Clutch Recognizes Trigent Software as Top Software Developer in India

As companies scale up their digital transformation initiatives, achieving the desired outcome is dependent on finding the right talent with skills and experience relevant to their domain. Rapid changes in technology, the emergence of new platforms and tools need high investment in training.

At Trigent Software, we have a customer-first approach. We deliver scalable, secure, agile, flexible, high-quality software that our clients require. Our goal lies in delivering next-gen software applications that streamline business processes and promises superior customer experience. Our team delivers innovative solutions using our decades of experience, deep domain knowledge, and technology expertise.

Headquartered in Southborough, Massachusetts, we work with businesses big and small all over the world. We are proud to have developed more than 400 products so far. No matter the size of the project, we work with care and diligence to make sure it becomes successful.

We are thrilled to announce that Clutch has named Trigent Software as a top software developer in India. We are proud to have been considered a top company by an industry leader like them.

Clutch is a B2B rating and reviews firm based in Washington, DC. Their team of independent analysts conducts interviews with current and former clients of companies listed on their site. These verified reviews form the basis of their rankings and awards. Clutch carefully curates lists of the absolute best agencies and organizations by industry and location, simultaneously enabling companies to establish credibility and buyers to find the right services.

We currently hold a 4.8 out of five ratings as the top software developer on their platform based on 47 client reviews.

We appreciate the reviews given by our clients. Their feedback lets us know that we are doing the right thing in terms of providing our service. It only motivates our team to work harder and help more businesses overcome their limits. Check our profile on Clutch to see what our clients have to say about our services.

Want to learn more about our services? Contact us today, and let’s discuss the ways we could help your business grow.

Discover how predictive analytics is helping insurance companies minimize risk and fraudulent claims

As new technologies forge their way into diverse sectors, it comes as no surprise that the insurance sector is leveraging them for different reasons. Predictive analytics has found an important place in the insurance landscape for its ability to make data-based predictions.

The impact of predictive analytics in insurance sector

While predictive analytics helps the insurance industry gain great insights into customer activity and behavior, it also plays a massive role in preventing fraudulent claims and minimizing risks.

As per the Insurance Fraud Bureau, there has been one insurance scam every minute during the U.K.’s pandemic. Things are equally bad in the United States, where insurance fraud doubled to $100 billion last year.

The insurance industry is now moving quickly to mine data and track new rackets quickly. Explains Zurich’s head of claims fraud Scott Clayton, “By deploying the proper analytical tools, you can extract and interrogate the data, and use algorithms to highlight these links. By joining all the dots, you can soon identify persistent and prolific offenders.”

The pandemic’s unprecedented nature has set the tone for intelligent business practices that can shield them from fraud and help them strike back. Thankfully, predictive analytics, in tandem with big data, have answers to most of the problems insurers face.

How predictive analytics in insurance is minimizing fraud and risks

Understanding predictive analytics

To determine its role, we need first to understand that predictive analytics is an analytical tool that studies historical data to predict upcoming events and ensure business practices’ effectiveness. It gives organizations a competitive advantage and helps them stay abreast of changing trends. It looks into the data collected from different communication channels to analyze client interactions, agent feedback, customer behavior, etc., to build a more intelligent, data-driven ecosystem for all.

It’s no secret that insight-driven insurers are always better positioned to strengthen their capabilities in all five areas, namely, people, process, data, technology, and strategy. Predictive analytics helps them excel on all these fronts. 67% of those who recently participated in a Willis Towers Watson survey reported a reduction in expenses and a 60% increase in sales due to predictive analytics. Most importantly, it helps prevent insurance fraud.

The role of predictive analytics from a fraud prevention perspective

Insurance fraud has a significant bearing on the entire business, specifically on underwriting, and also causes a negative social impact. While undetected frauds drain finances and lead to many more scams in the future, those detected damage market reputation, and trust. Not to mention the legal issues that arise from them and the subsequent impact on future policies, procedures, and guidelines.

