The digital video revolution has been vast. Unfathomable amounts of news, data, and content are at user’s fingertips and emerging technology is constantly reshaping the relationship between brands and consumers.
The video ecosystem has never been more complicated and exciting. Industry has seen an increased number of content creation sources, delivery and consumption channels, and platforms, as a result, more video viewing time in total. While traditional TV still dominates ad revenue, digital video –especially mobile video – is the fastest-growing video type by consumption. All of these developments provide more opportunities for brands and marketers to connect with consumers.
Digital media in India is on the cusp of a phenomenal growth, driven by a growing base of tech-savvy millennial consumers, developing Internet infrastructure, and rising disposable incomes. The millennials are likely to continue to be the early adopters of new modes of media consumption, making the Indian market ripe for investments in the digital media domain. Growth in digital media is being led by the increasing number of mobile phone users. With over 500 million unique mobile subscribers in India, this market is the second-largest in the world. This also indicates that currently about 36 percent of the Indian population has a mobile connection, indicating significant potential for growth. Mobile Internet connections are expected to cross 500 million in India by 2020, representing 40 percent of the total mobile connections.
Development and innovations in technology over the last decade have resulted in the consumption of digital media becoming more pervasive. This has triggered widespread changes in traditional models of media creation, consumption, and distribution. While this can pose multiple challenges to organizations operating in the media and entertainment (M&E) industry, there are significant opportunities as well to tap into. Hence, it is pivotal that companies proactively look at integrating the opportunities into their business models, to grab the potential advantages of the digital ecosystem.
The path to digital transformation encompasses a holistic approach including; clearly defining the organization’s digital vision and strategy, thorough understanding of the customer proposition, accurately assessing the business design and, finally, carefully designing the execution plan. This transformation journey of a media company comprises a marked strategic shift, with customer centricity at the core, and an internal thinking process that needs to change the organizational DNA into digital first mind-set.
Innovation focused mind-set. Innovation has become hygiene for new age players, given India’s crowded platform market. For a fruitful digital transformation, it is critical for the leadership to evaluate their business through a number of facets and set up in-house labs to drive both internal and consumer focused innovation. Companies could also look to set up incubation centers in the form of accelerator programs, or partner with third-party innovation labs.
Integration across organizational DNA: Digital transformation requires a holistic strategy that permeates across the entire organization including front, middle, and back offices. Content providers should move past silos that have a traditional media bias and adopt a digital first mindset.
Data analytics. Data has evolved in type, volume, and velocity with rapid uptake of digital technologies. It has become a new currency and key for digital media players to understand the consumers and decode their viewing patterns. Big data technologies along with advanced analytics help answer key content and engagement questions enable quick reaction and draw meaningful and actionable insights to fuel the customer facing productivity and enhance overall performance of the platform. Content players are constantly capturing information on what consumers like to watch, what they are willing to pay for, how much are they willing to spend, and what do they like to do with their smart devices when they have time. All of this helps generate significant levels of data, which companies can use to analyze, derive collective insights, and eventually improve the quality of their engagements with consumers. While user behavior generates data, a concern for the creativity driven M&E industry could be whether going forward data could determine content and creativity.
Data protection and IP security. With business models inherently digital in nature, data and content security has become even more paramount. It is vital for the platforms to protect data and content across systems, devices, and the cloud.
A strong technology foundation acts as the backbone of any digital transformation initiative. The pivot from a traditional IT to today’s digital function is underlined by architecture that is agile, flexible, and is able to deploy technology frameworks to give quick insights for decision making around customer behavior and content strategies. The all-in commitment of the entire organization to the cause is non-negotiable and is a precursor to embarking upon the technology deployment.
The evolution of content is particularly evident in the technology sector, where advances such as artificial intelligence (AI)-inspired software can create full-featured videos from raw text in a matter of seconds, and where augmented reality (AR) can transform content consumption into a full-sensory digital experience.
Virtual reality (VR), AI, wearables, live streaming, drones, GoPros have been promising innovations that have been much spoken of in this year, and the world awaits with bated breath for what is about to unfold in the years to come.
Immersive video can provide the impactful content that is needed to capture the attention of consumers and cut through the saturated ad space. 360-degree video presents an opportunity for content makers to reach massive audiences, while allowing viewers to engage with content as they see fit. The format also has the potential to generate longer viewing times. AR blends the physical and digital worlds. The global AR market is forecast to grow at a nearly 81 percent CAGR from 2016 to 2024, according to Global Market Insights.
One of the biggest challenges with VR has been the cost. Especially for startups or small organizations, the expensive equipment and lack of entry has prevented many storytellers from creating content. However, with just a smartphone, almost anyone can start creating 360 content. Depending on the camera, 360° video can range in quality.
Coming years will witness continued investment toward driving the true potential of technological innovations, with a balanced approach toward engaging the consumer and driving worldwide impact. Organizations need to gear up and adopt the right strategies that will drive value and sustain consumer attention.
The digital media landscape is rapidly changing. Brands, creative agencies, and content producers are experimenting with new content formats to appeal to audiences in the age of the eight-second attention span.
M&E firms are likely to face enormous challenges and disruptions, as well as opportunities, from technology in the next five years nimbler tech-driven firms, from search to social media, who control the traffic, drawing the next generation of users, and buy out technologies that could disrupt media, are too often a step ahead. Traditional firms need to stay ahead of the curve and invest in technology that allows them to keep pace with the changing business dynamics. Improving broadband infrastructure, increasing adoption of portable devices, and changing consumer habits are likely to disrupt existing business models, and content providers would be required to match consumer expectations.
The Internet has created one of the most disruptive eras in the history of media and publishing, and the coming years will bring more – more disruption, more content formats, more content-specific technologies, and unprecedented changes in how content is created, discovered, consumed, and monetized. The rapid transition to digital content has altered not only the formats in which content is delivered to viewers, but it has also forever changed many of the traditional processes that inform the creation of content and position it for evolving digital platforms. In fact, the confluence of these forces has fueled a revolution in how today’s viewers consume content that informs, entertains, connects, and delights, and the revolution is only beginning.
The interplay of technology and consumer behavior is driving current and emerging trends that push and shape this evolving video landscape. The industry needs to have a deeper understanding of the shift in consumer dynamics and technology to better leverage the trends that may have a significant impact on video future for both the content maker and the provider.