We live in a multi-channel society. Every day, people ingest content from many sources through a variety of devices, and media organizations need to know where their audience is spending time and why.
Technologies and devices have changed how we engage with media, through traditional channels and new ones. New cameras and digital-network enhancements make content feel more lifelike than ever, while AI, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), and other innovations are forever changing the ways we enjoy that content.
Here is a look at some of the technologies that will have the largest transformative impact on the media industry, and how each relates to changing audience demographics and trends.
When people have access to VR/AR hardware, it enhances their experience. Instead of watching a show or event on TV, these technologies enable audiences to become immersed in the event and experience it in entirely new ways.
Adoption is rapidly picking up steam. The Capgemini Research Institute found 40% of survey respondents have streamed a sports match live on VR headsets – and almost all report a positive experience. Why is this important? Sixty-six percent of fans interviewed increased engagement with the organization that provided the experience.
At the center of any multi-channel brand strategy is consistency. For example, CNN is still CNN whether that content is viewed on a TV, desktop, phone, or other device.
That content, however, should change based on the device. Viewers engage with different devices in different ways and content should therefore be tailored. Thirty-minute television blocks don’t necessarily work on mobile devices; instead, viewers prefer much shorter clips when they engage on phones.
Moving forward, media organizations need to understand their audiences’ viewing habits, and repackage content to fit those habits.
Voice and chat
As seen through the rapid proliferation of voice and chat technology such as Alexa and Google Home, people prefer to interact conversationally. While the effects of these technologies on functions such as commerce are well known, they also play a major part in the transformation of the media industry.
Apple dove headfirst into the trend with its slightly controversial Siri Remote in 2015. While users were turned off by some usability issues, many lauded it for innovating the media viewing experience.
Voice technology is about speeding up content selection, filtering options, and doing so in a fast and intuitive way. For media organizations looking for how their audience wants to interact with content, this is a fantastic place to start.
Just like the radio before it, most homes have a television in the living room. It is a place where people come together and share in a favorite show, game, or event.
This connection between media and social interaction is inextricable, and it is also expanding as new interactive technologies make it easier for people to share and connect over the content they love.
Look no further than the streaming service Twitch. Users broadcast their content while viewers participate live through chat, subscription, and donation functions. To add to the experience, most broadcasters also include a small window where viewers can see the broadcaster themselves, creating a face-to-face connection.
These are tectonic shifts occurring in the media landscape. Capturing, engaging, and retaining audiences is more important than ever for media organizations, and these technologies are great places to look for new, innovative ways to do that.
In case you missed part one in this blog series, be sure to check it out here.