Predictive analytics helps insurers in the following areas to prevent fraud:

  • Pricing and risk mitigation – Offer insights that facilitate decision-making and estimate the level of risk that the insurance company has to assume while calculating the premium. For instance, those who go to the gym regularly may be eligible for a discount on health insurance.
  • Trends tracking – Helps insurers create new products, design new customer experiences, and deploy new technologies by keeping an eye on what’s trending in the world of insurance. This also gives insurance companies a competitive edge.
  • Fraud prevention – Helps insurers prevent fraud at different levels of the insurance cycle, including application, premiums, claims, etc. It offers a sneak-peek into public records such as criminal records, medical history, and bankruptcy declarations to review data for detecting inconsistencies and preventing frauds.

Dealing with insurance fraud

What’s frustrating is the fact that insurance frauds today are highly organized and occur digitally. Insurance companies have realized that the only way to fight and prevent insurance fraud is through data mining, analytics, and algorithms based on patterns in fraudster behavior.

Digital algorithms that have been hugely helping in timely scam detection are based on data pertaining to:

  • Referral history – Experts have created algorithmic models to estimate the probability of a claim going beyond a threshold level referred to Special Investigation Units or SIUs. This model typically uses the historical claims data referred to as the SIU to determine the probability value. Investigation scores are then calculated using investigation scoring automation techniques to distinguish between good risk and bad risk claims.
  • Historically rejected claims records – Based on the belief that claims that have been historically rejected stand a greater chance of being denied for doubtful potential frauds, digital algorithms automatically scan through the claims using several parameters. Claim Risk Indicators such as a customer’s SSN, address, contact number, etc., are carefully scrutinized using clustering-based data mining techniques. Claims are then categorized as ‘clusters with high claim frequency’, specifying the level of risk.
  • Individuals/groups – Digital algorithms, in this case, are based on data about individuals or groups that make fraudulent claims repeatedly. Flags are triggered every time fraudulent entities are detected, and these flags help identify fraudulent patterns.
  • Social media profiles – Algorithms, in this case, take into account social media profiles and interaction patterns of individuals along with other details such as lifestyle, attitude, etc. It takes into account mismatches between actual profiles of individuals on social media versus their claims. For instance, if an individual has forwarded an accident claim but their social media shows them partying with friends, there is certainly a mismatch that needs to be investigated. Algorithms based on social media posts are also useful in demarcating networks or groups of fraudsters.

Hurdles on the way to insure the future

Fraud detection is no longer static, limited to place or time. Every time a new detail is added, insurers now run predictive analytics at multiple touchpoints to enhance their fraud detection capabilities. Their efforts are now proactive instead of reactive and a great deal of effort is being put into fruitful collaborations with brokers and third-party vendors to build clear channels of communication and information exchange. But the quality of data still remains a big challenge.

Going forward, the focus should be on reducing data volumes and increasing data quality while ensuring that it is readily available as needed. The funnel needs to be narrowed in a way that competent individuals carefully review the results from machine analytics.

There are legislative barriers, too, concerning data sharing and individual privacy that sometimes stand in the way of data collection. Predictive analytics, however, is helping insurers make the best of what they have by sifting through information pools to help them produce intelligent products for the future.

Empower your insurance business with Trigent

Embark on a whole new journey with Trigent with predictive analytics at the helm. We can help you redefine your strategies to enhance risk management and ensure your future. Our disruptive suite of tools and solutions can transform your insurance business into a data-driven, efficient, and secure ecosystem.

Book a business consultation to know how we can help you keep insurance fraud at bay. Call us today.

The Best Test Data Management Practices in an Increasingly Digital World

A quick scan of the application landscape shows that customers are more empowered, digitally savvy, and eager to have superior experiences faster. To achieve and maintain leadership in this landscape, organizations need to update applications constantly and at speed. This is why dependency on agile, DevOps, and CI/CD technologies has increased tremendously, further translating to an exponential increase in the adoption of test data management initiatives. CI/CD pipelines benefit from the fact that any new code that is developed is automatically integrated into the main application and tested continuously. Automated tests are critical to success, and agility is lost when test data delivery does not match code development and integration velocity.

