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Taking catalogs to the next level with a personalized user experience

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Accessing the best content has become the main differentiating factor for viewers looking to sign up for a TV service. But as more and more operators worldwide have caught up with this trend and turned SVoDs and content providers, once their foes, into allies with super-aggregation of content strategies, they have started to realize that successful supper-aggregation brings new challenges.

The main challenge is: How can operators stand out from competitors when their offerings are becoming increasingly similar to each other?

This can be easily managed with the right strategy. The key lies in going beyond super-aggregation of content and tapping into operators’ other main competitive advantage – the viewing experience they can offer users – and winning their hearts through personalization.

Personalizing Content and Ads

Personalizing your TV service to a specific viewer is a broad concept. It involves several aspects, including personalizing the interface, the messaging and the content, as well as the ads. Ateme’s answer to the challenge of personalizing video content and ads is NEA-Composer, a product that content and service providers can use to swap original stream segments with personalized ones. The swapped segments can be ad segments or content segments to fully personalize live, VoD and catch-up streams to each viewer.

With NEA-Composer, two different subscribers could be watching the same live channel, with one of them getting a cars program, because she or he is an automotive fan, and the other subscriber getting a cooking program because she or he has been flagged as a food enthusiast. The same targeting scenario is also applicable for ads. On top of the significant revenue boost that personalized ads can bring to your business, several studies have found that most viewers prefer watching personalized ads because they are less disruptive and allow them to discover new products that they would have never learned about otherwise, which in turn, makes their shopping experience faster and easier.

Understanding your viewers’ behavior is the fuel to ignite your personalization engine. That’s why collecting and leveraging first-party viewers’ consumption data has become a make-or-break strategy in our fast-moving video industry.

Personalized Virtual Linear Channels

We all know how daunting it is to navigate through endless VoD and catch-up libraries. Titles get added every day, and the result is even harder-to-navigate catalogs. The portals’ homepages do not have enough space to promote all content with enough variety to each viewer. If you are a viewer, wouldn’t it be great if your service provider could offer you a personalized live channel with your favourite shows back-to-back?

Ateme’s VoD-to-Live solution was designed exactly for this purpose. It is for content and service providers that want to create virtual linear (vLinear) thematic or personalized channels with graphics and ad breaks for DAI monetization, for distribution on their own OTT service or on affiliate networks. The vLinear channels can be personalized to each viewer’s taste, giving them the content they are looking for in a live watch mode. Alternatively, they can be thematic channels carrying a specific content genre such as food, business or technology. VoD usage and per-session engagement will ultimately increase with such personalized vLinear channels, which is a natural fit for advertising business models.

Making it happen – The power of data clusters and user segmentation

However, it is not just a matter of counting with the right infrastructure to enable personalization of the experience – operators must also have the tools to ensure that users make the most of it. The first obvious step is to know your viewers truly and thoroughly, leveraging data on household and individual consumption habits, preferences, demographics, etc., and then putting this data to work.

The right strategy begins with the correct classification of a platform’s subscribers’ activity, grouping its users, profiles and even the devices accessing content in order to create actionable segments. Mirada’s flagship Iris solution makes this possible with Segmenter, its backend module empowering operators to swiftly group their audience based on subscribers’ personal characteristics including their likes or preferences, their engagement, subscription tier, etc., or manually group them based on criteria selected by the operator.

With Segmenter, operators can not only produce detailed segmentations, but also apply different tags for each user, allowing segments to overlap and mix, going as granular as they need. The tool’s clustering feature even creates algorithm-based inferred segmentations based on machine learning applied over the users’ data gathered by the platform.

These segmentations are ready to be exported to other Mirada Iris tools, such as UX Evolver, where operators can craft the different elements of their platform’s user experience and create new interfaces to improve content recommendation, and consumption that adapts to users’ habits, all across different devices and published with no downtime.

Going beyond content consumption, viewers’ stickiness is heavily shaped by their perception of how relevant both the platform’s content and advertising is to them. The Iris universe of tools also allows for the segmentations to be at the center of a hyper-targeted promotional strategy – making use of the Notifier tool to send push notifications or personalized messages to certain segments of subscribers, and creating campaigns with ads or banners with content of special interest to the final subscriber. The integration can be taken as far as other external tools such as ad servers from third-party companies, making advertising more relevant than ever.

To future-proof their offerings, operators must arm themselves with both the right content, and the tools to provide the best personalized experience. However, the recipe for success does not follow a one-size-fits-all formula – just as users need a personalized experience, operators need a personalized solution that matches their needs and growth strategies. Going from intentions to reality is only possible when counting with the right technical partners, ready to offer top-of-the-industry solutions and solid expertise to elevate their platforms into viewers’ favorites.