Personalizing the Video Experience with Data-driven Recommendations

Personalizing the Video Experience with Data-driven Recommendations

Brightcove PLAY 2013 came to an end last week, but the dialogue from the event will provide us with blog fodder for weeks and months to come. There was that much productive conversation and content created at the conference. One session that we weren't able to summarize during the event itself--with subject matter that is incredibly relevant to our customers--was entitled "Personalizing the Video Experience with Data-driven Recommendations." Now that we're back in the office and generally caught up, we wanted to revisit this compelling panel discussion. Moderated by Taboola founder and CEO Adam Singolda, the panel featured:

  • Kate Walters, senior director, video and photo products at Gannett Digital
  • Jeff Moriarty, vice president, digital and general manager at The Boston Globe and
  • Peter Cherukuri, senior vice president, business development at POLITICO
  • J. Graeme Noseworthy, strategic messaging director at IBM Corporation

This group of digital media experts offered tremendous insight into their organizations' approaches to content and data. Here's a brief rundown of some of the session's key takeaways:

Personalization and Video are Interconnected: The panelists overwhelmingly agreed that, regardless of the size and focus of the organization creating video, the primary goal for video distribution should always be the same: deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. Like any content form, video will succeed only if it is tailored to its target audience and appropriately promoted. Recommendations matter--and you must know your audience. For instance, a local affiliate website should prioritize local content over national coverage. Their audience cares most about what's happening close to home.

Diversity in Video Offerings Matter: Particularly for traditional print outlets, convincing their existing audience (and new visitors) that they are now a video destination takes work. For example, has cultivated a variety of genre-specific video content (i.e. musical performances or video chat with its popular bloggers) and places tremendous emphasis on live video, particularly for breaking news, in order to drive video traffic.

Web Properties Draw Inspiration from Traditional TV: The panelists referenced the importance of longer-form video content online, specifically from a monetization perspective. High-quality content--what they deemed as "Frontline-esque"--is key to audience engagement in the future. Content creators need to provide their audiences with unique material that keeps them (and thus advertisers) coming back for more.

Drive User Engagement with a Smarter Media Experience: The panelists noted that it can be challenging to capture data from video content in order to speak to people in a way where they feel as though they are being catered to as individuals. But, it is possible. And, truly investigating user behavior to create realistic personas is key. Additionally, content creators should work to maximize engagement at every step--from first click to last click. Finally, consistency of experience and quality across channels (Web, mobile and mobile app) is important in ensuring that content creators do not alienate their audience.

What Data Matters Most, Anyway?
The panelists also shared their thoughts on the metrics that are most important to track; they include:

  • Number of plays/video viewers
  • Amount of time video is watched
  • Video views per viewer
  • Location (i.e. zip code) of viewers

We again thank the panel moderator and all of the panelists for an engaging and thought-provoking session. Adam Singolda at Taboola also wrote a recap blog post; you can read his additional perspective here.