Why Test Data Management?

Industry data shows that up to 60% of development and testing time is consumed by data-related activities, with a significant portion dedicated to testing data management. This amply validates that the global test data management market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.5% over the forecast period 2020-2025, according to the ResearchandMarkets TDM report.

Best Practices for Test Data Management

Any organization focusing on making its test data management discipline stronger and capable of supporting the new age digital delivery landscape needs to focus on the following three cornerstones.

Applicability:
The principle of shift left mandates that each phase in an SDLC has a tight feedback loop that ensures defects don’t move down the development/deployment pipeline, making it less costly for errors to be detected and rectified. Its success hinges to a large extent on close mapping of test data to the production environment. Replicating or cloning production data is manually intensive, and as the World Quality Report 2020-21 shows, 79% of respondents create test data manually with each run. Scripts and automation tools can take up most heavy lifting and bring this down to a large extent when done well. With production quality data being very close to reality, defect leakage is reduced vastly, ultimately translating to a significant reduction in defect triage cost at later stages of development/deployment.

However, using production-quality data at all times may not be possible, especially in the case of applications that are only a prototype or built from scratch. Additionally, using a complete copy of the production database is time and effort-intensive – instead, it is worthwhile to identify relevant subsets for testing. A strategy that brings together the right mix of product quality data and synthetic data closely aligned to production data models is the best bet. While production data maps to narrower testing outcomes in realistic environments, synthetic data is much broader and enables you to simulate environments beyond the ambit of production data. Usage of test data automation platforms that allocates apt dataset combinations for tests can bring further stability to testing.

Tight coupling with production data is also complicated by a host of data privacy laws like GDPR, CCPA, CPPA, etc., that mandate protecting customer-sensitive information. Anonymizing data or obfuscating data to remove sensitive information is an approach that is followed to circumvent this issue. Usually, non-production environments are less secure, and data masking for protecting PII information becomes paramount.

Accuracy:
Accuracy is critical in today’s digital transformation-led SDLC, where app updates are being launched to market faster and need to be as error-free as possible, a nearly impossible feat without accurate test data. The technology landscape is also more complex and integrated like never before, percolating the complexity of data model relationships and the environments in which they are used. The need is to maintain a single source of data truth. Many organizations adopt the path of creating a gold master for data and then make data subsets based on the need of the application. Adopting tools that validate and update data automatically during each test run further ensures the accuracy of the master data.

Accuracy also entails ensuring the relevance of data in the context of the application being tested. Decade-old data formats might be applicable in the context of an insurance application that needs historic policy data formats. However, demographic data or data related to customer purchasing behavior applicable in a retail application context is highly dynamic. The centralized data governance structure addresses this issue, at times sunsetting the data that has served its purpose, preventing any unintended usage. This also reduces maintenance costs for archiving large amounts of test data.

Also important is a proper data governance mechanism that provides the right provisioning capability and ownership driven at a central level, thereby helping teams use a single data truth for testing. Adopting similar provisioning techniques can further remove any cross-team constraints and ensure accurate data is available on demand.

Availability:
The rapid adoption of digital platforms and application movement into cloud environments have been driving exponential growth in user-generated data and cloud data traffic. The pandemic has accelerated this trend by moving the majority of application usage online. ResearchandMarkets report states that for every terabyte of data growth in production, ten terabytes are used for development, testing, and other non-production use cases, thereby driving up costs. Given this magnitude of test data usage, it is essential to align data availability with the release schedules of the application so that testers don’t need to spend a lot of time tweaking data for every code release.

The other most crucial thing in ensuring data availability is to manage version control of the data, helping to overcome the confusion caused by conflicting and multiple versioned local databases/datasets. The centrally managed test data team will help ensure single data truth and provide subsets of data as applicable to various subsystems or based on the need of the application under test. The central data repository also needs to be an ever-changing, learning one since the APIs and interfaces of the application keeps evolving, driving the need for updating test data consistently. After every test, the quality of data can be evaluated and updated in the central repository making it more accurate. This further drives reusability of data across a plethora of similar test scenarios.

