News, Media & Entertainment: Shifting gears to the newer versions of reality, in sync with the demands of new-age audiences

Whether you’re a video game junkie, a movie buff, or a TV binge-watcher, you would know that new technologies have completely changed the way we consume, connect, and communicate. However, it is both technological as well as demographic changes sweeping the world, which are slowly transforming the face of media and entertainment, from the types of content being created, to who is now creating it, to where the content is being consumed, while changes buffer along.

As the global middle class grows (from 1.8 billion people in 2009 to an estimated 4.9 billion in 2030)*, demand for new media services focusing on convenience, education, premium content and video-on-demand will grow, particularly in emerging economies.
*Source: An emerging middle class, Report OECD Development Center

While the advent of Artificial intelligence(AI) is changing the entire creative process. In 2019, spending on AI was forecasted to reach $35.8 billion. Its projection for 2023 is $98 billion while virtual reality and mixed reality are disruptors just around the corner. The craze of a game like Pokemon which was just a tiny introduction to the capabilities of mixed reality, certainly shows just how interested people are in such blended experiences.

*Source: IDC Spending Guide 2019, International Data Center
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We are in an era where consumer media habits and expectations have fundamentally changed, and as digital consumption continues to surge while legacy providers struggle to keep pace, it would be a vibrant ecosystem to observe of what business opportunities these changes could bring.

 

Challenges into the next phase of growth: For Media Companies in the digitized world

1. Investing in a plethora of Digital platforms to check into

There's no denying that consumers' media habits have fundamentally changed. In fact, more media consumers say they watch some type of video via computer or smartphone than an actual TV. Changing consumer behavior, coupled with new media companies like Hulu, Amazon and Spotify that cater to it, are calling into question longstanding business models based on ad revenue and single platform viewership.

 

2. Navigating through as user experience becoming the precursor to growth

More than two-thirds of media consumers are at least somewhat comfortable with their personal preferences being used in exchange for exclusive access to content now, personalized offers or discounts, and content aligned with their specific interests. A challenge for traditional players stands with taking an impetus to leverage personal data that makes such experiences possible.

 

3. Competition from an omnipresence of content creators

Today younger users are flocking to channels run by amateur content creators, such as Swedish star PewDiePie, who has amassed 23 billion video view on his YouTube channel in 2019*. These content creators have developed a new kind of relationship with their audience, building up a dialog with fans and namechecking them in videos. In this rapidly moving, information-saturated scenario, it poses an incumbent threat to companies as they strive to capture and hold their customers' attention in traditional ways.

*Source: PewDiePie videography, Wikipedia

 

4. Regulatory uncertainty to surpass

While consumers desire easy access to content they also demand of control/privacy their data and information. However, legal frameworks surrounding intellectual property are not ready for a new generation of media consumers who expect instant access to content from anywhere on the globe. As a consequence, many consumers are choosing to bypass conventional means to access content (for example, using Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to access US Netflix in the United Kingdom).

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Plugging-in Design towards a new-age transformation

With so much driving the winds of change, entertainment companies now have a massive opportunity to better serve their current and potential subscribers.

As media companies take on massive mergers and acquire young upstarts, it’s clear that personalized, targeted, and easy-to-discover content can mean the difference between the next-big-thing and another legacy bust. Where we as a Design Agency can add value to make that next big transition with you is through our capabilities of thinking Design systemically and in context.

1. Create integrated and seamless experiences across channels

From accessing entertainment on micro and mini devices to home theatres, the type of content, how it is watched and with whom is changing in a very short frequency of times. This means that the devices need to be context-aware and also provide a unified experience across devices, where good design can intervene to manage handoffs, preferences and content seamlessly across.

 

2. Orient to customer preference

With the massive increase in content, it is only a matter of time that new data and behavior driven recommendations, library and organization is seriously thought about. Consumer behaviors and expectations are also changing rapidly, built around instant gratification, especially the ability to access quality and relevant content immediately. In such a context in-depth user research to provide relevant recommendations, while enabling browsing and searching to happen intuitively to fit user’s mental models can go a long way.

 

3. Reduce latency, enable expedient engagement

People accessing entertainment on the move, in shorter intervals and at random times mean that the discovery, consumption as well as navigation needs to make things available rapidly to the user. Design can do it just right for you through providing clean reading experiences and responsive layouts, vibrant, contextual and interactive design which can enable expedient discovery, navigation and foster easier and quick content consumption for users.

 

4. Enable security, privacy and trust

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware that their daily lives are being turned into data that can be analyzed and monetized by third parties. Opaque and complicated privacy policies and customization algorithms may prompt consumers to switch to services that offer them more transparency and better data privacy. Visual design cues and elements can create a perception of a safe and secure environment, building trust and adoption.

