importantly, they will need to offer a deeper engagement with the content experience itself in such a way that viewers will choose to pay (either directly, or through their active attention to ads) for content streaming services or ownership. They will also need to plan and execute strategies that adapt their supply chains, customer experiences, and analytics platforms to address these trends.
Ultimately, we see the future of television as a carefully crafted omniscreen experience that combines great content with equally compelling social and gamification techniques tailored to an individual viewer’s stated and implicit preferences.
This, we believe, is the key to winning the future of television in a world where consumers are in control.
The future of television has implications for every component of a media company