The importance of choosing the right test data management tools

In DevOps and CI/CD environments, accurate test data at high velocity is an additional critical dimension in ensuring continuous integration and deployment. Choosing the right test data management framework and tool suite helps automate various stages in making data test ready through data generation, masking, scripting, provisioning, and cloning. World quality report 2020-21 indicates that the adoption of cloud and tool stacks for TDM has witnessed an increase, but there is a need for more maturity to make effective use.

In summary, for test data management, like many other disciplines, there is no one size fits all approach. An optimum mix of production mapped data, and synthetic data, created and housed in a repository managed at a central level is an excellent way to go. However, this approach, primarily while focusing on synthetic data generation, comes with its own set of challenges, including the need to have strong domain and database expertise. Organizations have also been taking TDM to the next level by deploying AI and ML techniques, which scan through data sets at the central repository and suggest the most practical applications for a particular application under test.

Need help? Partner with experts from Trigent to get a customized test data management solution and be a leader in the new-age digital delivery landscape.

Power Immersive, Engaging, Impactful Learning Experiences with AR/VR

The education sector, like many others, has been hugely impacted owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not that it wasn’t familiar to disruption. Homeschooling, online degree programs, virtual classrooms have all been progressive steps in the direction of transformative technological innovation. But with Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) coming into the picture, things have changed radically for the education sector.

We are now talking about some really innovative stuff – the kind that makes learning engaging and interactive, that takes students beyond the realms of their classrooms to explore new dimensions in learning and comprehension.

We are treading into an era of experiential learning driven by AR/VR.

The research by MarketsandMarkets suggests that the global EdTech and smart classroom market is growing at a CAGR of 16.1% from USD 85,818 million in 2020 to USD 181,265 million by 2025. It’s not surprising then to find technology dominates every sphere of learning and education.

Propelling-immersive-learning-with-AR-VR

Morehouse College, the alma mater of Martin Luther King Jr., is now conducting three classes in VR powered by the Engage-based Victory XR platform. Having created more than 240 VR & AR experiences covering more than fifty different learning units for diverse subjects, the college has created a digitized campus where everyone can connect and collaborate.

Opines Dushunte Carmon, the project’s chief advocate within Morehouse College, “With the increasing amount of technology that is occurring in education, people have to learn and teach in a different way, they have to be innovative. The discovery of Victory XR was the dimension I had been looking to add to Morehouse College for the last two years. This is a game-changer not only for Morehouse College but for colleges and universities around the world.”

The New Normal has compelled colleges and universities to reach out to students albeit remotely. AR and VR have come to their rescue opening new avenues for a more engaging distance learning experience. In tandem with Artificial Intelligence (AI), they promise a hyper-immersive learning experience that puts experiential learning at the fore of things. Modern students are now relying on a digital ecosystem that will continue to thrive with time. As transformative teaching technologies continue to power learning experiences across the globe, here’s how the contemporary education landscape looks like.

Learning without borders

Following a partnership between Almo Professional A/V and ARHT Media Inc., a Toronto-based holographic solutions developer, we now have pioneering technology that enables high-quality, low-latency AV streaming with end-to-end encryption. Imagine what this could do in the field of education. Viewers can now attend lectures remotely without wearing 3D glasses to see lecturers right in front of them as live holograms.

Ideal for conference halls, corporate boardrooms, and large training centers, this plug-and-play cabinet on wheels dubbed as the HoloPod is helping universities transcend borders. So guest lecturers from anywhere in the world can now pop up right in front of you and deliver a truly interactive, engaging experience.

A lot more than a laptop

San Jose-based zSpace is breaking barriers between users and computers through their innovative laptops that offer a multidimensional AR/VR environment. With 3-D technology at its helm, it offers immersive experiences with 3D content popping out of the screen. It functions as an all-in-one PC and allows users to enjoy learning experiences from wherever they are with the help of head tracking and lightweight glasses.

