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MediAvataar's News Desk

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The business of television is rapidly advancing.

Instagram’s recent announcement of serving up long-form vertical video to its 1 Billion+ monthly active users drove Facebook stock up 2.3% in regular trading.

“From both a consumption and a content-creation perspective, IGTV is going directly up against YouTube, which just announced it has more than 1.9 billion monthly logged-in users and is already well established as a place for creators to distribute long form video”, write WIRED’s Louise Matsakis and Lauren Goode.

YouTube Premium, in turn, has found recent success in the form of Cobra Kai.

With numerous new SVOD services on the horizon from Discovery, Viacom, DC, FOX and Disney, the question of “should current measurement advance” is becoming one of “how quickly can current measurement advance”.

The required measurement solution must give anyone in the business of global entertainment the means to gauge the popularity of content in all markets, across all platforms.

Before we dive into how Parrot Analytics has solved this problem, let us first take a step back and look at how SVOD-first digital originals have traditionally fared with audiences worldwide.

First, we will examine two “typical” digital originals: Netflix’s Marvel’s Iron Fist and Marvel’s Luke Cage. Next, we will contrast these with examples of atypical digital originals: Netflix 13 Reasons Why and Stranger Things, and CBS All Access’ Star Trek Discovery.

OTT content adoption curves for typical digital original series

While the launch uptake behavior by a title’s core audience segment is similar across markets, the adoption rate across markets differs. For example, as the chart below shows, the U.S did not enter the top 10 markets for Iron First until long after its release.

Most full-season digital original series feature a similar adoption pattern. Parrot Analytics refers to this as the “digital original demand binge curve”: Audience demand is highest at full season drop and a “second weekend binge spike” is also often observed. Demand then declines rapidly from this point onward.

By 30 days post-release, most of the launch demand for digital original series has dissipated in each of its top markets. Note: This is consequential for a subscriber churn-efficient content strategy.

OTT content adoption curves for atypical digital original series

Stranger Things was the first breakout “smash hit” digital original series for any digital platform globally. The show broke the mold for the format and featured the slowest demand dissipation curve of any other digital original series, including longer-running, multi-season shows. We have also observed that season two of the series has followed this same atypical pattern.

In the chart below, note the 4-month time horizon for season two, compared to the previous 30-day curve for Marvel’s Iron Fist, which is typical with practically every other digital original series. In Stranger Things, Netflix has created a digital original quite unlike any another – except perhaps 13 Reasons Why.

There are many content success factors contributing to the success of titles like Stranger Things and its implications on the content strategy for companies like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Facebook, Apple and YouTube.

These factors are being studied in-depth with our Content Genome™ initiative – a foundation that drives content production, windowing, distribution and marketing decisions.

For contrast, let us now compare an equally popular though different release pattern for a digital original series. Star Trek: Discovery first premiered on hybrid linear / SVOD and then exclusively on CBS All Access in the US, cable in Canada and Netflix globally. Here we observe that this title features the typical episodic spike patterns shown by traditional linear and cable shows (which makes this an atypical SVOD release).

Consequently, Star Trek: Discovery has maintained its global velocity well into the first quarter of 2018.

We have established that the business of television is rapidly advancing and even in the relatively “new” world of SVOD there are already several accepted post-launch demand patterns.

Let us now examine how Parrot Analytics has standardized international title health analysis across broadcast, pay TV and OTT platforms. To make this possible, we rely on global TV demand data.

Let’s dive in!

A standardized method for global title health analysis across all platforms

When we discuss some of the most critical business challenges facing the owners of show rights, we often hear the following two questions:

“How can I get a thorough understanding of a title’s international demand?”, and “What additional context is available on a title’s global performance?”

These types of questions have traditionally been very hard to answer without access to global TV demand data. Additionally, viewership data can only be obtained once a title has already been sold in a market.

To answer these questions, along with categorically establishing a title’s international popularity by leveraging globally standardized TV demand data, Parrot Analytics has introduced the Title Health Analysis report.

Uncovering the demand for a TV series globally using a Parrot Analytics Title Health Analysis report can unlock specific insights to drive, for example, a title’s international sales strategy.

Contextualizing the performance of a title using globally standardized rankings

Ranking a TV show in the context of global demand yields insights as to the strength of the title’s worldwide performance. To illustrate this, we will take the example of US comedy The Good Place.

Airing on NBC in the US and available on Netflix in most other markets, The Good Place was very well received worldwide. Over the release period of the most recent season (September 2017 to March 2018), The Good Place is the 173rd most in-demand title in the world.

