How viewer data analytics are shaping operators' revenue and content strategies

How viewer data analytics are shaping operators' revenue and content strategies in partnership with Synamedia hosted a webinar on 23 March.

Amruta Shankar

Mumbai:, in partnership with Synamedia, organised a virtual webinar on ‘how analytics shaping operators’ revenues and content strategy?’ on 23 March. The panel discussion was joined by Altbalaji’s Divya Dixit, MX Player’s Viraj Jit Singh, Zee5’s Abhirup Datta, and Synamedia’s Amruta Shankar. Shankar, who is Synamedia's director of data and analytics, has penned observations of the panelists and highlighted the crux of the discussion.

During a recent IndianTelevision webinar, I was joined by leading Indian OTT streaming platforms, Altbalaji, MX Player and Zee5 to discuss their wealth of video data, and how it can be leveraged to address their pain points and achieve genuine business-boosting results.

Bringing together all the digital clues that viewers leave behind when they watch video content across an ever-increasing number of screens is critical to ensuring data caters to the different needs of the organisation. It helps the content rights manager to understand what viewers want to watch, or the marketing director to realise when and how they want to watch content. The product manager can use data to ensure that the content is searchable and keeps viewers engaged.

“Our entire business and growth are based on data,” said MX Player’s senior vice president and head of revenue Viraj Jit Singh.

For streaming providers and operators, the content remains king, but data is the jewel in their crown. A source of priceless insights from across the video ecosystem, data can help to drive viewer engagement, reduce churn, slash operational costs and grow revenue.

On-demand content is driving a lot of today’s consumption, and so to keep pace with changing viewing habits, “you have to be platform-agnostic,’’ remarked Altbalaji senior vice president of marketing, partnerships and revenue Divya Dixit. Whilst content ‘snacking’ on small screen devices is growing in prevalence, particularly through social platforms like TikTok, the lure of long-form content on the big screen in the living room continues to endure.

ALSO READ | 'Lock Upp' is ALTBalaji’s ‘KBC moment’ as it forays into AVOD: Divya Dixit

With data underpinning all the big decisions, including monetisation and advertising, all the panelists agreed that getting the tech stack right to cope with all the available data is vital. Equally important is ensuring the data is of sufficient quality to avoid a shifting base, where the numbers simply don’t add up from one month to another.

Using data for business decisions certainly added up for Altbalaji and MX player’s latest joint venture, a new show called "Lock Upp," which achieved over 100 million views in less than 20 days.

Because MX Player is an AVOD platform, Singh emphasises the importance of understanding viewers “to get the right brands to advertise to the relevant audience, which obviously leads to higher efficiencies for advertisers but also better viewing for our subscribers.”

Zee5 head of AVOD marketing Abhirup Datta agreed and said, “Leveraging data to showcase the right content to the consumer is very important….also using data about the viewing devices and what kind of content they end up watching.”

Tackling pain points

Datta shared how data can also help alleviate pain points including how to address ‘guest users’ on Zee5; juggling and balancing the risk of bringing new releases onto the platform at the expense of older consistently performing content; and ensuring an ad is served to the right cohort.

For Dixit, her greatest headache is understanding why a consumer drops out at the subscription page or in the middle of sampling the first episode. She added, “the helping hand of somebody who can map out where the churn is coming from, and what needs to be done to rectify this, could obviously add a lot of value.”

Listening to customers and optimising their experience

For Singh, this is an ongoing process “we work very hard to listen to our consumers and try to over-deliver on their expectations.”

Datta agreed that “a user’s experience is at the core of everything we do. It is our North star.”

In business, the customer is always right, but more importantly, the customer’s data never lies. Scrutinising and validating that data objectively, and validating it using a trusted, independent third party has the power to deliver a treasure trove of valuable business insights.

The last word goes to MX Player’s Singh, “listening to your consumer, understanding that data, and seeing how you can mix it all together and figure out a solution for them is the best metric you can work on today," he said.