Every time students tilt their heads to view something, the software is quick to take notes and tweak the perspective accordingly. What students get is real-time exposure to scenarios that they would have never had a chance to experience otherwise. For instance, those learning automotive technology gravitated to learning beyond regular lessons diving further into motors, transmissions, and other related stuff.

Closing the gap in distance learning

Students often lose their interest and focus during distance learning due to a lack of interaction. The beauty of VR is that it allows just about everybody to enjoy learning in simulated settings, no matter how complex their subject is. The University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) enables its students to use VR to simulate real-life surgery while the students at Averett University in Danville, Virginia are ‘virtually’ exploring the inner workings of the human body going all the way to the cellular level. This kind of distance learning also eliminates errors allowing students to focus on the finer details of the human anatomy. AR, on the other hand, enhances every possible subject from STEM to humanities.

Colleges are now also offering campus tours virtually giving students the feel of physically being there without actually having to travel. Without the distance, students feel less inhibited and are enthusiastically taking up language and culture classes while eavesdropping on conversations in a foreign café emulating native speakers.

Improving learning outcomes with AI

As machine learning tools and techniques enter the scene, educational applications are gearing up for new breakthroughs. Researchers are now using advanced image recognition to detect aggressive forms of cancer while others are using AI teaching assistants and voice-enabled assistants like Alexa to help students with answers to frequently asked questions.

AI has also been helping organizations worldwide produce smart, personalized content. It has opened up new avenues to students with learning disabilities and special needs. By creating a more inclusive environment, AR, VR, and AI have changed the dynamics for learning and education.

Can we make AR/VR mainstream?

AR/VR undoubtedly has a lot to offer to the field of education. It is however important to have the right infrastructure. Adequate wireless network capacity, computers with the necessary computing power, and devices that enable immersive technologies are some of the prerequisites to getting started on an AR and VR-enabled learning journey. Hi-quality sensors, cameras, smartphones, headsets, glasses, etc. are needed to experience and enjoy learning in the true sense.

Clearly, there are several challenges on the road to AR/VR-driven learning. Educational technologies come with a price and at times it can be a bit overwhelming to get the best in EdTech. Late adopters may have to grapple with fundraising and may have to look for investors. There has to be enough quality content too that can be rolled out through the right distribution channels. Also, it will take a while for educators, administrators, and students to get used to diverse formats and platforms.

Institutions are contemplating crowdsourcing VR experiments and experiences in a bid to increase adoption and allow access through libraries, technology hubs, etc. No doubt, transformative technologies like AR/VR are going to be a tad expensive, to begin with, but the benefits are far too many to ignore and universities across the world will adopt them sooner than later.

Teach with Trigent

AR/VR can resolve the challenges in learning born in the wake of the New Normal. At Trigent, we help educational institutes and decision-makers tide over challenges in adopting transformative teaching technologies with the right tools, solutions, and data-driven processes. We can help you improve efficiencies to build the perfect ecosystem to make learning collaborative, impactful, and seamless across geographies.

Call us today to know more. We are eager to partner with you on this incredible journey.

6 Tech Trends that will reshape Media & Entertainment in 2021

Content streaming is at an all-time high amidst the lockdown. By 2024, Over-the-top (OTT) media revenue is predicted to touch $158.84B that’s more than double the $67.8B revenue that was generated in 2018. The number of OTT service users in the United States is expected to reach 198 million by 2021. Netflix, Google LLC, LINE Corporation, Facebook, Amazon Web Services, Apple Inc. Kakapo Corp, Hulu, LLC are among the top players.

Let’s take a look at the demand and supply impact given the evolving industry landscape. The demand side takes into account the behavioral patterns of the audience while the supply side adopts tech innovations to differentiate their service and content portfolio

Here’s our take on 6 technology trends that will influence the media and entertainment world this year.

