IoT Asset Management Solutions for the Media & Entertainment Industry

IoT adoption, coupled with cloud platforms and Big Data analysis, provides the Media and Entertainment industry a significant boost to utilizing their machine and human assets. IoT (Internet of things) refers to the ecosystem of connected smart devices and environmental sensors that track assets, machine or human, across locations. 

Without IoT, asset management solutions are limited by delays and errors in manual data collection, under-utilization of assets, poor maintenance and reporting. This loss translates to a lack of awareness of real-time consumer needs, poor utilization of assets, theft, and limited data to predict overall and personalized content consumption in the media and entertainment industry. 

The Media and Entertainment industry can now make better-informed decisions by harvesting the multiple facets of consumer data such as location, time of day, parallel activities tied to consumption, age group, and region. They can develop more detailed consumer profiles that enable them to target ads and personalize content accordingly, providing higher degrees of satisfaction.

IoT bridges the physical and digital world. In general, it enables Asset management through four layers-

  • Data acquisition
    1. Sensors help detect or measure parameters such as light, sound, temperature, humidity, pressure, biometrics, proximity, acceleration, and GPS.
    2. Smart devices act upon the sensor’s input or capture input by themselves –  smartphones, wearables, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and home automation devices.
  • Data consolidation – Gateways collect and consolidate data from sensors and smart devices and transfer them to cloud platforms using a higher bandwidth. They can communicate using multiple protocols such as cellular, Bluetooth, wi-fi, and Ethernet. They also serve as a security layer for the devices.
  • Data hooks  – IoT platform collects data from the gateways or devices, processes, or directly transfers it to applications on the cloud for further processing, analysis, and action. This ties it to cloud platforms and machine learning.
  • Data visibility – Dashboarding and reporting to understand and utilize the insights to predict the future needs of content.

The meteoric rise in connected devices provides a massive opportunity for the Media industry. Consumers get to control what to watch and when to watch it while the content providers gain rich insights into the consumer’s preferences. Some of the key areas where IoT has contributed to the industry in a big way along with overall asset management  –

  1. Immersive content 
  2. Personalized content 
  3. Targeted advertising 
  4. Asset Management

Unique streaming experiences with immersive content

Let’s take the example of the Entertainment industry in the gaming arena. Augmented reality with the aid of IoT devices such as smartphones, tablets, portable gaming consoles provides the highest form of immersive entertainment. AR integrates real-world elements with the virtual world by superimposing the virtual on the real. 

A classic example of the initial showcasing of the power of IoT and AR is Pokemon GO. The game incorporates the real world through maps and smartphones, with fictional characters across the globe. It caused a stir among all age groups making them run all around town trying to gather Pokemon characters. This was in 2016. 

Today a number of the big brands are building an entire ecosystem around AR, Virtual Reality (VR), and IoT for entertainment. There’s Facebook’s AR Glasses, Microsoft’s Kinect as a motion-sensing add-on for XBOX 360, Amazon AR player, AR Emojis using a phone’s camera by Snapchat, Disney, and more. 

Disney is coming up with some disruptive AR and IoT amalgamation to track and notify guests with helpful information on delays on rides or who the particular entertainment is for, depending on where they are in the park. In the future, Disney, given its resources, could well come up with smart devices for some fantastic AR gamification experiences within the park.

Back to the mainstream world of TV, Smart TVs, streaming by OTT providers, and OTT platforms have revolutionized content watching from watching on a specific day at a particular time when the show is aired to binge-watching an entire series. Chrome casting is another new feature that enables you to watch uninterruptedly across devices, from your phone to your TV, be it the latest TED talks or the latest music trend on youtube.

The future holds unique streaming experiences with immersive live events using IoT devices, VR headsets, AR glasses, and more to huge segmented crowds.

Personalized content with user persona and viewer data

With the increasing number of smart devices, content is largely digital and not limited to viewing or listening at home.  You could be on a walk, cycling with friends, exercising, driving your car back home. For instance, based on your location or activity, the music platform you listen to could provide you with upbeat, soothing, or party music. Wearable devices, mobile phones, tablets, and social media data that can be picked from a household pretty much provide a detailed map of the family’s composition, their preferences and needs, their friend circle, and more. 

OTT providers such as Netflix already create multiple user profiles to engage with a family and not just an individual. Based on what you watch, what ratings you provide, through AI, they can figure out what kind of content you would like in the future and what kind of content demographic you fall under. Content is personalized to the level of an individual in a family using the personas and viewer data. 

Taking the social angle from the Facebook gaming world, Netflix came up with Teleparty to stream movies in sync with friends, each using their account and chatting. This was a big hit since group activities were not possible during the pandemic. This social data is something that Netflix, Disney, and others can use further to investigate group dynamics concerning content and advertising.

Targeted advertising with tailored campaigns

Earlier televisions would show ads to everyone without really knowing whether they were able to reach the target audience. There was no way of filtering it out for whom it was not relevant. 

Today thanks to digitally available content and OTT, Media and Entertainment companies can track consumers across devices. 

