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Monday, 28 May 2018 22:43

‘Wake-up call’ on data-centric, mobile-first content adoption: Ooyala

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‘Wake-up call’ on data-centric, mobile-first content adoption: Ooyala Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Telstra-owned video software and services US-based subsidiary Ooyala has issued what it says is a wake-up call to media companies which have yet to adopt a data-centric and mobile-first approach to connecting with ever-elusive audiences.

According to Ooyala founder and chief technology officer Belsasar Lepe, consumers are moving fully to digital and social platforms, and are used to finding video content “wherever and whenever they are looking for it”.

“Media companies are in a dead sprint to keep up with consumers – and data will be the key to opening new avenues for growth and understanding,” Lepe says.

Ooyala says, in a report released on Monday, it has found that media industry evolution is being driven by rapid advances in, and the intersection of,  three primary factors:

  1. Mobile technology, as exemplified by phone upgrades and 5G wireless;
  2. Data, including the application of artificial intelligence (AI) to provide more personalised content; and
  3. Immersive viewing, as embodied by augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).   

The report cites recent research underscoring what Ooyala says is the dramatic growth in mobile video consumption, including:

  • Mobile represents more than 60% of all video plays, and longer videos on all screens are now the norm;
  • Americans will spend more than 80 minutes daily watching digital video next year, up from 61 minutes just three years ago (eMarketer);
  • Eighty-five percent of US adults now get their news via mobile devices (Pew Research Center);
  • Thirty-four percent of teens’ entertainment content is consumed via smartphones, and they watch nearly 70 videos daily (Awesomeness); and
  • Over 80% of millennials plan to watch online video via smartphones by 2022 (Nielsen).

“Mobile video isn’t a novelty anymore – it’s the consumer’s expectation,” Lepe says.

The Ooyala report also notes that media providers’ futures depend on building strong, trustworthy brands; delivering quality differentiated content and experiences; and, importantly, developing a deep understanding of audiences and what they want.

According to the report, advanced applications in data and automation are becoming widespread globally, particularly in newsrooms – such as USA Today’s efforts to provide readers more personalised experiences based on their interactions with its mobile website.  

It also notes that AI is playing an increasing role as well, not only in understanding consumer preferences which are essential to persuading consumers to pay for content, but in determining the optimally efficient mix between humans and machines.

“To quote the CEO of Intuit, ‘big data is the great equaliser',” Lepe says.

“Expect partnerships, diversification and innovation, with the help of data, to be key assets in every publisher’s tool kit. Look for more media companies to leverage data to control their own content, integrate their publishing systems, pursue more personalised approaches to serving audiences and advertisers, develop more innovative partnerships – and to explore new ways to make money.

Among the innovations cited in the report are ‘immersive technologies’ such as AR and VR, which some media companies consider useful tools contributing to all-important “stickiness”.

The report also notes that the advent of 5G wireless is seen as empowering immersive experiences such as AR, VR and 360-degree on mobile devices.

“Publishers are becoming more connected to consumers and each other via deep data, and immersive video is creating a new reality,” Lepe says.

“Look for technology advancements to continue expanding what media means and how we consume it in the future.”

 To view the full Ooyala report click here, and to hear more on the State of the Media Industry 2018 Webinar, to be hosted by Jim O’Neill and Paula Minardi on 26 June, register here.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).