  1. Ad-supported access to standard content portfolio

In a bid to keep subscription fees competitive, platforms and publishers will bring back ad-supported content. Ad-supported models will work well provided platforms collate sufficient data for targeted advertising. M&E companies are now putting in a lot of effort to sieve through every tiny bit of information to keep annoying ads at bay. Going forward, the focus will be more on making an interesting mix of videos, music, games, podcasts, etc. available through subscription and free ad-supported services.

Explains Nick Morley, EMEA Managing Director, IAS, “With major changes to consumer habits last year, viewer patterns have rapidly evolved. The UK Streaming Wars report shows that viewers are now increasingly open to ad-supported video options, so the onus is on the digital advertising industry to help marketers meet consumer needs with an enjoyable experience.” As per the UK Streaming Wars report, over 50% of consumers will watch relevant ads in full while one in five will even search once they see an ad.

  1. eSports broadcasting for interactive experiences

The global eSports market revenue is expected to touch $1.6B in 2023 with eSports being touted as the future of sports. Currently, Asia and North America are the largest eSports markets and with greater adoption of AR/VR, this segment too will see fresh developments. Legalized sports betting will also see a surge with 5G technology, and several sports stadiums and similar arenas in the U.S. already have 5G towers to facilitate legalized betting.

With broadcasters streaming feeds from strategically placed cameras at vantage points, viewers can pick the best views for a more engaging experience. Apart from the best viewing angles, eSports also offers them an opportunity to cheer and interact with their favorite sports persons in real-time, and a platform to discuss strategies and improve the learning curve.

Gaming companies are doing exceedingly well too and Activision Blizzard made a profit of $505M in the first quarter of 2020 with their games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft delivering better than expected results.

  1. Augmented and Virtual Reality will create new avenues

Augmented and Virtual Reality or AR/VR are unlocking new technology avenues for the media and entertainment world. Earlier, they were not leveraged to their full potential despite the hype. Adoption was less and the price of AR/VR devices was pretty high. But things are changing now with greater adoption, pocket-friendly devices, and AR content that’s supported by smartphones.

This presents an opportunity to the media industry that will also leverage it to deliver a quality experience to gamers, make way into cinemas and theaters with immersive content, and create wearables for visits to museums, art galleries, etc.

  1. Artificial Intelligence for enhanced customer engagement

Most viewers, including millennials and Gen-Z, are happy to pay for content that’s tailored to their tastes. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms go a long way in analyzing consumer behavior providing them with just what they want to see. Innovations like eye tracking, emotion detection and engagement analysers provide new sources of continuous feedback.

The power of AI is essential to absorb and process this data in no time to help platforms make highly personalized recommendations. The same principle works for music streaming apps too that know exactly which tracks to pitch so that they make it to your list of favorites. AI can be a boon in the pre and post-production processes too and the absence of human intervention ensures that the cost of content creation is greatly reduced.

  1. Blockchain to protect IP rights while leveraging viral distribution channels

Blockchain will disrupt the way content is created, aggregated, distributed, consumed, and protected. Blockchain-powered micropayments will facilitate pay-per-use consumption targeting consumers who are unwilling to pay for an entire subscription but will pay a smaller fee to binge-watch just a season of a particular show. It allows independent artists to directly distribute their work among consumers via social media channels bypassing middlemen and distribution modes.

Blockchain will ensure proper execution of copyright terms through accurate tracking of a song’s usage and facilitate quicker royalty payments and division of revenue among artists and stakeholders. It will control and monetize file sharing, as every time consumers purchase or subscribe to blockchain-hosted content, content owners will be able to track file sharing and charge a fee for that distribution.Italy’s copyright body SIAE has also developed a copyright management platform using blockchain to provide artists and musicians complete transparency about their works and keep track of the royalties they are entitled for.

  1. Print media will embrace a digital future

COVID is driving the publishing industry to adopt a digital-first or digital-only model. Magazine publishing has suffered and popular magazines such as the Cosmopolitan SA closed their chapters recently. The New Normal also urged others to take a fresh perspective on creativity. Vogue Italia for instance donned a plain white cover sans celebs and models for their April 2020 issue.

