We’re turning our attention to the entertainment industry for the third installment of our Q&A series with Parks Associates. Glenn Hower, Senior Research Analyst at Parks, explains the impact new technologies are having on the industry and how it’s changing the way companies collect, analyze and use data to impact the user experience.
Glenn specializes in entertainment content and delivery services. He is experienced in entertainment content production and distribution systems with a particular emphasis on radio, television, and film content.
Why has personalization become such an important element in the entertainment world?
Personalization gives users a sense of ownership in a product or service, and it creates a differentiating factor for services on the market. The product or service is tailored to fit each consumer, making it uniquely theirs. Entertainment services derive several unique benefits from personalization features, including increased consumption, ongoing engagement, simplified authentication, the opportunity to leverage social media for shared experiences, and enhanced revenue generation.
How are companies using personalization features and technologies to derive new revenues and increase their consumer bases?
Personalization can impact several aspects of an entertainment service, from content recommendation features to advertising. The key value for consumers is reducing friction between their hand holding the remote and the content featured on the screen. The more accurately a service is at serving consumers they content they want with the fewest clicks possible, the more likely the service is to grow due to positive user experiences.
On the advertising front, more personalized and targeted advertising leads to ostensibly more valuable ad inventory. Advertisers serve media to more desired customers, increasing the likelihood that their media will resonate to their targeted market segments. Addressable advertising leads to pricier media and therefore increased revenues on the content provider’s bottom line.
By selling the right product or service, companies can increase their chance of sales, percentage of satisfied customers, and the possibility of developing new products or service packages.
Technological advancements in IoT are transforming the way consumers interact with their products. How has this affected the adoption, usage, and retention of digital media content and services?
Technology advancements in IoT have impacted not only adoption but also the way consumers access, control, and utilize products. While increases in adoption and purchases of connected entertainment devices are predictable, there is a shift of platform usage and control interfaces. Significant increases are noticeable among adoption of connected entertainment devices such as smart TVs, streaming media players, and smart speakers with digital personal assistant capabilities (e.g., Amazon Echo with Alexa). Streaming media players are a more common connected TV device in the household due largely to their intuitive app-based interfaces and low cost. The gap is closing between the TV and other Internet-connected devices as the most popular screen in broadband households, though this gap is closing at a slow rate. Subscriptions to pay-TV services are declining while subscriptions to OTT services are growing. More households are connecting their devices together to create a connected entertainment ecosystem.
How are companies changing the way they collect, analyze and use data to impact the user experience?
New technologies also help push legacy entertainment platforms to revise and expand their business models. Pay-TV penetration has declined as alternative paid video options become available and affordable. The percentage of Cord Cutters in the United States has more than doubled since 2014, now exceeding 12 million households as of the end of 2016. Pay-TV providers are deploying ad networks that serve personalized ads through dynamic ad insertion, and even the emerging ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard will reportedly include targeted advertising capabilities.
With the expansion of the virtual MVPD space, the lines between pay TV and OTT are blurring rapidly. In addition, as MSOs like AT&T and potentially Verizon expand their presence in the television and video space, mobile operators are poised to become large distributors of entertainment content. At the same time, OTT providers in North America and Europe have forged partnerships with pay-TV providers to bundle OTT services with pay-TV subscriptions, integrating OTT services into the operator’s user interface. Offering bundled services builds differentiation in the market, allowing service operators to target customers based on inexpensive or preferred content offerings.
The OTT space has been the pioneer of personalized technologies, and the traditional spaces are finally catching up. It is possible to collect fact-based data on top of consumers’ input data for more accurate information about each individual consumer, and every app-based entertainment provider is deploying APIs that allow developers and customers to export and cross-reference census data to build a more complete picture of the viewing audience.
What other industry do you find the most interesting outside of the ones you cover? Have you ever considered covering this industry?
It’s funny, I’ve dabbled in a few different industries throughout my career, including hospitality management, healthcare, and even corporate finance. However, I always seem to come back to entertainment. What’s truly great about researching the connected entertainment industry is that content touches just about every possible industry imaginable. Whether pure-play entertainment, informational, or educational, the amazing thing about this industry is that it’s so rich with knowledge and talent, and I have a hard time imagining myself researching something else with as much enthusiasm as I have for entertainment.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Glenn for providing us with such detailed answers. Don’t forget to check back next week for the final installment of our Q&A series with Park Associates.
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About Parks Associates:
Parks Associates is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates creates research capital for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small start-ups with expertise in the Internet of Things (IoT), digital media and platforms, entertainment and gaming, home networks, Internet and television services, digital health, mobile applications and services, support services, consumer apps, advanced advertising, consumer electronics, energy management, and home control systems and security.