It’s no secret that over-the-top content (OTT) services, the delivery of audio, video and other media over the Internet are on the rise. Netflix’s stock price has more than doubled since January of this year, CBS All Access has been available since October 2014 for just $5.99 a month with no cable subscription necessary, and HBO has followed suit by launching a standalone service on April 7.
One of the obvious influencers in this trend is the increasing connectivity of TVs through devices such as Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, and connected gaming systems. These devices allow for long-form video OTT providers, such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, to publish their content in an easily viewed and more traditional manner on your TV. Another important underlying force in this ‘cut the cable’ generation is the improvement in content personalization engines implemented by OTT providers.
As a millennial, I'm writing this open letter to all those responsible for publishing video content ... to all the Over-the-top (OTT), Video On-demand (VOD), Cable Providers, and Media Companies out there. What I'm about to say isn't anything new. It's been pondered about for some time now. I hope that this time around, those responsible for the video watching experience do something about it. The fear is brewing that if you are not able to adapt to the changing media landscape you wont survive for much longer.
Dear Video Media Executive ...
Rabt is the personalization solution for content providers in video, articles and beyond. It marries big data, machine learning, and predictive science to drive higher user engagement and retention metrics.
Rabt took to the road last week for SXSW in Austin, Texas for a second year in a row. There was buzz surrounding Big Data, A.I., Robots, and the Internet of Things. But one of the central topics surrounding SXSW Interactive was the changing landscape for media companies in 2015.
Content publishers like Vice Media, Thrillist, and Blendle are changing journalism and digital media with their unique business models and ever-growing strategy towards driving user retention. Alexander Klopping, Founder of Blendle, mentioned that media companies in Europe have been following the footsteps of traditional publishers like The New York Times for far too long, and are starting to suffer because of it. Today, there is a growing shift from an old school approach of monthly subscriptions and heavy advertisements towards dynamic strategies focusing on acquiring new users through rich content spread across social media, retaining visitors by offering more personalized user experiences, and incorporating video into their strategy to increase user loyalty.
Lets talk about something that has been a growing issue in the digital media world for quite some time now - the 3rd party content recommendations that have no business being presented to users during a user experience. I’m talking about those recommendation ribbons on the bottom of articles that house links from foot cream, fitness supplements, to the story behind the ex-Microsoft Exec that won’t sleep until he reinvents (…whatever it is he is looking to reinvent…I wouldn’t know because I’ve never clicked on the link).
When personalization was in its infancy stage a few years back (by that I mean name, gender, location) the topic of 1:1 personalization was more or less a myth. Today, we are seeing it peak through the clouds. Over the last year marketers and content publishers alike have welcomed 1:1 personalization with open arms simply because it's becoming more and more crucial to retain the attention of users given the content ocean out there. Why should users be presented the same content? Content that is irrelevant to their needs and wants? They shouldn't.
Personalization has been one of the hottest trends over the last few years. For those who are not familiar with the term, personalization is a strategy of serving the most relevant content or experience for your users. In other words, each of your website visitors will see a different content while browsing depending on their past behavior, motivations or location.
So is it all about personalization today?
First of all, personalization highlights the differences between individuals. According to Wikipedia, Personalization technology enables the dynamic insertion, customization or suggestion of content in any format that is relevant to the individual user, based on the user’s implicit behaviour and preferences, and explicitly given details.