There will be a symbiotic integration between print and online with more emphasis on customized content. As Ryan T. Sauers, President, Sauers Consulting explains, “Customers will receive more relevant information, and companies won’t waste money trying to cast larger nets. The traditional, mainstream blast-out-a-million-copies of something—I see that just dying a slow death.”

As per PwC, eBooks will see a greater demand and grow at a CAGR of 11.7% while the physical book publisher’s industry will decline at a CAGR of -2.8%.

Summing up

The New Normal brings along both opportunities and challenges. Due care however must be taken to safeguard the privacy of customers at all times. With rising subscriptions, comes the responsibility of ensuring data privacy too. While 64% of consumers are willing to share personal information and 83% are somewhat comfortable with using or storing biometric data with apps and services, 79% are pretty concerned about their data privacy as per a survey by Entrust.

It is crucial that M&E companies protect their data with strong encryption, high-assurance, and cloud-based authentication while also ensuring that consumers are educated about best practices surrounding data security. Transparent data collection applications and initiatives such as a promise to forget the data once services or subscriptions are discontinued can go a long way in gaining consumer trust.

Tune in with Trigent

The media and entertainment industry is in for some unprecedented changes. We can partner with you on this transformative journey thanks to our long and successful association with the world of M&E. Book a consultation and we will tell you how our technology solutions can serve as the perfect bedrock to help you thrive in 2021 and beyond. Call us today.

3 ways to beat the competition and stay ahead in the Media and Entertainment industry

The media and entertainment sector saw quite a few changes with respect to content development, aggregation, and delivery as major players in the business adopted new strategies and agile approaches to leverage the changing consumer demands. Everything evolved in the M&E industry; mainstream movies battled with the growing popularity of digital OTT content while music records and CDs were replaced by music streaming apps and Apple iTunes. Then there was the pandemic which despite posing several challenges also offered an impetus to the M&E industry.

As Deloitte’s global TMT industry leader Ariane Bucaille explains, “There have been five years of change in five months due to the pandemic. Covid-19 has been a catalyst – an unwelcome one, but still a catalyst – for needed changes across the TMT landscape.”

The fast-evolving OTT landscape

The global OTT market size that stood at $171B in 2020 is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 29.4% to touch $1,039B by 2027. Ad-supported VoD platforms are doing increasingly well amidst the pandemic with ad revenue of the five major ad-supported streaming platforms namely Hulu, Peacock, Roku, Pluto TV, and Tubi touching 31% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2020.

47% of households have increased their use of content streaming services, 60% of respondents have signed up for free trials of subscription video on demand (SVOD) services due to the pandemic and a good 15% are ready to become paying members once the free trial concludes. From 35% in Q1 2019, the churn rate among OTT services in the United States has gone up to 41% in Q1 2020. The United States, which is also one of the largest OTT markets in the world, tops the national average at 8.55 hours of viewing time spent on OTT video content as compared to the global average of 6.8 hours per week.

As the market continues to see growth in the number of M&E studios and OTT service providers, it is becoming increasingly difficult to win this race. It is certainly challenging to create your own niche in this overly crowded market, though there’s a lot you can do to stay ahead and rise above the noise.

We believe M&E companies can get a competitive advantage if they meet the new demands of consumers by concentrating their efforts on 3 fronts – Experience, Technology, and Marketing.

Here are our top recommendations for you to consider to underpin the M&E domain like a pro:

  1. Tailor-made viewing experience to retain customers

Consumers are in demand as they continue to grab free trials, seek original content, and balance costs between paid, premium, and ad-supported services. They are quick to choose, sign up and cancel as well, as research indicates that 62% signed up to watch a particular show and cut the service once they were done while 43% canceled the same day once they realized they did not want it anymore.

