Yes, Analytics Really Do Drive Revenue!

Fear is a great motivator, and the specter of cord-cutting, the possibility of declining ratings, and the prospect of tougher competition from OTT providers have broadcasters looking over their shoulders. When broadcasters look ahead, they see vague promises of new opportunity, but without any clear path forward.

While these hopes and fears are enough to keep one up at night, they signify little without the backing of data. Only by using analytics to delve into the wealth of data generated by daily broadcast operations can station executives understand the true impact of market trends and forces on their businesses.  Only analytics can provide an accurate picture of station performance across all properties and platforms in today’s cross-media marketplace.

Analytics alone offer a true reckoning in terms of ad sales, subscriber valuations, and revenue profiles. As a result, analytics can point to unusual revenue shortfalls and their root causes, or highlight imminent opportunities to improve on historical revenue levels. As the business looks to its future, analytics take into account changing market conditions and the growth of the business itself to expose new risks and opportunities.

Understanding that analytics are complex, dealing with a wide array of data sources and millions of data points, some broadcasters may worry that it’s just too difficult to make analytics work for day-to-day business. But the genius of today’s sophisticated analytics solutions lies in their ease of use and in the simplicity with which they present useful insights, automated alerts, and daily action items tailored to the work of each staff member.

By suggesting concrete actions that contribute substantively to the success of the business, analytics pave the way toward future success. Identifying trends specific to the broadcast station, analytics empower station executives to understand the true threats and opportunities facing them.

Enabling practical action based on this intelligence, analytics support custom notifications that let the station’s sales force know when to reach out to a particular market or client. They point to the product group most likely to find success with that market or client. For those concerned with the larger picture, analytics can use learning algorithms to support corrective action when needed or to adapt and take advantage of new market conditions.

As Decentrix clients have discovered, the understanding enabled by analytics can quickly translate to a real lift in station revenues — 3%, 5%, and even 11% and more. In this time of uncertainty for many broadcast stations, analytics has the power to define the current landscape and illuminate the territory ahead. With analytics working on their behalf, broadcast stations can advance boldly into the future of cross-platform media.

Top 5 Reasons You Need a Retrans Solution

The program retransmission (retrans) fees collected by broadcast stations from MVPDs are dependent on stations’ negotiations with their MVPDs, and strong negotiations require access to information that can be leveraged to secure higher payments. A retrans solution delivers all of this information, plus powerful analytics, while simplifying overall management of both retrans fees and network program fees.

No. 1: Know What Kind of Audience the MVPDs Delivered
Accurately project audiences so that you understand subscriber numbers for any given MVPD and can negotiate accordingly with both the MVPDs and the network.

No. 2: Forecast Revenue for Planning and Budgets
Get accurate revenue forecasts so that you can see how much money you will make and how much money you’ll need to pay the networks.

No. 3: Get the Best Rate You Can Get
Make and save money. The ready availability of all data associated with negotiation of retransmission fees and network program fees allows you to run “what if” scenarios based on accurate historical information. You’ll better understand how negotiations will affect what you’re paid and what you have to pay out.

No. 4: Know Your History … and See Your Future
Centralize, consolidate, and review data associated with retransmission fees and payments to the networks — as laid out in your contracts with both the MVPDs and the network — so that you can see rates, find out what has been paid and will be paid and by whom, and determine whom to negotiate with next.

No. 5: Let Us Do the Work
Completely automate the tedious, time-consuming and time-sensitive process of calculating and paying reverse retransmission fees to the network.

Five Predictions for Media Technology in 2018

1. AI emerges from the hype
From CES in 2017 and throughout the year, we have been bombarded with everything from cars, beds, toothbrushes, and toasters endowed with artificial intelligence, or AI. Some have risen to the occasion, others have struggled to find relevance, but all have benefited from the associated marketing cachet. In 2018 we will see the direct application of this class of technologies to media-technology. AI will assist media corporations in developing better content and allow consumers to have that content targeted to them more judiciously.

2. Data hoarding is no longer cool
It costs money to store data. While many organizations still talk about the need to process big data, those media companies that haven’t worked it out that “bigger is not better — better is better” will be significantly disadvantaged. What is better? Is data better because it is relevant, better because it is fresh, or better because one has lots of it? Or none of the above? Data is only as good as its utility. It takes real alchemists to turn lead into gold. Ask yourself this: If your business cannot make money out of your data, then why collect it?

3. Machine learning (ML) is about the right teacher
Knowing what data creates a viable economic outcome is central to the inevitable value of AI in media-technology. Although demeaning, as George Bernard Shaw wrote, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” And, so it is with ML. The ML promise has implied that plenty of data with the right algorithm will deliver riches to your media organization. In 2018 it will. But, not because of ML alone; it will be a result of those who can teach the ML because they know the business, and can do. In this respect, Decentrix leads the pack in media analytics and ML.

4. Trust becomes a force
We all intuitively know that success is built upon a foundation of trust. The events of the past 12 months have eroded that foundation through the proliferation of “facts” with dubious veracity mixed with opinion, memes, and emotion. The year ahead will be especially trying for media companies as product and service quality must rise above the increased noise of confusion and negative publicity. The only way to break through that noise is to focus on delivery commitments and customer promises. Be the company that always says what it does, and does what it says — to shareholders and stakeholders, to customers and employees alike. Competitive marketing will simply become noise.

5. Subscriptions become ubiquitous
Some may not realize that the subscription model was pioneered by print media. Now it is used by many businesses and websites. When electricity was first implemented in New York City, each building had its own generator and was dependent upon the Edison Company for everything from light bulbs to wiring. Now power is a utility, and consumers subscribe to the service on a consumption basis. It is becoming widely understood that companies adopting subscription models are growing their revenue significantly faster than those with traditional business models. Subscriptions drive media options and other consumer services, and so it will increasingly become critical for enterprise solutions to implement subscription-based services as part of their business models.