Guest Column: Big Data Analytics: Making a molehill out of a mountain

The M&E sector is undergoing a paradigm shift in this new-age, data driven economy. It is time that we shed our inhibitions around big data analytics and look beyond our self-created cocoons, says Achint Setia, Strategy Head, Viacom18 Media

e4m by Achint Setia
Published: Dec 2, 2014 10:07 AM  | 4 min read
Guest Column: Big Data Analytics: Making a molehill out of a mountain

As a sector, media & entertainment has a lot to gain from the use of analytics in decision making. As M&E professionals, we have to be malleable, nimble and open-minded if we have to continuously delight our consumers.

‘…but you don’t understand, how do I quantify my instinct? I run a business that’s creative; all about heart-felt passion and human emotions. What mathematical model can predict the magic of a smile?’

As a former management consultant and software programmer, this is a response I’ve come across only too often. As counter-intuitive as it may sound, it’s actually the best spiel I’ve heard in favour of big data and analytics.

It’s a lot like riding a motorcycle on a winding road. The wind is perfect, the traffic minimal, and you’re immersed in a therapeutic experience. If you’re an enthusiast you’ll know the gears without even looking at the display panel. Why, then, do most motorcycles come with elaborate panels and indicators? The answer is two-fold: (1) there’s simply too much at stake to rely purely on instinct, and, (2) an objective, real-time data point is far more accurate and reliable. It’s not a competition between man and machine but a confluence of the machine’s insight with human judgment to arrive at the right decision at the right time.

Let’s start with the ROI

A recent McKinsey & Co. study across Europe, Americas and Asia found that companies championing the use of customer analytics are 7.5 times more likely to outperform their competitors on sales and nearly 19 times more likely to achieve above-average profitability. Media is fundamentally a consumer business. Just imagine the impact for the sector, if only half of the above stats are true. 

The Big data conundrum

A big challenge that media companies face today in their analytics adoption journey is in their ability to draw ‘coherent and actionable’ insights on their consumers from large sets of unstructured data being captured every minute across multiple touch-points.

For example, in the case of a TV broadcaster, consumer data is fed from multiple sources in various forms – viewership ratings, social media preferences, primary research surveys to name a few. While the quantum of data is a challenge on one hand, it is the sheer variety of this data set - GRPs vs. textual comments on social media vs. survey responses - that presents the bigger challenge to derive a coherent set of insights. Remember, the ‘Big’ of big data is as much about variety as it is about volume. The result – media executives end up looking at a subset of this data, which they find convenient to interpret, to draw insights for their decision making.

Thanks to technology advancements, it is now possible to solve this conundrum through the adoption of advanced analytics & visualization tools, and generating insights on the click of a buttons, yielding high power to decision makers.

Success lies in cultural embedding

But people have tried in the past. Some have succeeded while a large number have seen their analytics initiatives fiddle out within the mesh of personal egos, poor execution capabilities and resistance to change. What can be done differently?

First and foremost, big data analytics needs to be pursued as a CXO-level agenda. It is important to have a senior executive sponsor – someone who can traverse through the organizational breadth and depth and act as a true evangelist. Secondly, those driving analytics should be able to appreciate business nuances and always keep sight of the business impact – the moolah – rather than being caught up with mathematical models. Finally, investment in training frontline employees on the effective use of data models is vital. It is they whose life gets affected the most and without whose appreciation and understanding, any such initiative is bound to struggle for breath.

In conclusion

The M&E sector is undergoing a paradigm shift in this new-age, data driven economy. It is time that we shed our inhibitions around big data analytics and look beyond our self-created cocoons – our friends in other consumer sectors, e.g., telecom and banking, have already made big strides in this space. What can we learn from them? It’s the same consumer they are targeting, after all.

Creativity forms the bedrock of our profession. That said, we exist to serve and delight our myriad audiences. Mathematical models may not be able to predict the smile on our consumers’ faces, but they can certainly help us in getting more of them to smile, more often!

The author is Strategy Head, Viacom18 Media

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NCLAT likely to hear ZEEL's plea today

The appellate body had deferred the hearing for ZEEL’s petition against the NCLT order

By exchange4media Staff | May 26, 2023 8:54 AM   |   1 min read

ZEEL

The NCLAT is likely to hear ZEEL's petition in the Sony merger issue on Friday.

This is after the appellate body deferred the hearing in the petition against the NCLT order passed on May 11.

The network had said that it did not have the opportunity to present its arguments.

