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Personal Entertainment: Media companies adapt to new consumption behavior

October 04, 2017
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Personal Entertainment: Media companies ...

The media and entertainment industry is witnessing a rapid digital transformation with the adoption of information and communication technology (ICT) solutions. These solutions have revolutionised the way in which content is produced, transmitted and distributed. The growing shift towards digital media is also driving the uptake of cloud and big data analytics. Experts in the media and entertainment space talk about their IT strategies, emerging technology trends and plans for upgrading their ICT infrastructure…

What are the emerging technology trends in the media and entertainment industry? How are organisations in this space embracing digitalisation?

Shabir Momin

The media and entertainment industry has always been an early adopter of emerging technologies and has been effectively using technology platforms and automation. The industry has now evolved from adapting existing content to creating new content for the internet. The consumption behaviour of users too is changing fast and the media industry is adapting to it at the same speed.

Uday Reddy

The means of content consumption has transformed dramatically over the past decade. The current changes that are taking place in the media and entertainment space are in line with user preferences. Further, key players in the industry are investing in data sciences to best understand user behaviour from multiple demographics and geographies. Meanwhile, the industry is witnessing an increased demand for shorter and crisper content, ranging from short movies to web series. Advertisers too have understood this change in consumer dynamics and are looking for creative placement of their products and services. We are, therefore, witnessing an increased push from advertisers to include their product within the content or web series.

Mohammad Wasim

The media and entertainment industry in India is a sunrise sector for the economy. In the past decade, the industry has been driven largely by increasing digitisation and higher internet usage. This is because the internet has become a mainstream medium of entertainment for most people. At present, the industry is standing at the cusp of a strong phase of growth, which is backed by rising consumer demand and improving advertising revenues.

What are some of the IT/telecom solutions deployed by your organisation? How have they helped in enhancing business performance and efficiency?

Shabir Momin

We use performance management, and planning and process optimisation tools. We have also created tools like www. oneaxcess.com for our content and brand partners, which enable them to increase distribution, performance, monetisation and reach in a simpler way. Meanwhile, adopting new technologies like chatbot-driven engagement is going to change the way we engage with users today. Instead of giving more options to users, which has been the strategy followed by most players in the industry till date, the new trend is to provide fewer but relevant options.

Uday Reddy

In bringing YuppTV to Indian audiences, we realised early on how the internet infrastructure (which is still at a nascent stage) can be a hindrance to providing a smooth user experience. To tackle this issue, we opted for the adjusted bit-rate technology, which delivers a smooth experience in spite of the internet speed or downtime. This enabled us to reach out to newer markets and enhance our subscriber base.

Mohammad Wasim

Considering the heavy data requirements, the existing servers deployed by the organisation are not enough. Therefore, the company needs to make some changes related to the server, workstation and network equipment as far as the IT infrastructure is concerned. New servers are immediately needed to provide better storage capacity. Further, the company plans to bring about some changes in the existing plans and implement new plans. This will provide cost-effective solutions to the company with regard to its telecom requirements.

What are the challenges faced in deploying new technologies and managing the existing IT and telecom infrastructure?

Shabir Momin

Educating the team about a new technology is usually the only challenge that we face. There always comes a time when a team does not want to change the business-as-usual technology. However, once the technology is adopted, they realise how effective it makes them and, most importantly, how it helps them save time and increase accuracy.

Uday Reddy

One of the major challenges that we are facing in the over-the-top (OTT) space is the fragmentation of the devices available. There has been major consolidation in the mobile devices market, thanks to Apple and Android. But the connected television and OTT set-top box market is still very fragmented. In order to overcome this, we adopted a multi-packaging approach wherein we encode the content into multiple streaming formats and maintain separate deployments for each type of device.

Mohammad Wasim

Enterprises in this industry face a number of challenges on a daily basis. However, they need to overcome these issues to make a best-in-class experience available to customers. The three main challenges faced by organisations in this space are:

• Infrastructure to address data demands: Organisations need to leverage the correct infrastructure for optimum functionality. As more customers utilise different devices for accessing the internet, it becomes difficult to cater to the data needs of each device. To this end, organisations must analyse their existing infrastructure and make changes wherever necessary to expand their capabilities and meet the rising data usage demands.

• Managing IT costs: Organisations need to have the ability to react to the quickly shifting market and effectively manage costs. By utilising the Reboot Restore software, enterprises can significantly lower the costs associated with IT support and the revenue loss associated with system downtime.

• Standing out in the competition: Organisations also need to stay ahead of their competition by offering varied, innovative and better services to customers. Enterprises in the industry can utilise IT tools and systems to understand customer needs and build applications/ services that address their preferences.

What is the scope of big data analytics, cloud and IoT technologies in the media and entertainment industry?

Shabir Momin

Big data analytics, data insights and internet of things (IoT) are enablers of future decision-making. In the future, decisions about what to offer next to an existing user, what changes to make to an existing offering, what products and services need to be launched, etc. will be driven by these technologies. Moreover, data insights can tell companies the price points for these products and the markets to sell them in.

Uday Reddy

These disruptive technologies have laid the foundation for expanding the reach of OTT services. Owing to IoT, the industry is booming with a number of highly innovated, connected devices that facilitate remote media consumption of OTT services. These connected devices enable us to maintain a large data set of new and existing users. Big data analytics helps in turning that massive data set into actionable information. This enables us to deliver content that meets customer needs, understand their behavioural pattern and make personalised recommendations. Together, these innovations help in delivering a simplified and personalised experience to users.

Mohammad Wasim

In recent years, IoT and big data analytics have become the two most-talked-about technologies. IoT is a fast growing constellation of internet-connected sensors attached to a wide variety of things. This information cannot be processed using traditional SQL-queried relational database management systems. Therefore, a number of alternative tools, notably Apache’s open-source Hadoop distributed data processing systems, various NoSQL databases, and a range of business intelligence platforms have evolved to service this market.

What are some of the IT initiatives that you plan to take over the next few years?

Shabir Momin

We are identifying our user needs and behaviours, and working on that to determine what is best for our users and how we can give them less but absolutely relevant choices. Further, we are changing the way we look at processes and are mapping context for internal people, users and even partners. In the future, our efforts will be directed towards mapping the right demand with the perfect supply.

Uday Reddy

Cloud-based technology and artificial intelligence (AI) are the two major focus areas for us. We are moving our entire IT infrastructure to the cloud as it offers more scalability and facilitates faster adoption of new technologies. Meanwhile, we are witnessing a paradigm shift in the TV watching pattern. The line between liner TV content and catch-up TV content is blurring. To this end, we aim to use AI and machine learning technologies to make channel content more discoverable and give control back to the user.

Mohammad Wasim

The company plans to upgrade its communication infrastructure over the next two years. To this end, we will implement the Cisco Nexus and Cisco Layer 3 switches throughout the country for remote support. Further, we will increase the bandwidth of our existing internet service provider lines to enable better data communication.

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