The Impact of Big Data

Adam Cunningham, CEO, 87AM
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Big Data alone will not solve any industry’s problems, let alone Entertainment and Media. Our business will continue to transform as we harness and analyze normally disparate datasets (“Big Data”) and combine, contextualize and guide it by pre-set conversion goals and success metrics. This combination has the potential to change the way we perform all paid, earned and owned efforts as we save money, time and aggressively convert more audiences to our content than ever before.

Traditionally, media and marketing success metrics focused on reach and frequency with a soft correlation to tune in or attendance

But it’s not that simple. The digital and technological industries have certainly had a stormy and quite public history, as companies such as Napster, Netflix, TiVo and Apple TV, have upset almost all categories of business. Moving beyond the immediately defensive stance various companies have taken, we’re now seeing an embrace of the more positive side of the digital and tech world, namely conversion tracking, modeling, and eCRM. These pillars are not only paramount to most decisions regarding the way in which content is released, but in some instances, are dictating the very content that is being created.

Traditionally, media and marketing success metrics focused on reach and frequency with a soft correlation to tune in or attendance. In other words, buy the most amount of TV or newspaper advertising to hit the audiences most likely to watch, as frequently as possible, and then hope the numbers reflect the money spent. This is no longer the case with big data. Now, a network or studio is able to not only see who exactly purchased the ticket or show, but how to better model the consumer and build a profile with traits, characteristics, common behavior patterns and a myriad of other variables to then predict where to reach this “optimal” consumer group.

Audiences are consuming content faster and faster with the scattering of delivery sources, making it seemingly possible—anywhere—to tune in to the latest episode or film.

Therefore, with the confluence of metrics being assigned to paid and earned media, entertainment entities are able to model what efforts drive the most impact. That is to say, to drive the most conversions in the least amount of time for the least amount of money.

However, even with set top boxes potentially opening up, per recent Obama news, just watching linear TV will deliver the same amount of metrics, and more.

The key to all of this, as with any exercise in data, is taking the time not just to understand it, but also to address and identify questions you might have and want answered before you begin trying to understand it. To break down the key components of data to see how the information independently fits into the larger picture. One cannot simply gain access to data, but must understand how the distinctly different elements of data speak to one another for larger conclusions.

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