Refining this further to position the show with respect to comparable titles, we see that over the same timeframe The Good Place is also the world’s 12th most in-demand sitcom.

This obviously makes The Good Place a very strong global title. To demonstrate this strong performance further, we can contextualize the most in-demand comedies worldwide with a distribution curve.

This type of graph plots the rank of the top 500 comedy titles against their average global demand per capita. The average global demand of these 500 titles is marked with “1x average demand”, whilst 5 times the global average is marked with “5x average demand”.

This chart illustrates just how difficult it is for shows to stand out in their genre. Only a small fraction of the top comedy titles even exceed the average: With 4 times more global demand than the average show, The Good Place is one of these titles.

Global data aggregation reveals the major TV events that drive worldwide demand

Show-related events such as trailer launches, cast interviews and, most importantly, new episode releases can affect the demand for a title, even in markets where no promotional events or campaigns are running. This also holds true for markets that do not have official (commercially licensed) access as yet.

Significant increases in global demand can therefore be used to easily identify events that raised demand the most. To demonstrate this, the daily global demand for the most recent season of The Good Place and for comparative purposes, fellow NBC sitcom Superstore which also premiered a new season in September 2018, is shown.

By leveraging globally standardized TV demand data, we can establish that there is a clear audience response for The Good Place, and we can quantify this on a daily average basis: Global daily demand increases for the season 2 premiere on September 20, with each subsequent episode also visible as “daily global demand spikes”. Worldwide demand for The Good Place then remains at a high baseline during the show’s midseason break over the winter holidays.

The fact that the show was available internationally on Netflix within 24 hours of the US broadcast kept global enthusiasm for each episode concentrated, as audiences did not have to wait for the official releases in their respective country.

The same type of patterns is visible for season 3 of Superstore, although this title overall has lower global demand compared to The Good Place.

Global demand breakdown shows how fans are interacting with a title, and each other
Demand breakdown reveals which methods fans are preferentially using to express their demand for a title. For this article, we have aggregated these methods into three categories: Video consumption, research and social media. By knowing how fans are engaging with content, global strategies can be adjusted, for example if the share from social media is low then the show may benefit from an increased official social media presence to encourage fans to share and discuss the series online.

To showcase this type of analysis, the chart below reveals the global demand breakdown for the Netflix reality show Queer Eye, from the period the show was relaunched on the service in early February 2018. The major markets that had the highest share for each type of demand driver have also been provided.

Video consumption including piracy is highest in Russia: We can speculate that viewers in notoriously homophobic Russia are unwilling to discuss or research the show online. Queer Eye’s research share of demand is highest in Sweden and neighboring Norwegian audiences are predominately expressing their demand on social media.

The dissimilarities in the Norwegian and Swedish global demand contribution shares illustrates that even between markets that may be (wrongly) assumed to be similar by outsiders, there can be significant differences in how audiences engage with content.

Travelability: How popular is a title relative to its home market?

To identify the markets where a title is currently performing strongest, a travelability analysis is performed: This analysis calculates the Demand Expressions per 100 capita of the title in every market and normalizes these to the demand in the show’s home market.

As an example for this type of analysis, we will again use Netflix’s Queer Eye and examine its demand since the reboot’s February 2018 release.

As Queer Eye’s home market of the U.S. is taken as the normalization point, it naturally has 100% travelability. The next highest travelability market is Australia, which has 67% of the U.S. home market demand; this confirms that the U.S. is the best market for this show.

We believe that this is an unsurprising result for two reasons: Firstly, most titles typically perform best in their home market and secondly, in this instance it can be argued that Queer Eye is a US-set reality show with a point of view that is strongly rooted in American culture.

The Australian popularity is also an expected result as the sole special episode of Queer Eye so far takes place in that country. This indicates that one method Netflix could use to improve Queer Eye’s popularity in other markets, quite simply, is to set more episodes in other countries: The best candidates for additional specials are the other English-speaking markets in the top 5 markets for the show, these are New Zealand, the UK and Canada.

Most of the remainder of the top ten are Asian countries, with the Philippines displaying the highest demand of these.

The relatively high demand for Queer Eye in both Australia and New Zealand means that Oceania is the region where the show performs best, with North America second. As would be expected from the top countries for travelability, Asia is the next highest region.

At the other end of the scale, the Middle East region has very low demand for this series with only 1.5% of U.S. demand.