Consuming content on devices such as smartphones, tablets, wearables, etc., also aids in providing additional information on users in terms of location, time of day, whether they are moving, exercising, or are stationary. Through the multiple connected devices in a home, we can paint a picture of the family, which helps in targeting ads based on their specific needs.

Based on the data captured through wearables and other smart devices, we can now glean metrics on how many people saw a particular ad across devices and how many converted. Further, such detailed user information helps to tailor impactful campaigns and offers for highly effective revenue generation.

Nuances of IoT asset management solutions

Asset Management, in general, comprises of:

  1. Tracking moving assets – In the case of the Media and Entertainment industry, it could be electronic bracelets used by customers in an adventure park to guide them and give them a richer experience.
  2. Monitoring – Monitoring the health of an asset such as a setup box, checking if it’s connected to wi-fi, whether it has a technical error, and racking the usage.
  3. Workflow Automation – Use a voice-activated assistant to switch on/off an asset, decrease or increase the volume of a music system or TV, cast what you are watching on the phone to a TV.
  4. Maintenance – Based on the tracking and monitoring of assets, predictive maintenance. Detect technical faults in the asset using IoT devices such as a Home assistant and then proactively notifying the customer for maintenance.
  5. Security – At the company’s end, the digital assets need to be secured with authentication and role-based authorization to access, collaborate and add content. At the end-consumer end, assets need to be secure to prevent hacking into sensitive personal information.

Using IoT, Mobile, Chatbot, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), Entertainment companies can provide the best customer service. This is very evident at the end customer level. For example, when they choose a TV provider, and a setup box is delivered to them. Earlier, the provider needed to send a person to set it up completely. Today, with the aid of a chatbot on their website or mobile app, a customer can follow the steps to do so. Besides, the setup box is intelligent enough to figure out whether there is network connectivity or not and notify the viewer. 

Similarly, when there is a technical issue or a bill is not paid, the provider can send messages to be viewed either on the home screen of the TV or the customer’s mobile app or phone. Even if the customer faces a technical issue, she can get onto the app and start the diagnostics with the chatbot guiding her. This saves valuable time for the customer support team, which can then focus on more significant problems. It can also help have a smaller, highly skilled support team as the smart devices are connected and work things out with minimal human intervention.

Digital Home Service (DHS) is a cloud-based Oracle solution for set-top-box and service-intensive pay-TV operators. It combines Oracle IoT, mobile, chatbot, AI, and Oracle cloud platform with modern digital customer management to deliver the next generation of digital home service capabilities. This helps to reduce the effort and improve the efficiency of customer service and field services teams.

Today’s world of Smart TVs, gaming consoles, music systems, lighting, Air conditioning are IoT-enabled and interact easily with voice-activated Smart Home devices such as Alexa,  Google Assistant, Roomie Remote. Switching on/off, increasing or decreasing volumes, searching for content or information, playing music, and more can be done by using just one assistant that communicates with and manages all our smart devices. 

Content security is another critical facet to be considered. Data and devices surround everyone, including children. There are many ways to bring in parental control both on devices and platforms to ensure that children see age-appropriate content. Each IoT device and asset collects data, be it your security camera, fridge, or Amazon Echo. This makes them potential threats to privacy and overall security from cybercriminals. 

They can hack into your devices, monitor your activities, steal data both digital and physical, depending on how you have addressed your home’s security. Therefore securing the IoT environment at home is essential. We are slowly moving towards biometric security instead of using not-so-secure and multiple passwords.

IoT Asset Management solutions, therefore, bring endless possibilities to take Media and Entertainment to unimaginable heights. It serves as a powerful predictive monitoring tool that helps with asset maintenance and gives deep insights into the end consumer. Every day there are newer and better IoT devices in the market. A Media and Entertainment house would do well to invest in an intelligent IoT framework early on. We at Trigent can help you reach your IoT asset management goals. 

Call us for a quick consultation.

(Originally published in ReadWrite )

AI in Media: Redefining Customer Experience with Immersive Stories

Artificial intelligence has become an important milestone in the digital transformation journey of all sectors, including media and entertainment. With the buzz it has created, it is no surprise that the adoption of AI in media and entertainment is a game-changer for the pioneering and the digitally inclined. It plays an immense role in the way content and experiences are curated and delivered at scale today. 

The next era of the Media industry is defined by customers’ increased demand for immersive, live, and shareable experiences. Consumers now wish to get more engaged, better connected, and closer with the stories they love – both in the digital and physical worlds. Companies have started empowering these experiences through emerging technologies. Big data and artificial intelligence will create the most dramatic change, redefining how the industry can connect with all stakeholders and drive growth.

Modern enterprises are now deploying AI tools and technologies to ensure effective decision-making and agile responsiveness to market changes. While over-the-top players like Netflix have already adopted a data-first approach, many others are still trying to attain AI success. The road to full-fledged AI adoption is not devoid of challenges. AI can be only as good as the data you have. Every effort must be made to efficiently manage different data types, including audience, operational, and content data.

As workflows and processes continue to become AI-enabled, we analyze the media and entertainment landscape to understand the impact of AI adoption.

