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Speaking in numbers: How data and analytics can accelerate the FAST success story

March 18, 2022

By the Amagi Editorial Team, with inputs from our SSAI and analytics experts

Traditional TV advertisers and broadcasters relied on TV ratings based on focus group reports and sample surveys. They also accessed limited insights from data tools such as Nielsen panels that provided representative coverage across demographics and probabilistic attribution using panels.

One of the biggest drawbacks of running advertisements on cable TV was the lack of reliable data and insights into who was watching the ads, or what were the ad conversion rates, ultimately nurturing a culture of ‘spray and pray’ among content publishers and advertisers. Those who wished to be equipped with better insights resorted to expensive and incremental lift analyses or paid brand studies. However, the scene is quite different in the internet-driven streaming TV and OTT market.

Content owners and advertisers here leverage the comprehensive capabilities of powerful analytics tools to unearth accurate, timely, granular and even real time data. Their world is governed by numbers where the unending noise of data is squeezed into intelligible packets, helping content owners and services understand their content and ad performance, their consumers, and their market better.

The world of Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV (FAST), driven by the aggressive growth of connected TV (CTV), is no different, with data and insights playing a prominent role in influencing programming and monetization decisions.

Data has changed the way we look at viewers, allowing content owners to determine the preferences of virtually all visitors without focus group reports and sample surveys. The pool of data has gotten so large that content owners can now identify the smallest of causes for any failure or success.

FAST is perhaps witnessing the best of times, the peak of its growth story. Consider this: the number of linear channels created and delivered by Amagi across 50+ FAST platforms grew by 99% between December 2020 and December 2021. An industry report says, revenues in the industry is expected to touch $4 billion by 2023. This phenomenal growth and future outlook also reflect the stiff competition in the space as content producers, platforms and advertisers clamor for more – more eyeballs, more audience engagement and brand loyalty, more revenues, and more data.

Streaming services and CTV brands including Pluto TV, Tubi, STIRR, Peacock, Samsung TV Plus, LG and Vizio leverage Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) data and first party viewership data to create unique content or ad experiences, and stand out in an increasingly cluttered space.

Consider Roku, which recently integrated Nielsen’s DCR (Digital Content Ratings) with its platform to enhance ad performance measurement for publishers. Measures like these enable them to help content owners and advertisers make quick, strategic decisions on investments.

Deriving patterns and delivering predictions with data

Analytics allows us to make sense of raw data. Since there is no possible way of understanding the workings of the human consciousness, we rely on patterns to make reasonable assumptions and predictions. Data on viewing time, ad conversion and abandonment rate are some of the factors that help establish patterns in viewer behavior. Content brands and services can then make informed predictions on how viewers will behave in the future, based on these evolving patterns. Accordingly, they can plot business strategies for maximized reach, engagement and revenues.

These behavioral patterns, however, are impossible to decipher manually when the scale of the audience is over seven figures.

This is where analytics platforms like Amagi ANALYTICS come into play. Such platforms can gather vast swathes of data points and condense them into actionable insights for content creators, advertisers and platforms alike.

The Amagi ANALYTICS platform integrated with our DAI platform – Amagi THUNDERSTORM – unearths data on a wide range of important metrics and attributes that influence business decisions.

Measurement criteria

When measuring content consumption and monetization status, there are two major factors to bear in mind. First, the dimension, such as a geographical location, publishing platform, content genre or viewing device for which to measure. Second, the measurement itself, i.e. the metric which defines the performance of the content around a specific dimension.

Analytics is composed of dimensions such as date range, viewed channels, viewing device, region of the viewer, titles watched, and more. These dimensions are observed for a variety of metrics including the total number of sessions, viewership hours, and average duration.

Our platform can also display the monetization status of the content - which can be identified for a combination of a particular date range, the dimensions for selected content, as well as across a complete content library.

Key viewership metrics

Amagi ANALYTICS calculates the viewership data using a Beaconing system, where beacons are inserted into the content playlist after every 25 seconds (5 segments) and collects user information when these beacons are fired. Let’s take a look at some of the key viewership metrics we deep dive into.

Total sessions: Amagi ANALYTICS platform calculates the total number of viewing sessions, where a single session is understood as a minimum download of one segment of minimum 5 seconds each or watched stream of any duration.

Total viewership minutes (session duration): This is the sum of all session durations counted in minutes or is the total time spent by each user on a channel or platform watching content. The platform also provides data on the total number of unique viewers.

Average session duration: The average time spent per user on a single session. This is calculated by dividing the total viewership minutes by the total number of sessions.

