Niko Waesche (Global Industry Lead of Media and Entertainment @ GfK) and Nick North (Director of Audiences @ BBC) shared the presenting duties in the penultimate keynote speech of the GfK Future Consumer Summit 2015, speaking about the changes happening to the media landscape and the challenges this presents media companies of today. In the first part of the presentation, Niko focused in on the issues surrounding the industry as a whole, while in the second half, Nick North explained the steps the BBC has taken to keep up with the ever-evolving consumer trends, and what plans the organization has to cope with changes in the future (see part 2).
Today’s media companies are not using data as effectively as they could be. This is what was argued during the first half of this presentation. As Niko Waesche put it, the role of data in media companies has created ‘unhappy sandpits’, and trying to aggregate the various silos of data across the industry has proved tricky, creating further obstacles and challenges for the companies involved.
Many companies outside of the media industry have developed sophisticated DMPs (data management platforms) that allow them to efficiently utilize all the data they collect about their users and consumers. Amazon, who are involved in everything from e-commerce to VOD (video-on-demand) to smart-home technology, are particularly effective at doing just that, and can perfect their targeting based on data sourced from a variety of industries.
Some companies inside the media industry currently do use data in smart ways. For example, Netflix have built a dynamic recommendation system that really understands its viewers content preferences. By continually serving up users the ‘right’ content, they increased engagement with the platform and help improve satisfaction levels. However, even though recommendation systems do exist on other media platforms, they don’t match the quality of the Netflix software. Furthermore, media companies perhaps focus too much resource on sub-standard recommendation systems, and not enough time on using data to improve cross-selling of services or other e-commerce products (shirts, DVDs etc.). Audience data is just not currently being used to its full potential within the industry.
Niko concluded though that, at the end of the day, it is these audiences who will decide how the industry will look in the future, as they adopt more OTT services and control how much information they share or don’t share with companies. Their decisions in these areas will dictate how much data-capital the industry has to play with, and will consequently draw the parameters of possibilities for all the companies involved.