A title health analysis reveals market-specific insights for 100+ countries

To inform content owners about a show’s performance in the markets that are most important to them, the Title Health Analysis report can be customized to go into detail about how all of the above metrics change in 100+ global markets.

This allows for the identification of similarities and differences of how audiences are interacting with a title across territories of interest.

Let us now look at two specific examples of the types of data and insights that can be gleamed from a country-level analysis.

For the first, we will return to The Good Place as our example title, comparing the global rankings with its rankings in two specific markets:

This shows that while the U.S. rankings are over-performing compared to the global average (+108 positions above the global rank), The Good Place ranks lower than the global average rank in Germany (-135).

The lower-than-average German performance may be due to strong local competition, an unappealing translation, a lack of awareness about the show in the market or any number of potential issues. Knowing that this is a weaker market allows the cause to be investigated and hopefully addressed.

Moving to the other example title, we can contrast the demand breakdown for France and Australia for Queer Eye:

We observe that both countries have a higher demand contribution from social media than the global demand breakdown (as discussed earlier in this article). The difference exists in that French audiences are more prone to express demand via video consumption, while Australians are more likely to express demand via research.

These country-level insights allow for a title strategy to be expanded to address the specific environment of each market.

Expanding the Title Health Analysis: Demographics, comparison deep dives and more

Parrot Analytics’ data science and customer success teams work closely with each customer to answer specific global research questions. The Title Health Analysis report outlined in this article is just one way we add value to the customer teams we interface with.

Naturally this type of analysis can be extended in any number of ways to answer the exact business questions concerning a specific title, such as:

A demographic analysis to determine if and how the show has reached past its core demographic in any market.

A more detailed comparisons to similar titles to see where the title over-indexes and where there are opportunities for the show to improve.

Any other custom additions that would give you the information you need to make your show the best it can be, globally.


Source: Parrot Analytics

Saturday, 08 December 2018 00:00

ZEE5 Announces Strategic Alliance with Zeasn

Over 2.5 million Zeasn connected device users across Asia, the Middle East and Africa will have access to ZEE5’s library of1,00,000 hours of language content

Close on the heels of its global launch, ZEE5, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd’s digital entertainment platform today announced a key strategic alliance with Zeasn, the leading home digital entertainment service provider. The partnership will make ZEE5 available on millions of Zeasn devices across Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Available across 190+ countries globally, ZEE5 offers the largest width and depth of multi-genre and multi-lingual content across English, Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali, Oriya, Bhojpuri, Gujarati and Punjabi. ZEE5 comes packed with 1,00,000 hours of On Demand content, including Movies and TV Shows, Music, and Health and Lifestyle videos along with a slew of Originals, across 12 languages. It also has an extensive Live TV offering with 60+ popular Live TV channels, including ZEE’s best loved channels.

With over 2.5 million Zeasn connected device users now being able to watch ZEE5 across any screen of their choice, this partnership further strengthens ZEE5’s international reach, while giving Zeasn users access to the largest library of over 1,00,000 hours of language content across genres. Over the next year, the ZEE5 app will be made available on all Zeasn enabled devices, offering Whale Eco consumers access to ZEE5’s premium content.

“Asia, Middle East and Africa are among the fastest growing markets in the world for online entertainment content and are key markets for us, given the huge South Asian diaspora, and the universal love for Bollywood content even among the locals there. By enabling over 2.5 million Zeasn users to access our unparalleled content library, this partnership further underscores our commitment to bring the best of language entertainment to viewers across devices of their choice.” said Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer – ZEE5 Global

“Bollywood content has a large number of fans around the world and it is a very important part of the world's cultural treasure. The strategy partnership will enable the consumers to enjoy wonderful Bollywood content efficiently on their smart TV devices, that will greatly help enrich the content of family digital entertainment system.” said Jason He, Chief Executive Officer – Zeasn

India's unique multimodal growth is 2X that of China and 9X that of the US

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) today released a report, 'One Consumer, Many Interactions', that reimagines the media house of the future. The report highlights the massive, unparalleled change the media and entertainment industry is going through, with the exponential growth of media and type of content available creating a trillion customer touch points. "This change is not the future but rather is here & now," said Sudhanshu Vats, Chairman, CII committee on Media & Entertainment and Group CEO Viacom 18 Media, India. He added, "This is an unparalleled situation even for an industry which has always been at the forefront of disruption. The industry will now need new answers, and will need them fast even on the most fundamental things like talent pool to run our companies, methodology for measuring the impact we are delivering to advertisers on our platforms"

According to the report, India's media consumption has been growing at 9% CAGR over the past six years, which is almost twice that of China and nine times that of the US. But there is still ample headroom for faster growth in the future. The report points to India's unique multimodal growth across all major media, which is unlike any of the other key markets. Kanchan Samtani, Partner & Director, Boston Consulting Group India, elaborated upon this uniqueness: "India is one of the few countries in the world where we are witnessing most mediums growing hand in hand and we see this continuing in the foreseeable future. For example – video consumption on OTT is supplementing linear TV vs. cannibalizing it."

