In order to compete in an increasingly competitive industry, streaming services must focus more on tailoring the customer experience.
What is the significance of personalization? Consumers today have more options than ever before, and a vast library of VOD content is no longer sufficient to keep them subscribed to a service. When the arrival of new OTT services began to pick up speed in the wake of Netflix’s early dominance, engaging, exclusive content became more important than ever.
To stay competitive in today’s crowded market, however, service providers must also provide curated experiences to keep customers engaged on their platforms instead of pogo-sticking from one app to another.
Curated linear channels are becoming an increasingly popular way of delivering an excellent viewing experience from library content, all the while creating new monetization opportunities through advertising and syndication opportunities. A streaming service with a vast back archive of 1980s sitcoms could play back-to-back episodes of your favorite series.
This would allow you to kick your feet up, relax, and simply enjoy the show — all while the content owner serves up dynamic advertising that can be targeted to be more relevant to the viewer and increase the CPM value of each ad slot.
In a word, the delivery of a seamless, tailored streaming experience for each individual viewer promises a more engaging TV experience while creating new opportunities for the streaming provider to maximize its library along with live content and generate new revenue opportunities.
Viewer behavior data can also be coupled with information from customer relationship management systems (CMS) to create a thorough and accurate profile of each viewer that feeds into content recommendations and advertising.
Many different factors can influence what goes into the video playlist as it continually updates. An advanced OTT platform can update the manifest in real-time in response to the viewer’s actions and choices, all while maintaining the highest possible stream quality.
Creating a one-to-one connection with each viewer is no easy feat; at scale, it’s a massive technical undertaking. It requires streaming tens of millions of concurrent streams and processing tens of thousands of decisions per second simply to keep the stream running smoothly.
This isn’t some far-fetched fantasy; the technology already exists, and curated linear streams are increasing in popularity with viewers, content providers, and advertisers.
If we take a look at the FAST industry, nScreenMedia’s models show that FAST providers will generate about $2.1 billion in ad revenue in the US this year from linear channels. It’s just a matter of time before we see streaming providers offering the next generation of this content curation as personalized linear experiences to their end customers at scale.
Personalization will be the key approach for content providers to differentiate their service and become the first choice for consumers as new streaming services join the market. Next-generation tailoring tools and programming capabilities should be a top goal for streaming providers. By providing viewers with tailored experiences that resonate with their viewing behaviors and tastes, they will unlock the next level of streaming and greatly enhance the value of their services.
Ariff Sidi is a General Manager and Chief Product Officer at Edgecast. Ariff joined the team with 15 years of experience in internet and digital media problem solving, and 10 years of experience in streaming media platform development.
Ariff has generated 11 patents and earned an Emmy award for innovation during his many years of digital media platform and product development, in both B2C and B2B businesses. He has held leadership roles in engineering, product management, and strategy in start-ups, media companies like Disney and FOX, and tech heavyweights like Qualcomm and Verizon. He currently has responsibility for Edgecast's industry-leading video streaming and content delivery business.
Ariff's background includes leading the development of multiple industry-first streaming products including ABC's Full Episode Player and FOX's national primetime live streaming. He has also led the development of several multi-platform, VOD products for Disney across Europe.
Several of Ariff's patents have defined industry best practices for online video and advertising, and several of his novel solutions were precursors to now industry standard specifications.
Additionally, Ariff founded a technology start-up in the kids and family mobile space and co-founded a ground-breaking social video start-up.
Ariff has a BS in Computer Engineering from UC San Diego and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.