This is the second part of the blog where I will discuss the five ways in which Media and Entertainment companies can create their competitive advantage
Here is a roadmap for MPE companies to address key business challenges, grow their customer base, and increase revenues:
- Invest in digital technologies
Through proactive adoption of digital technologies, broadcasters can break functional and information silos, and deliver quality content in innovative and engaging formats. Automation can be a key enabler in this regard, with IP networking and content delivery strengthening firms’ program creation and distribution mechanisms. From publishers’ standpoint, offering crisp and engaging content through differentiated, intuitive mobile apps will be crucial. For instance, Cengage Learning, a higher education publisher, provides quizzes and flash cards to its customers on mobile devices through its MindTap learning platform. It is also imperative for publishers to invest in sophisticated rights management systems and commercial rules engines.
For gaming companies, virtual reality (VR) will emerge as a key growth driver. By commercializing the hand-held technology, and leveraging wearables, firms could make gaming more visually and physically engaging. New technologies will enable casinos to offer immersive avatars and holographic slot games that take immersive gaming experience to a whole new level.
- Focus on personalized customer experience
Provisioning of personalized, relevant and unique content to their next-generation subscribers will require broadcasters to reimagine their business processes and IT systems. Big Data and analytics will play a major role on this front, by aggregating and mining data around consumer behavior and sentiment to empower firms with actionable insights. In conjunction, broadcasters could harness wearables to provide an immersive experience, as well as boost their advertising revenues.
Publishers have also begun recognizing the direct correlation between customer experience and brand loyalty. As a case in point, Penguin Random House has enhanced reader engagement through a website named Signature that comprises interviews, essays, reportage and opinion pieces on events and moments associated with books. Similarly, publishers could expand their customer base by using rich metadata content that can increase discoverability of books and authors, and enhance SEO and social traction.
Meanwhile, casino operators can enhance customer experience by combining social networking with online gaming. Skill based and fantasy sports games on social media can attract more audiences, potentially driving revenue growth for companies willing to undertake bold experiments.
- Diversify revenue streams through portfolio innovation
Losing ad revenues to newer and diverse content circulation platforms, broadcasters are increasingly migrating toward digital distribution over the internet and connected devices. This has triggered a fundamental overhaul of their traditional business models, with broadcasters streamlining production processes for creating content that is suitable for all formats and devices.
Startup publishers are carving out a niche for themselves by exploring new sales engines, where they offer not just products but a complete package of services. Many firms have also started providing diverse self-publishing platforms for authors to directly interact with consumers. Simultaneously, publishers must capitalize on opportunities for revenue growth by innovating their licensing arrangements in a multi-media environment. Rovio’s Angry Birds and Marvel’s The Avengers, for example, are available simultaneously as games, books, toys, films, TV programs and apps. In short, by exploiting a single IP across various media, publishers can extract greater value from branded content.
As gaming companies pursue growth in a fragmented environment, they need to flatten out their organizational hierarchies for increased agility, and innovate around product development. Further, they should consider teaming up with peers and IT vendors to gain access to value-accretive technologies and ideas.
- Embrace the cloud
Pay television operators are increasingly offering their own OTT solutions and multi-screen experiences by leveraging cloud computing. Companies have been aggressively embracing cloud solutions to revamp their video delivery operating models, and provide content rich services across multiple devices. Cloud is also being used to deliver ‘catch-up’ services, and directly relay metadata to audiences. Other innovative use cases of cloud in this context include adoption of security solutions such as FilmTrack, a SaaS-based content protection offering for tracking assets and governing use terms.
Likewise, small and emerging publishers are harnessing flexible and scalable cloud solutions to gain access to relevant expertise in a cost effective way. Casino gaming companies, meanwhile, can look at partnering with cloud-based service providers to reduce their infrastructure costs.
- Institutionalize data centricity
Be it publishers, broadcasters or gaming firms, the entire media, publishing and entertainment industry must consistently track and holistically manage data across the value chain, spanning content creation, production and delivery. Companies must integrate the insights gained from data to enhance production, cross-channel distribution and value creation, thus effectively fulfilling consumer expectations.
Analytics tools and proprietary algorithms could be key enablers of such a data centric content lifecycle, helping businesses take informed decisions for sustained value creation.
For sure, the massive waves of disruption confronting the MPE industry in the digital era pose major challenges to the very survival of many companies. For broadcasters, publishers and gaming firms to remain relevant in this fast evolving landscape, they will have to orchestrate their business processes and systems around customer experience.
And, the whole array of emerging disruptive technologies could play a major role in this regard by helping MPE enterprises streamline workflows and innovate across the value chain, for superior customer centricity.