On May 11, the NCLT directed the exchanges to reassess the approvals, which previously got a thumbs up from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

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BCCI likely to wait for Zee-Sony merger to sell media rights for bilateral matches: Report

The report also claims there is a possibility that the BCCI may not sell the rights for four years but instead for a different tenure

By exchange4media Staff | May 26, 2023 8:44 AM   |   1 min read

bcci

The BCCI may wait for the completion of the Zee-Sony merger to sell media rights for the Indian cricket team’s bilateral series, according to a report in a leading business publication. 

The report, which quotes sources, suggests that the cricket board would “wait for some time and watch how the Zee-Sony merger pans out before issuing the tender.” The report also claims there is also a possibility that the BCCI may not sell the rights for four years (from 2023 to 2027) but instead for a different tenure.

The report further says that The BCCI would want to issue the tender before the Asia Cup in September this year, but would hope that the Zee Sony merger has been completed by then.

Sony had the broadcast rights for IPL from the first edition till 2017, when Star India (now Disney Star) picked up the rights. Sony Sports Network also holds the rights to broadcast games from England, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Also, the BCCI has still not decided if it will go for e-auction or other modes for selling th rights. BCCI may also separate the rights of men's and women's rights.

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ZEEL posts Rs 8168 cr as revenue for FY23

ZEE5’s total revenue for the year stands at Rs 741 crore, up 36% compared to the previous fiscal

By exchange4media Staff | May 26, 2023 8:43 AM   |   2 min read

ZEEL

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited's (ZEEL) revenue for the fiscal ended 31st March 2023 stands at Rs 8167.62 crore compared to last fiscal’s Rs 8305.86 crore.

The company has recorded ad revenue of Rs 4057.89 crore a drop of 7.6% compared to last year’s Rs 4396.15 crore.

As per reports, ZEEL has posted a net loss of Rs 73 crore for Q4 compared to the corresponding quarter last year.

Subscription revenue saw a 2.7% growth at 3335.47 crore on March 31, 2023, compared to Rs 3246.6 crore last fiscal.

The company said that its other sales and services revenue YoY was down 25%, and up 71% QoQ aided by new launches and higher syndication revenue.

The company's expenditure was up 10.3% to Rs 7364 crore compared to Rs 6674.14 crore. EBITDA for FY23 was down by 38% YoY due to a decline in revenue and elevated strategic investments across the business. It fell from Rs 1780.33 crore to Rs 1101.1 crore this fiscal. EBITDA margin came in at 13.6 % compared to 21.7%.

The operating expenditure for the fiscal increased 10.5% to Rs 4468.6 crore from Rs 4041.79 crore. Profit after tax for the business has dropped by 76.1 % from Rs 1053.8 crore to Rs 251.4 crore.

The total revenue for its OTT platform ZEE5 stood at Rs 741 crore, up by 36% in FY23 compared to the previous fiscal.

The company said that the programming and technology costs were higher YoY due to higher content cost in movies, investment in ZEE5 and Sports.

Personnel expenses decreased from Rs 826.1 crore to Rs 823.8 crore YoY.

Advertising & Promotional expenses surged by 23 % to Rs 1055.4 crore from Rs 858.5 crore as new content launches on Digital increased the marketing cost on a YoY and QoQ basis.

Compared to the last quarter of FY22, the advertising and subscription revenue of the company fell by 5%.

The platform's global MonthAly Active Users (MAUs) stands at 113.8 million in March 2023 compared to 104.8 million in March 2022. The number of Global Daily Active Users (DAUs) has increased from 10.5 million to 11.1 million.

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Arnab Goswami tenders unconditional apology before the Delhi HC in 2016 case

The case was filed by former Executive Vice Chairman of TERI R.K. Pachauri against him and others

By exchange4media Staff | May 25, 2023 6:48 PM   |   1 min read

Arnab

Arnab Goswami, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV has tendered his unconditional apology before the Delhi High Court in a 2016 contempt case.

The case was  filed by former Executive Vice Chairman of TERI R.K. Pachauri against him and others for "fragrant and willful disobedience" of the court's earlier orders restricting them from publishing certain claims against him.

"I hereby tender my apology to this Hon'ble Court and request that this Hon'ble Court may graciously be pleased to accept the apology and close the instant proceedings against the deponent," reads Goswami's affidavit submitted in court on April 28.

The affidavit further stated that Goswami is a law abiding and a respectable citizen of the country, holds all courts in high esteem and has the highest respect for the Delhi High Court.

