Scaling a segment of one
I get a sense of cautious optimism from NAB this week.
And it’s not because anyone’s unveiling anything particularly new. It’s more because there seems to be a collective sense that many of the things that the industry’s been talking about for a while now are not only becoming viable, but also proven – and even in demand!
One of those things is personalisation. For (too) long now, the industry’s been talking about personalisation as one of the great mega-trends – covering not only the personalisation of content choices being served up to the consumer, but also the personalisation of the consumption experience itself, incorporating social, interactivity, devices and interfaces.
It’s a topic that’s certainly not new, but one that in recent years has never quite lived up to the big vision. But arguably today, with intelligent recommendations, social TV integration, and interactive second screen experiences, it’s one that’s starting to truly deliver on the promise.
… Cue huge sighs of relief as we roll out our towels on the sun-loungers at club ‘promised land’ to celebrate a job well done. Well, not quite.
As I sit in the various event sessions touching on personalisation, I have started to spot an interesting shift in the questions coming from the audience; questions that start to slowly but surely move on from ‘how do we make this stuff work?’, to ones more concerned with what all this personalisation actually means for content distributors’ operational and business models.
As one delegate put it: “I honestly feel that we’ve broken the back of the technical challenge around personalising delivery, but I think we’re at the tip of the iceberg in terms of what this means for how we operate as broadcasters”.
And I think he’s right. Yes, we’re going to continue to see new technical innovation arrive in the coming years. But you can’t help but wonder if an increasing focus for our industry will be around the debate relating to the commercial, business and marketing models required to reach highly fragmented audiences – strategies that will effect a transition from what has historically been a mass market mechanism, to one that can still achieve scale while communicating to a personalised segment of one.
Let me know what you think in the comments below
Kris Hardiman, Head of Product Management