Coming Soon At A Screen Near You
In the movie Ghost, comedian Arsenio Hall wisecracked, "Don't try to adjust your television. I'm black." Today, viewers toggle between multiple screens and different formats to select their preferred type and time of entertainment. The nature and delivery of content is being influenced by the proliferation of platforms and the diversity of devices. It compels media and entertainment enterprises to adopt a flexible approach to production and distribution, and explore revenue streams that maximize monetization.
While the industry undergoes churn with telecom, media, entertainment, movie studios, cable and broadcast enterprises merging to attract eyeballs, the consumer reigns supreme. Netflix used data and sentiment at the intersection of the Venn diagram to adapt the BBC television series House of Cards, cast actors and select the director for the American audience. Significantly, symmetry in data made the award-winning series a global franchise - China and India rank among the top countries downloading the latest season of the series.
The entertainment industry needs to better understand consumer preferences in genre as well as delivery of content. The millennials constitute an audience with discerning interests and preferences. The media and entertainment industry cannot cultivate this cord-cutter generation with bundled and à-la-carte programming. Viewers access content on-the-go using Over-The-Top (OTT) services while willing to pay a premium for niche entertainment via Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD).
Media technology companies are listening to the latent needs of consumers and responding with platforms that cater to the interests of a heterogeneous audience. UrbanPixels delivers perhaps, the largest digital entertainment depository. Its 'Can.I.Stream.It?' app offers a huge database of streaming services, digital rentals, and premium movie channels, while enabling viewers to browse, search and read reviews of titles.
Technology is also helping viewers discover novel content and / or introduce content that mirrors their preferences. In the entertainment industry, the concept of 'long tail' in e-Commerce is spinning off innovative applications. Serato, a music technology company, has developed the Pyro app that selects and streams songs by building on the playlist of music aficionados. Technology can also be a catalyst for music artists engaging with fans or vice versa. Smule offers an app that allows fans to collaborate with musicians by singing one half of a duet and sharing the video online. FilmBreak helps movie makers promote films through social media and grow the fan base by providing access to exclusive content and live video chat.
While the entertainment industry continues to fragment and consolidate, it needs to adopt smart technology to make intuitive choices in both the creation and dissemination of content. The millennial generation is discerning and has a choice of multiple screens. A blink of eyeballs and shares over social media is all it takes to make or mar the future of content.