This growth will fundamentally change the way media houses look and operate; the changes will range from rethinking the front end content involving format and language, to reorganizing the back end with newer skill sets and partnership models. New age technologies like artificial intelligence and analytics are getting ingrained in each function of media operations. "The industry has to re-write many definitions and conventions on almost a daily basis. While the erstwhile, fixed prime time for TV for family in the evening remains, many new personal viewing occasions have come via OTT (over the top) screen consumption," observed Karishma Bhalla, Partner & Director, Boston Consulting Group India.

The report showcases real life examples of successful new age media and entertainment companies and highlights the need for media houses to work closely with other stakeholders. In Ms Samtani's view, "The media industry is leveraging technology at a very fast pace. We expect media companies to invest a significant amount of time and resources to create technical prowess as a key pillar of differentiation. Mr. Vats highlighted the call for action: "The questions are manifold but this is a tremendous opportunity for our industry to reimagine itself. We hope that this report helps our industry executives think through the imperatives and drive action."

Excerpts from the Theme Address at CII Big Picture 2018 given by Sudhanshu Vats – National Committee on Media & Entertainment and Group CEO & MD – Viacom18.

Namaskar ladies & gentlemen, many thanks for investing your valuable time with us at the CII Big Picture Summit. It is my privilege to host all of you, over today and tomorrow to discuss, debate and deliberate on the rapidly changing media and entertainment landscape in this country.

The first CII Big Picture event I attended was in 2012, I believe it was also the first edition of the event. As a regular learner at these events, I can say with utmost certainty that a lot of the issues we discussed back then – ambitious revenue targets, radio auctions, TV measurement, digitization and so on – a large chunk of it – while still relevant – are in various stages of development today. And that’s only fair – such is the nature of the beast we ride. Also, this trend of convergence and consolidation – the 2 ‘Cs’ – is a universal one – taking place all over the world. That brings me to the theme of this edition of Big Picture – from convergence to transformation.

This is an interesting thought, convergence is a reality – one that is here to stay. It’s being driven by consumer needs and industry’s response to those needs – meaning that it’ll be a long-lasting phenomenon. Transformation is a much bigger – and more daunting – phenomenon. That said, what do we mean by ‘transformation’? It’s a big word. I’m going to do what my professor at university used to do when we asked her the meaning of a ‘big word’ – throwback 2 bigger words – MORAL DILEMMAS.

On a serious note, I want to take this precious opportunity to share a point of view that may not make headlines like aggressive industry targets do, but is, in my humble opinion, even more important.

If you step back and introspect about all that is happening with our industry across the world, you will agree that we are battling several changes - and most of them are a result of moral dilemmas and our response to them. If we can tackle these dilemmas successfully (and defining success is the hardest part), we can believe that we have transformed.

Interestingly, our rich cultural heritage is a treasure trove of insights when it comes to handling moral dilemmas. I recently had a young director from the South approach me with what he called was a ‘modern adaptation of the Mahabharata – told from the perspective of the Kauravas’. It was an interesting thought and we’re testing it - but that’s beside the point. We all know about Dharamraj Yudhishtira and his half-lie – when he told Drona - on Krishna’s counsel - that Ashvathama is dead. Yudhishtira was referring to an elephant who had died in battle – knowing that Drona would mistake Ashvathama to be his son of the same name. On hearing that ‘Ashvatahama is dead’, Drona put down his arms and was killed by Dhrishtadyumna. Was Yudhishitra right in doing what he did? It’s a debate that divides many till date.

I gave this example to showcase the greyness of moral dilemmas. Let’s look at our industry and the moral dilemmas we will have to face or are facing

· How do we deal with the power we have? What do we do if we find out that our reach and credibility is being used to influence electoral processes across the world?

· How do we ensure fairness in the terms of availability of our content to our consumers and parity across distribution platforms? Especially in a foreseeable future when convergence is going to dial up vertical integration across value chains.

· As consumption moves online, our access to data will increase. In many ways, data will be a competitive advantage and drive advertising revenues and personalized user experiences – what processes do we put in place to ensure it is not misused – how and where do we draw the line differentiating personalization versus privacy?