Customization to optimization – the role of AI in media & entertainment sector

AI plays an important role in enhancing the user experience across all the six segments of the Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry: Films & TV, social media, journalism, gaming, music, and sports.  

Customer-focused experience with content personalization 

AI powers recommendation engines to predict what content should be promoted and when based on customer viewing data, search history, ratings, and even the device customers use. A classic case in point is Netflix’s landing cards1 helping the streaming website customize what you watch through personalized targeting. Images of lead characters are seen while scrolling to understand popular choices based on the cards people click. 

Machine classification algorithms for improved search optimization

AI also plays a significant role in search optimization thanks to machine classification algorithms that help in improving the categorization of movies. Users can search based on categories instead of individual titles to enable quick searches and smooth navigation. Streaming websites have enhanced streaming quality with AI since it helps them predict future demands and position their assets strategically to help users enjoy high-quality streaming even during peak hours.

Music streaming companies like Spotify and Apple Music rely on machine learning algorithms to segment users and songs to offer personalized recommendations and playlists. Natural Processing (NLP) gives them an edge by providing information about songs and artists from the web. AI has also been helping musicians generate lyrics and compose songs.

Enhanced news reporting with robot journalists

AI has a coveted place in social media and journalism too. While social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are using it to offer personalized products and services, Forbes and Bloomberg have been using robot journalists Bertie and Cyborg respectively to create storylines based on their parameters and data.

The Washington Post, too, gave us a taste of the future of journalism with its Heliograf2 that covered the Olympics. However, the Chinese news aggregation service Toutiao took it to the next level by creating an AI-enabled reporter Xiaomingbot that churned out a whopping 450 articles during the Rio Olympics in just 15 days.  

Gaming and customer-specific advertising

As the supply of mobile games continues to exceed demand, companies are now using AI to estimate customer lifetime value (CLV) to bid efficiently in advertising for users, focusing only on those who would enthusiastically engage with their products. AI is also helping animators bring exciting characters to life for a multitude of virtual reality games and movies.

 Improved entertainment quotient in sports broadcasting

The perennial popularization of sports brings new fans, players, and subscribers into the sports and gaming fold. AI satiates them with entertaining shots and angles during live telecasts and enhances the experience by broadcasting exclusive footage captured by drones.

Laying deeper data foundations for successful adoption of AI in media

AI has forayed into virtually all functions and areas to add value in a highly competitive market. As competitive pressures intensify, it has become more critical than ever to fast-track your AI initiatives and reap their benefits. But as with every other digitalization endeavor, AI adoption too brings along unique challenges.

Here’s what you can do to overcome them and lay deeper data foundations for successful AI adoption. 

Assess AI maturity 

M&E businesses are now shifting from B2B to B2C business models due to the direct-to-consumer delivery and consumption trends and hence are currently operating on massive amounts of data. In order to make complete sense of this data and drive decisions, data silos need to be removed first. A fragmented approach is not going to work and should be replaced with a data-first approach.

Organizations often get caught up in a quandary, wondering if they should modernize the data architecture first for their AI models to rest upon or build a model and modernize only that part of the required data. However, the right approach would be to invest in a sound strategy for your target data architecture that relies on proven models to avoid pitfalls and rework. Data management should be a top concern for organizations to interpret and get actionable insights.

Focus on people and processes 

Data sources will continue to increase, causing greater challenges for data management and project management. So while building your technology stack, it is equally important to invest in people and processes that would be at the helm of things while progressing up the AI maturity curve.

AI leaders believe in including technologists and data scientists in business teams to give them the visibility to understand business challenges. It is essential that business leaders, values, people, and culture are aligned to enable successful automation and AI adoption. Only then would human employees be able to work alongside robots and AI-powered machines to build capabilities and deliver value.

Adopt a continuous improvement approach

AI is not a one-time endeavor but will continue to evolve with time. To achieve enterprise-wide AI, it needs to be perceived as a transformational initiative that must be implemented across all front-end and back-end processes.

A comprehensive picture of ROI based on revenue and costs for different functions and processes can give organizations the clarity to track value and identify areas that need to improve. M&E companies are integrating established AI processes into finance, HR, and other functions to garner cost and operational efficiencies.

The future of entertainment looks AI-centric

AI is undeniably transforming the media and entertainment sector, empowering them to make informed decisions based on critical data analysis. It will navigate disruption and drive growth in all spheres by addressing data gaps and helping M&E companies become more agile. Clearly, AI is impacting everyday entertainment in a big way, and it’s time organizations harnessed its power to fine-tune their forward-thinking strategies and explore new avenues.

Discover the power of AI with Trigent

The technology experts at Trigent have been offering robust AI-enabled solutions to M&E companies based on data from diverse sources and powerful algorithms to enable a superlative user experience while giving them insights into customer behavior. 

We help build excellent AI capabilities and advanced features to deliver content in the most effective manner. We can help you build high-quality datasets to get the best results in diverse settings and drive impact at scale. 

Call us now for a business consultation

References

  1. https://www.wired.co.uk/article/netflix-data-personalisation-watching
  2. https://futurism.com/the-future-of-writing-chinas-ai-reporter-published-450-articles-during-rio-olympics 
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