Whip Media: More Insightful Data Stands to Help Industry and Viewers

Insightful data that goes beyond traditional viewership metrics can significantly help the industry make smarter content choices and also give consumers more of the type of content they want to see, while taking steps along the way toward frictionless distribution, according to Carol Hanley, chief strategy and revenue officer at Whip Media Group.

Hanley recently had this same kind of conversation in London and it was “unbelievably consistent with the conversations that we’re having here,” she said March 3 at the start of the presentation “The Streaming Wars: Engaging the Connected Consumer” at the inaugural OTT Supply Chain Academy event in Los Angeles.

“Clearly, all of these issues – and in particular, all these distribution issues — have become big, global conversations,” said Hanley, who noted she spent 20-plus years in the ad and media research space, including at Arbitron, which was sold to Nielsen while she was with it.

Of the average dollar that a piece of content makes if it is ad-supported, about 40 cents is on the ad side and about 60 cents is on the distribution and licensing side, she pointed out.

“We are talking about the biggest pot of money around content monetization and I think there is a huge opportunity,” she told attendees.

“It is the number one theme that I absolutely hear everywhere … . It’s all about consumer-level data” now, she said. There is just a huge amount of information that people have at their fingertips already, but what is not as well-known is what’s really making a piece of content appealing to consumers and why are they choosing it on specific platforms, she pointed out.

“Consumer-level data is important because consumers are in control” and there “needs to be information that goes well beyond counting eyeballs and bodies,” she noted.

Consumers have more content choices than ever before today, but they are willing to pay for more content, she said.

There is also no sign that the streaming wars will slow down any time soon, she said, noting the decline in theatrical attendance is fueling the streaming wars.

Content costs, meanwhile, are driving the need for new data, she said, noting data can help us better understand what content is likely to succeed on specific platforms.

She went on to provide the findings from a case study on how the TV show “You” performed on Netflix vs. Lifetime. Lifetime had a hit on its hands with the show and did not know it, she pointed out.

Although data insights can predict a hit, she said engagement with content is a stronger predictor of show success. Viewership metrics were insufficient for predictive insights and that was a case in which traditional metrics failed, she said.

Her company’s TV Time is a consumer-facing app with 12 million registered users who use it to discover and track content, as well as engage around the content, she also pointed out. Users of the app are willing to give their reactions to content because it makes recommendations even stronger for them, she said, explaining the more info you give, the better your recommendations will be.

The company tracks billions of consumer actions and financial transactions in all and there are about 10 million TV episodes and movies tracked by it on a daily basis, she said.

The OTT Supply Chain Academy was sponsored by Sony, BeBanjo, EIDR, Whip Media Group, Bitmax, Eluvio, Pixelogic and Spherex, and produced by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA), the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA), the Hollywood IT Society (HITS) and the Smart Content Council.