· Human resources – our people- are our biggest asset – on screen and off it – how do we react when their individual, personal behaviour questions the fabric of the society we want to create? Think of this especially in light of the recent issues around diversity and inclusion that we’ve experienced. It’s important for everyone, but especially so for our industry.

The list of moral dilemmas is endless. We need to be cognizant of these dilemmas – as organizations, industry bodies, policymakers and governments - as we look to scale up our businesses.

I’ve always been an ardent supporter of data and its importance in driving decision making. In this address, I have not used a single data point – because I believe that the course we take over the next decade will be determined more by these fundamental issues of values and how we tackle moral dilemmas than just commercial considerations. Driving consensus will be difficult yet more important than ever before. This is even more so given that India is today amongst the world’s largest ‘open’ media markets and home to a multitude of players from all over and of all sizes.

Yudhishtira had to spend a day in hell to make up for his half-lie. He was willing to spend a lifetime there to atone for his sins. I’m not sure that we are as brave as him. We must tread carefully, follow our dharma in the toughest of times and be patient. Only then will we have truly transformed.

The marquee property honoured the top honchos of the Digital Marketing industry who have paved the path through their vision and innovation 

moneycontrol, India’s No.1 leading financial and business media platform along with Internet and Mobile Association for India (IAMAI) hosted the fourth edition of the Digital Marketers' Awards (DMA). The awards were conceived with an aim to recognize the the spectacular ideas and brilliant minds of the brand custodians, elite marketers and creative honchos who have made outstanding contribution towards groundbreaking advancements and rose above their peers.

Setting the wheels in motion for the evening, the event commenced with an engaging panel discussion between Gautam Shelar, Business Head, Moneycontrol, Suman Srivastava, Founder & Innovation Artist, Marketing Unplugged, Shamsuddin Jasani, Group MD, Isobar, South Asia, Adhil Shetty, CEO, moderated by Anant Rangaswami, Editor of MELT on WION, advisor to Unmetric ‘Digital transformation through new innovations: A complete road map’. This was followed by a keynote address by Himanshu Vyapak, Deputy CEO, Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management Limited (RNLAM).

This year, the awards honored path-breaking marketers across banking, digital business, FMCG & consumer durables, automobiles, healthcare, travel, insurance, IT, retail, personal finance & investments, real estate, Most Popular CMO of the Year as well as Best Digital Personality of the Year. The prestigious jury panel chaired by CVL Srinivas, Country Manager, WPP India, comprising of esteemed members like Amit Sharma, Senior VP and Head - Digital & Ecommerce, Max Life Insurance, Prasun Basu, President, South Asia, The Nielsen Company, Anuradha Narasimhan, Consultant,, Rohit Raj, Co-Founder, Chief Creative Officer, The Glitch, Dolly Jha, Executive Director, Nielson India, Chaaya Baradhwaj, Founder & Managing Director, BC Web Wise and Suman Srivastava, Foundation and Innovation Artist, Marketing Unplugged helped arrive at the big winners of 2018.

The digital sphere has grown exponentially and the event payed a fitting tribute to the force behind the domain’s unprecedented expansion. Amidst the presence of other luminaries, renown actor Varun Dhawan was also awarded “Best Digital Personality of the Year” to acknowledge the widening digital influence he possesses.

Commenting on this edition of the awards property, Mr. Manish Maheshwari, CEO, Network18 Digital said: “Digital Marketing has become one of the most integral and effectual tools today. India is become a vital instrument in driving the world economy, and the digital industry has an undeniable role to play. As we move forward in era of the 4th industrial revolution, disruptive technology have become the way forward. With this edition we aimed to not just celebrate the medium but also those bigwigs who have utilised innovative and creative digital tools to get through to their target audience. As the leading digital platform for financial information, it is befitting for moneycontrol and IAMAI to come together and undertake such an initiative to applaud the pioneers of the industry.”

Gautam Shelar, Business Head, moneycontrol remarked, “The Indian digital landscape houses some exceptional minds that have played a key role in its expansion. There has been an augmented growth in the digital sphere, which has fuelled the level of competition in the industry through differentiated offerings. As one of the early pioneers in the digital industry, we wanted to honour the game changers in the Digital Marketing industry by highlighting the strongest performers of the year. With time, the awards have evolved into one of the most premium platforms that brings together the ingenious minds of the industry who have achieved great heights by adopting effective digital strategies.”

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