November 01, 2017

Leveraging Data Analytics to Build an OTT Strategy

With the rise of content anytime/anywhere represented by OTT, traditional tools built to measure the audience’s engagement are evolving to become a must-have companion to an OTT offering.

With the rise of content anytime/anywhere represented by OTT, traditional tools built to measure the audience’s engagement are evolving to become a must-have companion to an OTT offering.

Usage data is becoming instrumental in several areas to ensure the success of an NSP’s content strategy.  The primary goal is to provide audiences with the content they love via the technologies that will allow them to enjoy it with the best quality of service. As people can easily subscribe and unsubscribe from such services, the battle for eyes is a daily challenge. Data must serve predictive analytics mechanisms for NSPs, which will enable them to react as quickly as possible and maintain their level of attractiveness by adjusting their content and technology offering to each and every individual.

Indeed, beyond viewing history, there is a lot more data that can be collected to build an engaging OTT experience. In fact, NSPs are uniquely positioned to collect this data as they provide the access technologies that allow content to reach homes and many different devices. So not only can they  analyze the way people watch their content, for example:

  • Duration of viewing
  • Browsing habits
  • Genre preferences
  • Binge-watching or frequency-based watching.

They can also access data about the devices used, including:

  • Screen sizes
  • Resolutions (SD/HD/HDR)
  • Internet speeds
  • Wi-Fi issues when streaming content wirelessly
  • Number of simultaneous videos streaming

The combination of content and access technology data helps operators predict future trends or investments to be made – for example, in a certain content format, for a certain category of people. Say the data shows a large proportion of subscribers are watching short length content every morning between 8-9am on their smartphones when they are commuting.  It might be worth acquiring more of this content, creating a dedicated category on the service home page, and seeing if this attracts more users and performs better. The service app could trigger a notification when this new content is made available. The content could be proposed in a specific encoding profile better suited for smartphones. And for some regions, the app could download the content on the device while it is connected by Wi-Fi at home, so that users can watch it later without using up their data plan.

Making technology data-driven decisions in the OTT world will also make a difference with one of the main reasons people abandon content: buffering. A few too many seconds of buffering or loading time before the content starts, too often, and the audience is lost. Being able to solve Wi-Fi issues before they arise is as important as proposing the right content for the right audience. When streaming wirelessly to the STB,  you have to get at the root of  any buffering problems.

Here again, access technology data is of the utmost importance. For example, the Technicolor Wi-Fi Doctor™  software agent – which can be embedded in Technicolor or third party home gateways and STBs – will monitor Wi-Fi activities, interferences, and frequencies load in real-time.  It will automatically adjust different parameters of the home network to prioritize OTT videos over any other activity occurring at the same time. For example,  it can ensure 5 GHz frequency is dedicated to a particular device at a certain time, on certain days where it has noticed a recurrent consumption of OTT content.

Of course, the privacy of usage data is one of the most important aspects to take into account. [Technicolor STBs and home gateways ensure that data is kept secure and in the hands of operators to build a better content recommendation strategy according to each user profile in the household. Also,  the data can help with the future implementation of personalized advertising, a long-awaited promise of OTT.

Though  we are only at the beginning of data-driven decision-making, a lot can already be done and Technicolor is ready to enable operators to stay at the forefront of personalized, immersive entertainment.