ThinkAnalytics predicts VoD “supersized universal search”

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Peter Docherty, Founder and CTO at ThinkAnalytics, has shared his industry predictions for 2021.

He comments: “Super-aggregation and universal search have featured in my predictions for the last three years and appear again this year – with a twist. Today a growing number of operators are reinventing themselves as content aggregators offering, say, Amazon Prime and Netflix alongside their own linear and VoD assets. But this is just the start. Looking ahead, we’ll see more operators following the lead of one of our largest customers and supersizing their ambitions by aggregating up to five or six streaming services, all supported by a supersized universal search capability to make it easy for viewers to find something to watch”.

Additional predictions include:

Not just TV and video

“We will also see service providers start to broaden their capabilities to help consumers discover assets such as podcasts, games, books and related merchandising using a single platform. This opens up new revenue opportunities as operators start merchandising these assets and cross-selling, for example recommending tickets to concerts or fairs based on the TV shows viewers watch and the games they play”.

Addressable advertising gets personal

“After a slow burn, the various addressable advertising roadblocks – ad insertion, dynamic pricing and bidding systems – are all falling into place. While Sky blazed a trail with AdSmart for years, these new solutions go deeper – matching ads at the individual rather than segment or household level. This is made possible by using profiling data and intelligence gained from AI and machine learning algorithms to hyper-segment audiences and build a detailed picture of individual-level viewing behaviour over time. These insights can include third-party financial and demographic data which are then fed into ad insertion systems to help determine the best ads to serve and elicit an impressive campaign response”.

The rise of the ultra-dynamic and hyper-personalised UX

“AI-powered UIs that learn every customer’s likes and dislikes will drive a new generation of ultra-dynamic, highly personalised user experiences. We’re talking about not just moving content within the carousels but also changing the carousels and the order of the carousels to reflect each person’s preferences and interaction with each carousel, with the goal of delivering maximum engagement”.

Making metadata multi-dimensional

“Metadata enrichment will become even more important in a super-aggregated world as it underpins content understanding/intelligence, optimised discovery and viewer profiling. As this evolves, we will see the greater application of AI and machine learning to generate multi-dimensional tags that define and explain the DNA of each asset at a granular level – for example, the different elements of a plot, narrative styles, formats and moods. There is also growing demand for metadata enhancement in non-video assets such as podcasts that are increasingly being added to service providers’ portfolios”.


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