Guest post by Charles Dawes, Global Strategic Accounts Director, Rovi
Consumers are increasingly demanding seamless entertainment discovery experiences. Whether finding information about a favourite TV program, film, or even the related soundtrack, consumers want information quickly and on their device of choice. Enabling this discovery experience is an increasing priority for entertainment engineers. They are required to facilitate channels of discovery through intelligent search and recommendation functionality and bring each search target to life through metadata. This process of content discovery with a human touch can be described as the six degrees of entertainment discovery, which is powered by metadata
Metadata, or descriptive, image-rich entertainment programming information, can be sourced in almost every part of content discovery, whether it’s in a TV program guide, on a DVD or BluRay box, or films closing credits. It forms the information companies use to market a film or show’s content like title, actors, description, release date, running time, genre etc. It can also include descriptive tags – for example the mood of the content – quirky, slapstick or rowdy to name a few. Metadata can drive consumer connections through content discovery, recommendation, and increasingly through social media interaction.
Six degrees of entertainment discovery
The process of finding connections between new and favourite artists, celebrities, music and films can be described as the six degrees of entertainment discovery, as consumers are surrounded by immersive and interrelated entertainment associations. The six degrees of discovery is underpinned by data as the crucial link between different pieces of content.
Access to metadata behind search and recommendation functionality can enhance entertainment connections as consumers are able to discover new content, which can inspire them to buy more, spend longer browsing or renew a subscription. Today’s entertainment consumers have access to unprecedented amounts of content and consumption choices. Far from being overwhelmed by the volume and diversity of available programming they are welcoming it and actively seeking more.
Metadata’s changing role in entertainment discovery
Metadata’s role in the entertainment space has evolved significantly as digital entertainment continues to expand its footprint across new devices, platforms, services and applications. Content discovery has experienced a dramatic transition over the last sixty years as we have moved from paper television guides into the scrolling electronic programme guide, revolutionising the way viewers look to find out what shows are on by embedding the guidance experience directly into the television screen.
Today, many viewers now have access to the interactive program guide, giving them even more control with expanded program descriptions and the ability to call up additional information such as biographies on the actors appearing in a given show. DVRs and streaming catch-up TV services also provide the ability to time-shift and create custom, on-demand viewing experiences.
Search and recommendations have emerged as critical components of the content discovery experience and moving forward, personalised experiences will drive an even quicker and easier way for consumers to interact and engage with content wherever and whenever they want. We also see this data become increasingly influential in fuelling social media interactions, acting as the valuable baseline information for cultivating meaningful interactions between consumers and the content and brands they love.
Integrating metadata for enhanced experiences
When it comes to captivating entertainment users through discovery, the ever-evolving media landscape offers a wealth of opportunity for entertainment providers. As the volume and breadth of content becomes greater than ever before, providing a platform that acts as a trusted source for discovery can unlock vital new revenue streams. As functionality such as search and recommendations and personalisation of entertainment becomes available across connected devices and applications, the foundation of deep, standardised entertainment data is critical to ensuring a high-quality user experience.
Data should be comprehensive and normalised for all media and categories to ensure a positive consumer experience. It should also be optimised for delivery at peak times of interest and must be updated regularly to ensure consumers get exactly what they are searching for – as quickly as possible. Finally, the infrastructure supporting metadata also needs to be flexible, meeting the demands of today’s dynamic entertainment environment and presenting a robust user interface that is built to accommodate unanticipated influences while providing an engaging entertainment experience for consumers across multiple screens.