Combined with broadcasting, IT has developed to revolutionize how to measure viewing patterns. One of the simplest and most symbolic shifts is the emergence of the “like” button, which along with the reply feature serves as a communication channel that links content creators and viewers. This way, both sides have found it easier to interact than otherwise.
As for higher-level and “destructive” changes, the use of big data is a great example. Digital technology processes massive real-time data regarding viewing patterns – when and why viewers change channels and fast-forward video content. In turn, such a new way complements how to measure viewership ratings, which has been based on sampling, not on complete enumeration research, due to cost and time limits. Experts explain the characteristics of big data technology with four keywords starting with V – Volume, Velocity, Variety and Value.
Big data is being used and materialized by OTT providers such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube. Netflix, No.1 in this field, has been producing TV series “House of Cards,” which is the world’s first soap opera based on big data. The U.S. media-services provider and production company analyzed which actor and genre are preferred by viewers, what they repeat watching and where they stop watching. It later produced “13 Reasons Why,” “Daredevil” and other TV series.
Netflix also adopted “A/B testing” that consists of two sets regarding webpage design, selection button design and other broadcasting-related features, in order to compare performance and help decision-making. That has helped raise viewership ratings by 20 to 30 percent.
Such innovative ways will spread out through other existing service providers including TV stations and program producers. Nowadays, they enable the providers to collect data via digital content such as VOD. As a result, data innovation will boost the average of program quality.
Some may have a different view. Arts industries including broadcasting are driven by human sensibilities and brilliance, not by mechanically measured figures. In my view, the nature of communication and broadcasting is based on how we distinguish self and other self. Communication is a process of articulating yourself to others. If data analysis tells how different each person is and what other people hope to see, this will make it possible to ensure more effective communication and higher-quality content production.
Broadcasting is naturally a sort of pop arts. It should read the sensibilities of the masses and keep them in mind. In that sense, those in the broadcasting industry are supposed to keep their eyes and ears open to the masses. Their priority is to read their mind and keep up with ongoing changes. Big data is a digitized way of keeping a constant eye on the changing world. Without that in mind, broadcasting would not have been able to come this far.