I was reading an article in Chicago’s Booth magazine and it made me realize how the entertainment business has changed in the last few years. In the non-digital world you created content more based on “creative instinct” than on data. Today, where a lot of content is viewed digitally and therefore a plethora of data is available, all of a sudden executives have to develop data analysis skills and/or rely on “quants” who can sift through data.
It is no surprise that this article was in University of Chicago’s Business School magazine. Booth always had a strong reputation for quantitative analysis either in Finance or in Marketing.
The article gives you some examples of how data is being used today to deliver content to the right audiences and I want to share some examples:
- Netflix. Never before has so much data being available on viewing patterns. Who watches what? Where are they bailing out? What are the most popular genres? I remember that when Netflix started producing their own content, this was one of the arguments they used. They had data telling them what people wanted to watch, and also very importantly, they knew what type of show to market to each consumer.
- Makers Studio being acquired by Disney and one reason was the trove of data it could collect. With 55,000 YouTube channels, Disney could access the viewing habits of 380 million YouTube subscribers. What makes a video go viral? How long do videos have to be to maximize virality and monetization? What time of day and which day is best to release a video? And how does this change by genre?
- Social media. Most channels have millions of fans and followers in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and now even Snapchat, and programmers who monitor their own and third party social media channels can learn a lot about their shows and what users would like to watch.
- Channel’s own websites, apps and video players. In the digital world, channels now can have direct access to their viewers and gather almost an infinite set of data points. Before, cable operator gathered most of the data and the programmer was limited to its Nielsen ratings which still depends on a sample and also collects fewer data points.
So clearly data and data analysis has in the past 10 years become much more important in understanding what viewers want to watch. Obviously and fortunately no amount of artificial.