It’s no secret that over-the-top content (OTT) services, the delivery of audio, video and other media over the Internet are on the rise. Netflix’s stock price has more than doubled since January of this year, CBS All Access has been available since October 2014 for just $5.99 a month with no cable subscription necessary, and HBO has followed suit by launching a standalone service on April 7.
One of the obvious influencers in this trend is the increasing connectivity of TVs through devices such as Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, and connected gaming systems. These devices allow for long-form video OTT providers, such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, to publish their content in an easily viewed and more traditional manner on your TV. Another important underlying force in this ‘cut the cable’ generation is the improvement in content personalization engines implemented by OTT providers.
With vast libraries of videos, content personalization is an important part of providing users with a positive and engaging experience, rather than an overload of videos that leave users taking nearly as much time to sort through as to watch.
Content personalization engines manage this feat by leveraging big data in order to find out what data points best predict a user’s content preferences. They then collect these data points on all users and use it to offer content suggestions personalized at an individual user level.
By personalizing the content experience, OTT platforms are cutting down the time users spend searching and in turn increasing time spent actually watching. This effect leads to improved user retention and higher engagement, which enables providers to extract more value from their content.
While these factors have been in place since the creation of the first content personalization engines, there are two key trends that are helping to make content personalization better than ever and more essential to a company’s success.
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