The monetisation of multiscreen demands deeper understanding, says Neerav Shah

Multiscreen has become a key industry trend in recent years, and as it begins to take hold on devices across the globe, broadcasters and service providers are now beginning to ask that all-important question: ‘What next?’

The opportunities for those prepared to adopt multiscreen strategies lie in the monetisation of multiscreen, a critical focus for service providers especially as the cost of content increases.

The success of monetisation relies on truly understanding the complexity, rather than seeing it as a way to roll out the same content and ads on more screens. Multiscreen now allows for a more cohesive, personalised content marketing and advertising approach with interface experiences that promote timely and targeted product promotions.

In order to capitalise on multiscreen, service providers need to address two critical challenges: deliver content efficiently and seamlessly across multiple devices and in some cases networks, and to create a more personalised and dynamic content experience that drives revenue.

Over the next 12 months, there will be a few key areas that will enable service providers to overcome these challenges.

As subscribers increasingly demand more intelligent services, providers must ensure that their technology solutions are fully integrated with leading content recommendation engines. This will not only bring more relevance into the picture, but also give them more choice in how to customize content for their subscribers.

One untapped and underutilised asset is video on demand (VoD).

Providers need to leverage their VoD content. 

As viewing patters shift to more consumption of time-shifted content, broadcasters and service providers need to capture value across their vast content library.

Not only do they need recommendations, but they need a way to create unique and targeted offers to satisfy the consumers viewing patters, including enabling customised binge viewing – or more commonly know as creating a merchandising platform, also known as a custom video store front.

Merchandising is multiscreen marketing for the entire catalogue of content that leverages a robust analytics platform that uses consumer data and usage patterns more than ever.

Merchandising takes advantage of, and enhances recommendation engines to, create new revenue opportunities, increase average revenue per user and boost the cross-sale of content and services.

Merchandising starts the money flowing, but the key to the monetisation of multiscreen will be the focus on increasingly targeted advertising.

Service providers will need to deliver localised, interactive advertising and programming that responds to environmental changes, feedback, and interest – we call this ‘mobilised intelligence’ and it is critical to successful monetisation.

Content must be relevant when driving conversion in a competitive, content-rich environment.

Today, big data mixed with individual consumer insight enables us to provide solutions that give an unprecedented level of targeted and contextual content. The better the data, from things like users’ social graphs, previous purchases, location-based applications, the better understanding there is of relevant, salable content.

Service providers will expand monetisation opportunities further by delivering focused advertising that goes beyond the regional level to the device itself.

This will create personalized ad experiences, on any type of screen.

Customising content to the screen on which it is delivered will no longer just be a case of changing the size of the content, but the type, format, and presentation. A tablet isn’t just a smaller TV.

Finally, a new and emerging area is creating companion experiences.

For monetisation, companion experiences will allow service providers to enhance the user’s navigation with cohesive, personalised catalogue marketing techniques and targeted advertising, to reinforce experiences when first and second screens are used simultaneously.

This approach will strengthen subscriber engagement and reduce distraction, while utilising intelligent analytic tools to produce relevance and personalisation on a per-subscriber basis.

Over the next year, video service providers will be rolling out multiscreen monetisation strategies - but it must be approached precisely if they want to keep ahead of the curve.

Neerav Shah is vice president and general manager for Multiscreen Video Infrastructure and Cloud Business Solutions at Arris.