Design hence becomes incumbent in today’s world as it takes a consumer-centered approach that puts the discovery of highly nuanced, even tacit, consumer needs at the forefront of the innovation.
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Leading the way through Futuristic Design Experiences

Digital transformation happening in the media and entertainment business focuses mostly on marketing and money. But they also focus on user experience and engagement: personalizing one’s viewing experience, and getting content to audiences where and when they want it, on whatever device they’re using. Here is a sneak peek into a foray of disruptive trends catalyzing the metamorphosis of the media and entertainment industry.

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1Cord-Cutting leading To New Business Models: Going digital and online

Change in viewership medium

Gone are the days when all we had was cable or satellite and suffered through having to purchase 300 channels just to get the two or three that we actually liked. The rise of giants like Hulu and Netflix has left many to cut the cord with traditional cable companies, instead, are going online to find just the content they want. Also, cable companies are replacing traditional offerings with smaller bundles and specialty packages.

 

Watch as per preference

According to a report by salesforce While traditional media sources like broadcast and cable TV still enjoy large viewerships, millennial and Gen Z consumers (defined as those born between 1981–1999) are now more likely to regularly stream video, TV, and movies online than to watch traditional TV channels. Consumers are also increasingly willing to pay for different digital media sources, than pay for a cable subscription, for content of their choice. Even baby boomers are jumping on board, with nearly half (47 percent) having increased their use of subscription streaming video services over the past two years.

Think Design’s Recommendation

While TV bundling of content has long been the go-to business model for cable companies, new players like Sling have emerged to give media consumers a way to select content à la carte based on their own preferences. Perhaps tired of years of bundling, baby boomers are also more likely than younger generations to elect multiple streaming services in order to avoid paying for content they don’t want. In such a scenario it makes it incumbent for media companies to move direct-to-consumer with their own digital streaming services, designed right to provide the power of choices to the user while investing to revamp their digital presence and cross-platform user experience.

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2Rise of the Connected Audience and demand for improved user experience

Demographic Demands

Meanwhile, the emergence of millennials (the generation born between 1981 and 1997) is creating demand for technology services that offer, memorable experiences, convenience and instant access to content. At the same time, the world’s population is aging, leading to increased demand for health and wellness, entertainment and education services designed for older people. Finally, urbanization has increased demand for media offerings designed with people’s commutes and busy work lives in mind.

 

Demand for better-curated content

Netflix and Amazon are leading the way of curating content effectively for years, suggesting what shows we’d like to watch. Success may lie in developing an intimate understanding of the consumers’ media companies are trying to reach. Organizations also have the potential to become distributors, by developing direct consumer relationships, to test various content ideas with consumers, helping to strengthen their offerings—and the value they derive from them.

 

Need for Personalized recommendations

While traditional ads still help consumers discover new content, personalized recommendations powered by artificial intelligence are the go-to discovery source for millennials and Gen Zers, with more relying on recommendations from content providers (think Netflix’s “Top picks for you”) than from traditional ads. Used effectively, these types of analytics can create instant “audiences” for new shows and products, making the area of content discovery more critical than ever to gain a competitive advantage.

Think Design’s Recommendation

There is a continuous ask for original content; while the internet has introduced traditional media to a plethora of content challenges. YouTube, as well as subscription-based streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu and new-age content makers pose a difficult challenge to traditional companies relying on high-production cost content and compulsory ad viewing. Young viewers today, having been exposed to international cinema, television, and arts from an early age, want relevant, high-quality entertainment avenues to satisfy their evolved sensibilities. To make content easier to monetize it is important to gain user preferences and insights.

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3Strategic marketing as the norm to market advantage

Multi-platform marketing

Content delivery is no longer linear. Far from it, viewers rarely sit through an entire TV show or movie without multitasking on social media or sharing their opinions about what they’re watching. As such, marketing is also an all-channel event. Media companies have learned that they need to take advantage of that situation by engaging consumers through different platforms, prompting viewers to #share using branded content and hashtags to gain their content even greater reach. By 2021, mobile video will drive 24 percent of all Internet video traffic*.

*Source: Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2017–2022 White Paper

 

Advertising to get Smarter

Because of deep analytics possible with machine learning, as well as the vast opportunities available with augmented reality and AI, advertising is becoming even smarter than ever. Forget traditional product placements. Soon it will be possible to order your favorite actor’s jacket just by clicking the screen when it appears. Yet 39 percent of all media consumers claim a willingness to pay extra for ad-free content, forcing distributors and producers to identify new revenue streams*.