We can access hourly and daily metrics along with hourly and daily anomaly alerts. The comprehensive analytics dashboard further covers regional viewership, delving into the total hours of viewing, unique viewers and other metrics for different countries and states selected on the dashboard. Our platform also offers insights into the consumption patterns for various genres such as comedy, sports, movies, news and so on, as well as for the different platforms where the content is served, and the various devices on which the content is consumed.

The multi-dimensional viewership data ultimately helps you make quick and accurate business decisions on programming based on content affinity.

What content will channel viewers want to watch six months from now? When and what device do viewers prefer enjoying their favorite fare? How do global events shape content preferences? The pandemic, for example, saw people finding retreat in light-hearted content and bite-sized content that is better suited to a view-at-home experience.

Decisions on what kind of content to produce are easier to make when we have access to viewership patterns. Moreover, the almost real-time insights into engagement of users allows you to quickly fine tune tactics to get more ads and viewers to the stream, and therefore make more money.

Similarly, with concurrent viewers metric, you can identify the peak periods of usage and downtimes, enabling you to improve program scheduling at peak period of usage to yield better monetization opportunities.

Amagi’s customers consistently leverage the comprehensive analytics we provide to determine the FAST platforms best suited for their content mix. And to decide the right content to pick and package from their libraries or to commission new originals. Similarly, with these insights, streaming services are better positioned to define the kind of genres and channels they would like to include on their platforms.

Key ad performance metrics

Amagi ANALYTICS allows content owners and platforms to deep dive into the ad viewing patterns of viewers. It calculates the following base ad performance metrics.

Metrics to understand opportunities for placing ads

  • Total number of ad opportunities detected and ad requests sent
  • Ad requests sent for all ad opportunities detected under the selected dimensions
  • Ad responses received after sending the request
  • Ad assets received, where one response can have multiple assets
  • Ad impressions recorded - which represents the total number of times an ad asset was watched during a slot
  • Conversion rate - which is the total number of impressions received divided by the total number of ad assets

Ad completion rate

  • Total number of ad impressions recorded: number of viewers who started watching the ad assets
  • Metrics for the number of impressions recorded till 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of the ad was watched by the consumer (25% complete rate and so on)

Based on insights into ad performance, FAST platforms can determine the ideal ad load and how frequent the ad breaks must be. Content owners can work closely with their tech vendors in defining best practices to deliver personalized and seamless ad experiences, that will ensure audiences stay on their channels. Most importantly, they can fine tune their ad insertion and conversion processes to ultimately attract more revenues. You can improve ad fill rates, thereby showing more ads and earning more money.

Ad insights help you take better decisions on changing your ad-network or running better ads.

On the other end of the spectrum, where advertisers know that their ads perform well, they are sure to invest more, also leading to better ad revenues - a vital aspect of FAST content delivery.

Reporting

Amagi ANALYTICS comes with a robust report scheduling feature that allows customers to schedule multiple reports at a fixed interval such as daily, weekly and monthly. These are delivered in CSV format to the recipient’s email address as per the defined schedule. The reports comprise all the metrics related to viewership and advertising we discussed above. In addition, the reports download API allows users to download the reports using Rest call, instead of clicking directly from the email.

Act, react and add value to your content – with data & personalization

Things are changing FAST! The new-age linear TV industry is witnessing rapid growth and investments across regions, and along with that mounting competition for eyeballs and advertisers. Maintaining viewer attention and advertiser interest in the space will be the biggest challenge confronting those who have invested in the segment. To stand your ground, you will need reliable, forward-looking analytics that equip you to fulfill consumer demands better than your competitors.

Actionable data and insights will take centerstage in steering media brands to make the right decisions - that drive sustainable success. Amagi believes that we will see the rise of personalization of both content and advertising, powered by AI-driven analytics.

By tuning into the right data and insights on content affinity and ad performance, you can implement lucrative personalization tactics and business strategies. To know more, reach out to us at cloudandme@amagi.com

Check out Amagi’s Global FAST Reports that capture the growth story of the market segment - with data straight from our analytics platform.

Edition #1
Edition #2

COMING SOON Edition #3!

Comments

The data and insights provided by Amagi play a significant role in shaping the size, the feel and flavor of the free ad-supported streaming TV world. Amagi’s analytics is enabling content owners and platforms to cater more effectively to their audiences - with the right stories and relevant ads.

Check out Amagi’s Global FAST Reports that capture the growth story of the market segment - with data straight from our analytics platform.

Edition #1
Edition #2

COMING SOON Edition #3!

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