This gives little or no time for providers to level up and respond. Besides, viewers are jumping from one platform to another as more immersive platforms see the light of the day. From live to connected TV, desktops to mobile, and new immersive platforms driven by Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) – the transition is for all to see. Advertising models are being revised too in order to factor in this paradigm shift making way for native, vertical, 360-degree, and programmatic ads. Ad-supported video streaming services (AVOD) are also being well-received.

M&E companies must study and monitor consumer behavior closely to understand whether certain behaviors are temporary or are pointing towards a permanent shift in preference. For instance, ‘watch party’ became quite a trend wherein groups of people watched movies and other video content together using popular social media platforms, but whether the trend will continue even after the pandemic is something that needs to be seen.

  1. Technologies to spur growth

The media and entertainment ecosystem can benefit a great deal if companies rest their strategies on technology foundations to navigate their infrastructures to next-generation architectures. The ones that play pivotal roles include:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – AI is the key to personalization as consumers continue to look for personalized content recommendations from service providers. Recommendations apply to both contents as well as ads that users may be inclined to watch. AI in tandem with machine learning will also offer insights into the payment preferences of consumers. In fact, 66% of respondents had in fact opined in favor of having an AI-powered digital assistant too.

Augmented /Virtual Reality (AR/VR) – We’re now seeing increasing adoption of digital technologies like AR/VR as the wave of innovation sweeps over M&E. With continuous advances in AR/VR, both will play an important role in offering rich, deeply engaging, multisensory experience. While cloud, edge computing, and 5G will move VR forward, AI technology will continue to push AR into the realm of mainstream. AR market value is predicted to go up to USD 200 billion by 2025 from just USD 5.9 billion in 2018.

Digital transformation – As technology continues to prove its worth, M&E companies are now making more investments in the development of intelligent enterprises. Higher efficiencies and lower operational costs while staying aligned to business objectives have become their forever goals. The focus is now on digital transformation. As Jennifer Cooper, Global Head of Media and Communications Industry Strategy & Solutions, Microsoft points out, “The disruption created by COVID-19 has agitated the industry into accelerating innovation and digital transformation in areas that were previously only in planning stages of cloud migration. The stage is set for an industry-wide metamorphosis.”

Stringent data privacy measures – As instances of a data breach and misuse of consumer data continue to plague the minds of viewers, M&E companies should invest in disruptive technologies such as AI and Blockchain to protect their identity and also detect and block deepfakes. When leveraged correctly, blockchain offers transparency, immutability, and decentralization to help distinguish between a real and a fake video and verify the legitimacy of content.

  1. Marketing mantras to strike a chord with customers

The way you promote your content can make a world of difference to your M&E business. Here’s what you can do:

Grab their attention – There’s a lot to see when it comes to digital content but consumers will almost always remember how they feel when they engage with the content. For instance, ‘live’ content never disappoints viewers because it gives them the feeling of witnessing everything first hand. Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries for instance asks viewers to share their opinions & findings on episodes aired making the whole experience more engaging and personal.

Go multi-platform – Often overlooked, yet very important for your entertainment app success is to ensure that you meet your customers on different platforms. For instance, non-subscribers will not have access to trailers of upcoming shows and seasons unless you promote them through targeted advertisements and postings on different social media platforms.

Advocate ethical practices – It is important that topical issues are handled with sensitivity. It is becoming increasingly common to participate in societal revolutions one believes in. Make sure that you have content fact-checking policies in place to ensure that you adhere to ethics and transparency and imbibe them well in your brand culture.
Leverage the power of personalization – You can maintain a good rapport with your followers by engaging with them through social media advertisements, push notification strategies, and emailers announcing a new season launch, etc. Without being intrusive, you can connect with them and stay on top of their mind through these simple but effective gestures.

Sharpen your competitive edge with Trigent

It’s easy to reimagine your M&E business growth with a specialist by your side. We can help you chart your digital journey successfully with robust apps designed to succeed while delivering value and experience to consumers consistently. Together, we can study consumer behavior to come up with a more nuanced approach to empower you to lead in this overly crowded market. Our agile technologies at the helm of strategies are just what you need to stay ahead.

Book a consultation today. We’re just a click away.