Analytics is transforming the way television channels produce content. Consequently, the broacast industry is moving beyond television ratings to gain deeper insights about the audiences. We spoke to Sandipan Mondal, CEO and Co-founder of media analytics firm Zapr to understand how analytics has impacted the way TV channels gather data about their audiences. He says that data analytics is aggressively filling in gaps of information from massive data sets to help understand and make the most of the content delivered by offline media.
How does Zapr structure TV viewership and media content data?
It is more of a multi-sided model, where we are trying to aggregate an enormous amount of media-consumption data about people at a scale that wasn’t fathomable before and we use that data to power multiple use cases. At Zapr we have a data platform where we leverage this massive pool of data, and we mine it for insights and answer questions. So there are two kinds of clients we are working with – to whom our data is valuable for content and others who currently monetize through advertising. The otherwise annoying banner ads are made more relevant to the user on the basis of building a user profile.
How were television ratings perceived in the industry till recently?
Audience measurement was dominated by a single player. Audience data always meant ratings and hence data and ratings went hand in hand. We are now able to source data independently.
How has data analytics helped tackle media buying/acquisitions through pools of data?
The gathered data can be used by media agencies to derive rich media insights that were previously unavailable. The Indian media and advertising industry has been unable to access data at scale, and understanding viewership trends across millions of people. Media planners can hence understand granular trends and consumption patterns, analysing them across geo clusters. This brings incredible efficiencies into media buying.
Are media data analytics changing the way media budgets are looked at?
Media budgets are allocated based on the insights and strategy of experienced planners. They are well equipped to analyze and internalize multiple data sets and act according to the picture that emerges from the data. Previously, they were forced to take decisions based on an incomplete picture. Here, the planners get a more comprehensive view of the consumption patterns in the industry.
How difficult or easy was it to penetrate into the ‘TV-to-mobile’ space?
The robust digital signal processing DNA and deep technology roots have tackled richer cross-device engagement or nuanced data analytics. While our tech DNA provided us a massive advantage, our growth is in large part due to the incredible support of various stakeholders across the industry – media agencies, brands, broadcasters etcetera.
How do see media analytics in India evolving in the days to come?
Today, as technology evolves and makes massive data sets available to the industry, data analytics is evolving to be able to work with and analyze such large data repositories. It is increasingly common to see smart talent with Math or Statistics degrees peppered across the industry, working to drive deep insight and help managements of media houses take better decisions. Today data analytics is becoming a part of all functions in media and advertising – everything from decisions on content strategy (think of Netflix and House of Cards), brand strategy, media strategy among others.