*Source: Connected Audience Report 2018, Salesforce

Think Design’s Recommendation

Design capturing multi device user adaptability through powerful cross-platform design solutions. As ad-reliant media companies are evolving, moving towards targeted advertising represents another key growth opportunity for media companies. With the growth of programmatic advertising and cross-device measurement success will likely depend heavily upon gaining more insights into customers’ demographics and viewing behaviors and embedding them in the user’s experience. Research suggests 40 percent of millennials and Gen Z consumers value personalized recommendations so much that they’re likely to pay for them.

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4Futuristic technology driving Innovation and creativity

Artificial Intelligence forays

In a new wave of computer-human “collaboration,” companies are already using AI to create effective movie plot points based on box office performance, and one company recently used AI to create a horror movie trailer based on trailers the AI had already processed and annexed. It used clips and scenes proven to be effective by market research, increasing the likelihood that it would actually get viewers to watch. From Language processing and image recognition to speech recognition and deep learning, there is truly no end to the way AI is impacting the creative process in media and entertainment.

 

Advent of Virtual And Mixed Reality

Although still in its infancy compared to where it will go, the success of virtual and mixed reality is starting to make its way into media and entertainment. Various championships are being featured in 360 VR, immersing fans into the middle of live games giving them a taste of the power of virtual reality. VR/AR investments by media companies have been on a continous upward ascent.

 

Autonomous vehicles as powerful media-delivery devices

These vehicles have wireless connectivity and, most important, passengers with time on their hands. Media companies should start thinking about how to optimize content creation and delivery to take full advantage of this new mobile opportunity*.

*Source: 2018 Media and Entertainment Outlook”, Delloite

Think Design’s Recommendation

Through the widespread availability of cheap sensors, connected devices and cloud computing, we are witnessing the birth of the Internet of Things and an era of intelligence guided by data, which will offer the media industry a whole range of opportunities to create seamless, personalized services. This real-time use of data analytics, algorithmic recommendations is particularly important as media organizations no longer just provide content but experiential services built around that content.

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Think Design’s approach and recommendations to deliver exceptional media and entertainment user experiences

1. Watch-out for usage patterns

Media & Entertainment consumption is changing rapidly; and newer patterns of usage and interactions are constantly on the rise. Where does it leave us? It is important that we scan for those patterns... the patterns that receive quick user adoption and the ones that don't. Design with those patterns in mind, take them to the next level or create entirely new branded interaction patterns: Whatever your move, keeping an eye on the patterns is very important.

 

2. Design for journeys

In case of entertainment experiences, users' journeys could be continuous, sporadic and many times, episodic. What does it mean to our experience design? While the obvious takeaway is about crafting intelligent design to assist in those journeys, it also calls for design interactions that are far more intuitable than in case of other kind of products and services.

 

3. The future is now; and it is intelligent

We may want to consider futuristic technologies in the future, but we believe that the future is now. AI, Voice Recognition and AR… these technologies are no more futuristic: They are mainstream and they are clear and present. User Experiences in entertainment applications are defined by how intuitive the applications are... And intuition is not restricted only to its UI, it is defined by the application’s intelligence as well!

 

4. Consider multi-modal interactions

How would you design for users initiating their interaction through a physical button, switch to voice in between, interact through voice, touch, gesture and physical interactions all through the journey... this is not a future scenario; this could be very much present by the time you are reading this. Multi model interactions call for carefully crafted journeys visualizing all the scenarios and also considering that the experience of the user is far more critical than the initial excitement around gadgets.

 

5. Design for superior consumption

We all know that content is the king. What we also believe is that if we design for superior consumption of that content, we are far more likely to succeed because of better user engagement. Whenever required, we recommend testing with users as we innovate newer patterns of news, media or entertainment consumption. Delight your users, since they are going to delight you with their choices!

 

Partnerships impacting News, Media & Entertainment consumption across millions of users

Over the last decade, Think Design has been at the helm of redefining User Experiences in the News, Media & Entertainment industry. Leading News, Media & Entertainment companies have trusted Think Design for advancing their initiatives. Drop in a word or call us; and we will be happy to demonstrate why.

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News portals and apps, Media & Entertainment portals and apps, OTT, Mobile TV, Music, Streaming.

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Institutions, Portals, Apps, Learning management, Gamified learning, MOOCs, Universities, Learning centers.

Banking & Financial Services

Fintechs, Banks, Insurance, Payments, Wallets, Lending, Trading, Investment, Blockchain, Currencies, Wealth management.

Services & Expertise

Over the last decade, Think Design has been at the helm of redefining User Experiences in the News, Media & Entertainment industry. Leading News, Media & Entertainment companies have trusted Think Design for advancing their initiatives. Drop in a word or call us; and we will be happy to demonstrate why.

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