"I had no intention to commit any act/ omission amounting to disobedience much less, wilful disobedience of the orders of this Court. I say that the alleged broadcasts were done under the bona fide belief that the same was not prohibited in terms of order passed by this Hon'ble Court on 18.02.2015 passed in C.S. (OS) 425 of 2015. The alleged broadcasts were made as part of fair reporting in view of the liberty under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India as recognised by this court in the aforesaid order," the affidavit reads.

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India Today Group to launch its free-to-air English news channel in the UK

The channel will be launched on May 31

By exchange4media Staff | May 25, 2023 4:49 PM   |   1 min read

india today

The India Today Group has announced the launch of India Today in the UK market from May 31. This is a follow-up to the launch of the Group's Hindi news channel, Aaj Tak, in the UK market. Previously operating as a hybrid channel, Aaj Tak and India Today served UK audiences with unique content.

With the launch of India Today, the English news channel will now be available as a free-to-air service, broadcasting in standard definition (SD) and accessible on Sky Channel No. 523.  This will position it alongside other prominent English news channels, including Sky News, BBC News, GB News and Talk TV, the group said in a press release.

Meanwhile, Aaj Tak will continue to be available on Sky Channel number 710, providing uninterrupted access to Hindi content for viewers. The India Today Group, renowned for its comprehensive news coverage and commitment to delivering high-quality content, is thrilled to bring its linear presence to the UK audience.

“With its launch in the UK, India Today aims to captivate audiences with its insightful reporting, engaging programmes, and unwavering commitment to journalistic excellence. The channel's introduction is a testament to the India Today Group's dedication to delivering informative and relevant content to viewers worldwide,” read the release.

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ZEEL to appeal against NCLT order: Reports

The network is expected to contest that it did not have the opportunity to present its arguments

By exchange4media Staff | May 24, 2023 8:57 AM   |   1 min read

ZeeSony

ZEE Entertainment Enterprises is likely to move the NCLAT against the NCLT order, media networks have reported.

The network is expected to contest that it did not have the opportunity to present its arguments. ZEEL may challenge NCLT's jurisdiction regarding the non-compete fees issue.

The NCLT will be moved in a day or two, reports said quoting sources.

We had earlier reported that on May 11, the NCLT directed the exchanges to reassess the approvals, which previously got a thumbs up from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

SEBI has passed an interim ruling against one of the promoters of the Essel Group, which owns Zee.

The exchanges have also been asked to review whether the payment method for the non-compete fee between two Mauritius entities is in accordance with the relevant SEBI policies.

The proposal for the ZEE-Sony merger has already been green-lighted by the BSE, NSE, Zee shareholders and the Competition Commission of India.

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Sarah Jacob quits NDTV

Jacob was associated with NDTV for over two decades

By exchange4media Staff | May 23, 2023 5:37 PM   |   2 min read

Sarah Jacob

NDTV’s popular anchor and Senior Editor Sarah Jacob has quit.  Jacob, who has worked at NDTV for over 20 years, also hosts the show We The People.

In an email to NDTV staffers, Jacob described NDTV as an “amazing newsroom filled with the most creative and driven reporters”.

“I cannot thank you enough,” she wrote. “Working with the best in the business has been an honour.”

"Last night, I resigned from NDTV. To Dr. Roy and Radhika Roy, Thank you for building what was one of India's great media institutions. To my many colleagues of over two decades, thank you for the memories.

It has been a fantastic ride from 2001 to 2023 at NDTV in various capacities. From being a reporter to having my own show has been rewarding and I am forever grateful for all that NDTV gave me and continues to offer. To be in the middle of the most spectacular years of the Indian TV news industry boom, that too at NDTV, which has set the standard of excellence for the industry, has been a magical career thus far. I hope future generations get to work at a place like I did, while learning the ropes. A most special thanks to my viewers, supporters and critics. You all had just as much to contribute in making sure I improve, introspect and learn. Your feedback keeps us honest. I will miss my show 'We the People' immensely and hope that whoever takes over from me will continue to ask the tough questions, but for now this is Sarah Jacob, signing off from NDTV," she wrote.

Many prominent names associated with the channel have quit the network recently and they include: Ravish Kumar, Nidhi Razdan who stepped down as Executive Editor,Group Editor Sreenivasan Jain, NDTV Group President Suparna Singh, Chief Strategy Officer Arijit Chatterjee, along with Chief Technology and Product Officer Kawaljit Singh Bedi.

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