Disruptors: the media & entertainment challenge
Disruptors: the media & entertainment challenge
Social media is disrupting the media and entertainment industry like never before. It’s become “the internet’s front door,” with constant connectivity changing the way consumers engage with multi-billion dollar brands, from Disney to Viacom and the BBC.
That’s why our most recent episode of the ‘Disruptors’ webinar series focused on media and entertainment. Justine Hess, Senior Consultant & Associate Head of Global MONITOR at Kantar Consulting, presented current trends in the industry, while Martin Rückert, Chief AI Officer at Market Logic, explained how to tackle disruption with faster speed to insight. Elizabeth P. Morgan, Market Logic co-founder, played host.
Justine opened her presentation with a portrait of Papi Jiang, a Chinese social media star. A few years ago, Papi started uploading comedy videos to Weibo, a Chinese social media platform. Today she has accounts across multiple platforms, and somewhere between 30 and 60 million subscribers. But Papi Jiang isn’t a movie star, or a celebrity athlete like Cristiano Ronaldo (who has over 150 million subscribers). She built her fame on self-made videos, and currently holds the record for most expensive social media endorsement. At a live auction for a video promotion spot in 2016, she walked away with a deal worth 3.4 million USD. That’s why Justine believes Papi Jiang is emblematic of the ways in which media and entertainment have changed in the past decade.
Next up, Justine discussed fragmentation of the TV landscape, where nearly 50% of consumers aged 13-39 agree that “Most of my TV/video watching is on-demand or online (vs. through traditional TV channels).”* Here, Justine said younger age groups show a clear preference for streaming entertainment; preferably on their smartphones. This is especially true in emerging markets like Colombia, Turkey, India and China.
The rise of the smartphone is also deeply linked to the rise of social media. While smartphone penetration has peaked in markets like the U.S. and Japan, growth in emerging markets will stay strong for the next few years. The phrase “I don’t think I can live without social media” resonates most with users in Nigeria, India and China, where Justine described social apps on devices as “a lifeline for both connection and entertainment.” She noted that these markets have become a testing ground for next generation entertainment, where “The ability to see through other people’s lenses in real time is becoming a powerful force in social media.” (Jay Singh, 2018).
Justine suggests consumers are gravitating towards live streaming because there’s reciprocity in the exchange: they feel there’s a more authentic connection with the creator when a video is playing out in real time.
Big companies are recognizing the potential here. Last year, Russia’s Vkontakte launched the first reality TV show for social media, Public Games, which generated challenges via AI and captured 200 million views. Facebook’s Watch platform is also releasing original content, such as Sorry For Your Loss, a drama series with a star-studded cast including Elizabeth Olsen, Kelly Marie Tran and Janet McTeer.
Influencers who review products in online videos are also paving the way for products as entertainment, and come across as more genuine: survey data shows that these influencer reviews are more trusted than any other source, from magazines to commercials. Social shopping is blowing up: 45% of consumers between 13-39 say they seek advice from social networks or forums for purchasers.
Justine reminded the audience that Social isn’t one thing, but many: “A social layer is added to everything online. Amidst the turmoil, she described a multi-faceted view of consumers as viewers, creators, influencers and shoppers that’s driving the exposure of consumer preference, along with customer service. In short, a hosepipe of research, data, content and news to follow, understand and analyze to stay abreast of change.
Martin Rückert described the volume of data as one of the biggest problems facing insights managers today: “Things are too disconnected. Data is everywhere, and things that were true yesterday aren’t true anymore.”
He explained that a next generation Market Insights Platform can bring all data and tools together, blending structured and unstructured data and making it easy to connect the dots. AI pushes relevant information to users via cognitive news dashboards, while a state-of-the-art cognitive search engine understands the intent of users to deliver the answers they need. The software prioritizes newer information, so that users always get their answers from the most relevant reports. Elizabeth then shared a live software demo to showcase the platform in action.
A Q&A session followed the presentation. Attendees asked, “how is all the disruption changing the role of an insights manager?” For Justine, insights managers need to be more creative and consider the wider playing field. “It’s not enough to restrict attention to traditional competitors and channels: you need a broad view to keep an eye on trends in adjacent industries.”
When asked for tips to stay on top of disruption, Justine reminded listeners that there’s always something driving big changes: “Understand the underlying forces driving your category, markets, and types of content… That’s about having the right knowledge. You have to stay up to date on how things are changing, and be aware of different converging forces.”
And is it more difficult to be an insights manager today than 10 years ago? Martin said “Yes, it is, but it’s also more fun. Today, the technology is better, so the task is a little different.” Justine agreed. It’s less drudgery and more ideation around what the future holds, and how to best respond. “Change is coming faster, but there are a lot of new ideas being tried: there’s an explosion of new tactics, and that’s very exciting,” she added.
“We’re at a very important time, where the landscape is increasingly fragmented. As niches get smaller, the task is to learn how to respond and speak to these niches, while not losing communication with bigger global audiences. Fortunately, online platforms are rich with data, and there’s many opportunities to use that data well, like Market Logic, where the tech is only getting better. This is the future, and we should be happy about it. It’s going to be fun.”
*2018 Kantar Global MONITOR Survey