M&E Connections

Smart Content West: NeuLion’s Crawford Stresses Streaming Data

LOS ANGELES — In 2017, NeuLion managed video for 63,000 live events, delivering more than 300 live linear channels, covering everything from ingest and encoding, to monetization, and apps for its clients.

And with all that video work, James Crawford, technology evangelist for digital platforms for NeuLion, it’s the real-time analytics tools associated with the content that clients have found the most useful.

“Media companies are seeking ways to pull ahead of the competition, and they’re not too sure how to do it,” Crawford said, speaking Feb. 27 at the Smart Content West Summit. “What are my most effective and profitable marketing campaigns, who are my most valuable customers, and how do I find them? Who’s likely to cancel and how do we keep them? We have all these questions, and we’re looking for ways to answer them.”

Flowing over any streaming platform is just a huge amount of data, everything consumers are doing while viewing the content, and interacting with the apps. And it’s possible to capture all that information, and put it to extremely profitable use, Crawford said.

Some of the data NeuLion’s customers have been able to pull, using the company’s data services, is that device penetration is crucial toward keeping customers. If a subscriber uses a service on multiple devices, they watch more hours of content, and garner more value out of their subscription. And real-time data offerings are becoming more important to content companies, giving them huge insights into how their customers use content, seeing what’s popular, when viewers leave a piece of content, and more.

“If they’ve got live content, and it’s two teams playing from different parts of the country, one of the things [you can see] is [viewers] will go on to social media and start, in real time, try to get viewers in a different region to start using the service to watch the content,” he added.

App and operational analytics are also helpful with customer service, to see what the user experience complaints — and compliments – may be. “Every time you can build up this really great view of what you’re content is doing,” Crawford said. That can be helpful in determining reasons behind churn rates, what marketing ideas work, and why people cancel after a free trial, he added.

“We believe some of the key benefits of [a data tool] is it helps you with conversion rates, higher profits, loyalty, and the increased retention of viewers,” Crawford said.

Produced by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA), in association with the Hollywood IT Society (HITS) and the Smart Content Council, Smart Content West was sponsored by Amazon Web Services, MicroStrategy, NeuLion, MarkLogic, SAP, Bob Gold & Associates, Ad-ID, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, and the Entertainment Merchants Association.