Can the pay-TV industry be a part of the data economy?

How can operators and content owners make the most of data? How can they harness its power?

Data has the power to revolutionise the entire pay-TV industry.

And while, so far, this industry has been slow to adapt to the increasingly data-driven world, its sizeable subscriber footprint means it is well-poised to reap the rewards of the data economy.

But how can operators and content owners make the most of it? How can they harness the power of data?

As part of the Pay-TV Innovation Forum – a global research programme for senior pay-TV and content executives – we spoke to leading TV industry executives from around the world to explore their views, perspectives and experiences around innovation and the use of data in particular.

A good starting point for any business looking to transform itself with the help of data and analytics is obviously collection, as Kjetil Rohde Jakobsen, Global Director Products and Partners, iflix, explains: “We have billions of data points coming into our data centre – data served by telcos, data served from non-telcos, data served from our own infrastructure, billing success rates, average wallet size, all down to product level”.

However, despite having access to data from so many sources, the industry has been slow to act. As John Paul, Managing Director, Emerging Business Activation, Liberty Global, highlights, FAANGs and digital-first companies “have a ton of data, their business cases are based on data, their valuations are based on data. That’s not true in the case of pay-TV, and so there’s a much steeper learning curve.”

Regardless of how much data an operator collects, simply measuring in isolation won’t fundamentally help the business. Paul explains further that “it’s about moving from measurement to insight…. With that insight you can drive a range of outcomes.”

By using data and analytics to aid the decision-making process throughout the business, pay-TV providers have a real opportunity to deliver a compelling service to subscribers. Alptug Copuroglu, Managing Director of BluTV International & Global Partnerships, BluTV, explains that “rather than just having data analytics for the sake of having data analytics, our focus is on working out the business impact that analytics can deliver, whether that be helping to reduce churn – by highlighting when we should be approaching a customer with a new offer – or personalising the content offering.”

It comes as no surprise that data analytics isn’t just proving valuable for traditional pay-TV providers. Russell Stopford, Chief Digital Officer, Paris Saint Germain FC, explains that his company are investing in data platforms to generate deep insights about fans “we collect data about how our content is consumed and how transactions are made on our platforms, which, in turn, helps us to get better insights into our customer behaviour and to improve the overall customer experience.”

And data doesn’t just help providers service their customers, it can unlock adjacent revenue opportunities. One emerging area, which is already strong in North America, is advanced TV advertising, and an area that Matt Van Houten, Vice President, Product Development, Xandr Media, firmly believes is possible for those providers with valuable insights to provide for brands: “To offer advertising buyers highly specific target audiences, pay-TV operators need to have vast user bases, and significant insights. Generating visibility into effectiveness requires access to insights on what viewers do after watching an ad. Brands don't want to know that a viewer saw the ad, brands want to know what it made them do.”

Stopford agrees: “By creating more value for our fans, by extension, we can also drive more value for our commercial partners. The challenge is knowing which data to collect and then having the right tools to derive insights and act on them.”

The potential that understanding data, and the insights it can generate to drive decisions and unlock new revenue streams, is huge. Many industries have recognised this and are easily navigating opportunities and pay-TV cannot be left behind. With such vast datasets available, the industry needs to be at the heart of the data economy, not sitting on the side-lines.

To help the pay-TV industry harness data effectively, break down the silos within the business, and drive business optimisation, NAGRA has developed NAGRA Insight, a data and AI-driven pay-TV business performance platform designed by pay-TV experts for the pay-TV industry.

NAGRA Insight provides recommendations on business actions to help operators make better strategic decisions, drive their business more effectively and improve their bottom line by predicting different aspects of a TV viewer’s individual behaviour such as their propensity to churn, to purchase a package or to consume specific content.

Find out more about the Pay-TV Innovation Forum and contact us to find out how NAGRA can help you become a part of the data economy.