Media & Entertainment

How AI and Blockchain are Energizing the Media & Entertainment Industry

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When people think of tech in media, their first thoughts are likely around digital platforms that bring more content to our fingertips. Now, leading innovations -– namely, AI and blockchain — are enabling media companies to take this a step further by delivering even more compelling content to broader audiences.

AI is being used to watch and understand live video in real-time to provide insights that enhance the viewer experience. Technologies such as computer vision and image recognition can tag video based on different characteristics. There is no better example of using AI to create dynamic experiences than in sports, where AI can identify exciting plays by evaluating players’ actions or an audience’s reaction.

For example, IBM’s AI-based metadata tagging has generated real-world wins at major sports events. In 2017, Wimbledon used IBM Watson to create highlight videos 15 minutes faster than previous tournaments. The videos, created without any human intervention, were viewed 14.4 million times.

AI can also compile clips into personalized highlight reels for individual viewers using by identifying favorite players and parsing past viewing formats and behaviors. IBM Watson did this at the 2019 Masters Tournament, using the data collected on the tournament’s website and app to create meaningful experiences for users.

Fans can even use AI-tagged video to create their own highlight reels. Fox Sports’ FIFA World Cup Highlight Machine lets fans filter clips by year, team, player, matches and type of gameplay (such as penalty kicks or number of goals per game), then package the clips into custom videos to share on social media.

Optimizing Advertising Spending for Better Business Outcomes

AI is also a powerful tool for media companies to increase return on advertising spending through better attribution. For years, advertisers relied on the total number of views to gauge an ad’s performance. But while media buyers knew how many people saw their ads, they didn’t know if the right people were seeing the ads. AI gives companies more visibility into the effectiveness of their advertising dollars through a four-stage optimization process.

  1. Planning: Digital technology can track the effectiveness of advertising dollars and indicate which are getting the most traction. It puts the company in control, enabling quick shifts in expenditures and cutting agencies out of the loop.
  2. Data Acquisition: From there, these tools deliver three key data metrics that media buyers can triangulate to each advertising dollar. The data tells you who saw the advertisement, what they saw and what they bought.
  3. Spend Optimization: This data helps companies move beyond gross rating point measurements, which show how many people saw an ad. Now, companies can explore target rating points to see how well they are hitting their target demographic and to optimize ad buys in real time.
  4. Closed-Loop Attribution: Closed-loop attribution is the holy grail of modern advertising. It tracks direct conversion by connecting sales to the ads that inspired them. IBM Watson’s AI-based analytics can help media companies get an almost one-to-one attribution.

This four-stage process creates valuable data that helps you refine future planning. It is a living process that continuously learns and adapts, and to embrace it, companies must be data-native. It’s critical to understand the importance of data and be ready to master it.

Revolutionizing Rights and Royalty Management

We’ve seen blockchain disrupt several industries, and the technology has great potential for media and entertainment companies. Content creators and curators should be excited about blockchain, as the ledger technology helps deal with another challenge: getting proper compensation for your work.

By embedding digital rights information directly into an immutable blockchain, media companies can make digital content creators and curators aware of who created it and the usage rights they have to it.

This embedded rights information is also an effective tool for blockchain-based payments. Blockchain-based smart contracts can distribute royalties instantly and accurately, and audiences can use cryptocurrency to compensate the people who create and add value to content.

AI and decentralized ledger technologies put the media industry on the brink of a new era. It touches everything from the front-end audience experience to back-end monetization. IBM leads the tech industry in working with media and entertainment companies to revolutionize their operations using these technologies.

As a testament to the potential impact of AI and blockchain on media organizations, both technologies were on full display at NAB 2019 last week in Las Vegas, where IBM exhibited and presented our view of the innovations and the industry.

Learn more about IBM’s transformative technologies in media and entertainment.

Vice President & Partner, Media & Entertainment Industry Leader, IBM

Nicholas Strauss

Associate Partner, Global Business Services, IBM

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