Blog

Power your OTT strategy with analytics

August 19, 2021

By Yogita Rao, Product Manager, Amagi

I know you hear this all the time - ‘Competition in the streaming TV space is growing.’ But what we are hearing more often these days is to thrive in this evolving space, you cannot sidestep data. Comprehensive knowledge on how audiences are engaging with your content and other critical metrics is indispensable to your OTT success. Data is your powerful tool to help optimize resources, and sharpen your decision making on content, platforms and ad strategies.

There is reason for cheer because you can leverage the power of data and insights efficiently today, thanks to robust analytics platforms. What will of course distinguish you as a winner from the also- rans in the streaming race is the ability to respond to these insights with lightning speed.

Say yes to analytics.

But to begin with, what do you measure?

The tricky part of chasing data is to know what you want to measure. Once you zero in on the right metrics, you will be able to ace your analytics strategy.

In this blog, I am listing out some of the top metrics you need to measure to get a complete picture of your business strategy and steer it in the right direction.

What genre and format of content engages your audience?

As broadcasters and digital media companies, here are some of the questions you need to address to determine the kind of content you need to produce or procure.

  • What do audiences prefer? What are the stories that captivate them?
  • Will they be open to innovative content formats?
  • Is it scripted content that brings in more ad impressions and revenues or do non-scripted reality and talks shows work better?

How to program content?

With comprehensive data on what the audience is viewing, you can start to make tweaks in the content you are acquiring and producing. You’ll be able to see what shows are most popular – and which audiences are responding best.

Data on how audiences react to different formats can also be invaluable. Are viewers just popping in for the occasional bit of premium content? Or are they returning regularly, but only for specific genres or a show?

A robust analytics platform can provide insights into viewership metrics such unique views, sessions, average viewing time, total viewership, concurrent users, and content load time. Based on these, you can decide what content to repeat on your 24/7 curated linear channel, and how often and when. You will have clarity on whether you must intersperse long format shows with shorter formats. Data will also tell you when you can run premium content and attract more advertisers.

A deep dive into audience behavior will help you craft and execute a winning content and programming approach.

What advertising strategy will work?

A June 2021 paper by Hub Research confirms the potential for ad-supported content. Free ad-supported platforms such as Pluto TV, IMDb TV and Tubi have seen growth in users. This shows audiences are much more willing to watch ad-supported content than we typically believe. However, you got to tread your ad monetization turf carefully so that you don’t upset your audiences’ threshold for ads.

Granular data from analytics platforms - including on ad breaks, ad requests, responses, total number of ad assets received, impressions, completion rates and ad drops - can speak a load of truth on effective advertising strategies. It will let you approach the following niggling challenges with confidence.
  • What is the ideal ad load?
  • How frequent should the ad breaks be?
  • How best to deliver personalized and seamless ad experiences?
  • If advertisers are willing to invest 30% of their budget on streaming TV, how will ad supported platforms such as Hulu and Peacock with low ad loads manage the supply?
Today, content owners and platforms aim to serve customized ads based on viewers’ interests and consumption history. Your secret to retaining customers on your channels or platforms will depend on how well you can serve ads audiences will watch - or more precisely ads they will appreciate as being useful to them.

How do you plan your distribution strategy?

Which are the platforms where your content will get maximum viewership and engagement? Where are audiences available - native apps, smart TVs, mobile devices or OTT devices such as gaming consoles, Amazon Firesticks, Chromecast and other streaming devices? Again, your answers will come from accurate and real time data, which is the informed way to maximizing your content ROI.

Finally, manage your data. Get the right analytics platform.

Depending on where you stand in your growth life cycle, you will need different types of insights from the analytics platform owner. While you need solid insights to craft your long term strategy including programming, revenue planning and forecasting, you also require quick real time data to guide your tactical decisions.

For instance, if the analytics platform can tell you that a certain content is witnessing sudden increase in viewership, you can quickly decide to increase your ad load by a few seconds. And vice versa! The key is to utilize a next gen AI-driven platform that can get you live data on users using easy to digest visualizations.

Choose a platform that will provide comprehensive data specific to regions, devices, channels, content assets, and time zones, and these will come especially handy when your content expands its footprint across the globe. Which means your platform must also be able to scale as your audiences scale.

Streaming TV business is increasingly going to be a data driven game. To thrive and keep winning, arm yourself with a robust data and analytics solution. Most importantly, chase the right metrics, garner deep insights, and act upon them with agility.

If this blog has piqued your interest in ad monetization and analytics, reach us at cloudandme@amagi.com

Comments
Audience analytics is your key to executing effective programming, platform and ad strategies.

Streaming TV business is increasingly going to be a data driven game. To thrive and keep winning, arm yourself with a robust data and analytics solution. Most importantly, chase the right metrics, garner deep insights, and act upon them with agility.
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