Streaming companies and TV broadcasters can better target their audience if they have the right data and know how to analyse it.
Pankaj Krishna is the founder & CEO of Chrome Data Analytics and Media in India.
In today’s fast-paced digital age, data has emerged as a game-changer for businesses across various industries. In the world of entertainment and media, data-driven insights have become paramount, enabling streaming companies and TV broadcasters to understand their audience better and deliver personalised content that resonates with viewers. This data revolution is a great opportunity to optimise their strategies, enhance customer engagement and ultimately drive business growth.
The Rise of Streaming Platforms in India
The Indian media landscape has had a seismic shift in recent years, with the rise of streaming platforms redefining how audiences consume content. A recent COTT (Chrome OTT services for SVOD and AVOD platforms) report from Chrome DM shows India’s over-the-top (OTT) video market in terms of subscription revenue stands at $1.28bn, with over 500m active subscribers. This surge in demand has been fuelled by factors such as increased smartphone penetration, affordable data plans and a diverse range of content options.
Streaming companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar have capitalised on their users’ video consumption data to craft personalised user experiences and deliver content that aligns with individual tastes. In the COTT audience survey, 52% of participants recognise the importance of recommender systems and 41% claim to watch recommended titles.
How do we use the data collected from audiences?
- User behaviour analysis: By analysing user behaviour, these platforms can identify patterns such as preferred genres, binge-watching habits and peak viewing times. Armed with this knowledge, they curate content libraries that cater to diverse interests and ensure that users stay engaged for longer periods.
- Content recommendations: Sophisticated algorithms powered by data analytics are at the core of personalised content recommendations. Based on users’ viewing history and preferences, these platforms can suggest relevant shows and movies, increasing content discovery and retention.
- Viewer engagement: Data also helps measure viewer engagement with specific content, providing insights into which shows or episodes garner the most attention. Armed with this information, broadcasters can make informed decisions on content renewal and investment in future productions.
- Ad targeting: For advertising-supported platforms, data plays a crucial role in delivering targeted advertisements to the right audience. Advertisers can leverage data to segment viewers based on demographics, interests and online behaviour, ensuring their ads reach the most relevant audience.
Recent Indian TV stats and the implications
- Viewer demographics: A comprehensive study revealed that viewers between 18 and 35 account for the highest percentage of content consumption across streaming platforms. Armed with this data, streaming companies can prioritise content catering to this key demographic, ensuring maximum engagement.
- Regional content: India’s linguistic diversity has increased demand for regional content on streaming platforms. In the COTT survey, 32% of respondents prefer Hindi but 36% prefer South Indian languages, followed by Marathi, English and Bangla. Data on viewership patterns across different regions helps companies tailor their content libraries to meet regional preferences and expand their reach to a wider audience.
- Trending genres: Recent data indicates that drama, action/crime/thrillers, romantic dramas and comedy are among the most popular choices for Indian audiences. Streaming companies use this data to invest in content production that aligns with these trending genres, increasing the likelihood of success.
- Content engagement: Data also provides valuable insight into content engagement, such as which shows generate the most buzz on social media, receive the highest user ratings and trigger conversations online. This helps identify content that resonates with the audience and drives word-of-mouth marketing.
As the competition intensifies in the streaming industry, data-driven insights will become even more critical for companies seeking to stay ahead of the curve. By continuously analysing user data, these platforms can adapt their strategies, refine content offerings and build stronger relationships with their audiences.
While the opportunities are immense, data privacy and security must remain paramount. Streaming companies and TV broadcasters must adhere to strict data protection regulations, ensuring user data is handled responsibly and ethically.
In conclusion, data-driven strategies have revolutionised the entertainment landscape, allowing streaming companies and TV broadcasters to tailor their offerings to the unique preferences of their audiences. By harnessing the power of data, these companies can foster deeper connections with viewers, deliver relevant and engaging content, and ultimately thrive in the evolving media landscape.
The MENA relevance
In the dynamic landscape of media consumption, streaming companies and TV broadcasters in the MENA region are harnessing the power of data to intricately target their diverse, multifaceted audiences. Much like in India, linguistic richness, especially with Arabic spoken differently across countries, presents both challenges and opportunities. The context below highlights how data-driven strategies are crucial to catering to MENA preferences and cultural nuances:
- Celebrating multilingual variation: Arabic, the predominant MENA language, has dialects that vary across regions. Using data analytics, streaming enterprises and broadcasters gain insight into these linguistic nuances, facilitating the production of content that strikes a chord with regional audiences. By incorporating subtitles and dubbing, and tailoring content to different Arabic dialects, they enhance both engagement and accessibility. Moreover, in the UAE, where 80% of the population is urban, global SVOD platforms like Netflix are flourishing, even embracing languages like Hindi to cater to diverse preferences.
- Cultural relevance: Data-driven insights provide an understanding of cultural sensitivities and trends within each MENA country. This empowers content creators to develop shows and movies that reflect local values, traditions and societal norms. By doing so, streaming platforms and TV broadcasters forge a deep connection with viewers and establish a sense of authenticity.
- Tailoring content for expats: The MENA region has a substantial expatriate community, presenting a distinctive task of addressing a wide array of cultural nuances and languages. Expatriates and immigrants are 88.52% of the population of the UAE, with the rest Emiratis. Leveraging data analytics, streaming companies can craft content that caters to expat communities, delivering a mix of local and global content that aligns with their multifaceted preferences.
- Tailored viewer experience: Data-driven algorithms have a pivotal role in personalised content recommendations tailored to unique individual inclinations. This significance escalates in a place with expansive linguistic and cultural variety, ensuring that spectators immerse themselves in content presented in their preferred language and style. Moreover, it is essential to emphasise content catering to the male audience, given the male majority in the UAE. A substantial 72% of the UAE’s population is male, 6.89m, with females only 28%. This strategy aligns well with the median age for Dubai, 33.5 years.
- Dynamic adaptation through live analytics: The power of real-time data analytics empowers streaming entities and broadcasters to pivot rapidly in response to audience inclination and emerging trends. This flexibility enables them to finely calibrate their content approach, introducing subtle modifications that resonate with linguistic subtleties or cultural aspects that strike a chord with the audience.
- Multi-platform engagement: MENA audiences are known for their multi-platform engagement, from streaming apps to social media channels. Data-driven strategies help companies distribute their content across platforms in a way that effectively reaches and engages their audience on various levels, enhancing the overall viewer experience.
- Nurturing local communities: Valuable data insights empower streaming platforms and broadcasting entities to cultivate close-knit communities. In the UAE, Indians and Pakistanis are nearly 40% of the expatriate population, with distinct linguistic and cultural groups. These communities can forge connections based on shared interests, cultivating a strong sense of belonging and active engagement.
- Flexible viewing times: Due to time zone differences, expats may prefer content that is available on-demand, to watch their favourite shows at their convenience. Platforms that offer a wide variety of content that can be accessed at any time tend to attract expat viewers.
- Sports and news: Expats in the MENA region often have a strong interest in sports and news from both their host country and their home country. Streaming platforms that offer live sports events and news broadcasts, especially in multiple languages, are likely to be popular among expat audiences.