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How the pay-TV industry can employ data to rise to the challenge of Covid

NAGRA's Jacques-Edouard Guillemot explains how real-time access to and analysis of data can help pay-TV operators be more resilient and able to adapt quickly in the face of a crisis.

For operators using data-driven platforms, especially right now, one of the big challenges is to successfully calibrate models that were not trained to deal with variations of the magnitude being brought about by the current pandemic. The lack of precedence makes it increasingly difficult for them to take relevant business actions whilst factoring in the new parameters of the situation, stabilising the business and preparing for growth in the next normal. 

To build a robust and agile response to crises in general (not just the global pandemic we find ourselves in today), content providers, pay-TV operators and telcos must assess four specific challenges that must be overcome if they’re to successfully traverse to the next normal successfully:

Challenge #1: How you make decisions 

Pre-Covid, it was possible to make decisions driven by experience and opinion, rather than evidence. Now, in an unprecedented environment when business conditions are tougher, we have to make sure we bring more data and facts to the table, by building deep data integration across services and systems. Only integrations and effective exploitation of data can enable those strategic decisions.

Having the visibility into each subscriber’s journey is key. A consolidated view of what is happening, in terms of overall consumption, payment, or points of contact for each subscriber enables the operator to build scenarios that can be updated daily or weekly.

Challenge #2: How you work 

Previously, projects could be managed in silos within the organisation, but now there’s a need for a more streamlined approach so that relevant information and progress updates are available to all stakeholders. 

If operators are able to break down silos between departments, by applying new workflows and measurements throughout the company – it can better inform critical decisions whilst shortening the time from idea to action, which will make a big difference.

Challenge #3: How you engage customers 

The crisis has led to increased levels of subscriber churn from consumers who could no longer or didn’t want to pay for their TV services in the same way. The industry now needs to win them back while keeping those who stayed engaged during the worst months.

By placing data at the heart of marketing efforts, operators can act in a way that is personalised and different for each subscriber, transforming the customer experience, reducing churn and boosting revenue. 

Challenge #4: How you drive and accelerate 

Many pay-TV businesses need the capability to drive growth by monitoring outcomes and results on a regular basis, going beyond analytical information overload and by focusing on mission based KPIs. These data driven decisions are only made possible with quality data, collected across all areas and departments throughout the business. The quality of decision-making depends directly on data quality, and modelling business across departments, with a deep understanding of the data, will help to detect trends which may have otherwise been missed. This includes potential opportunities for subscriber and revenue growth, or threats to the business which need to be addressed, such as piracy. 

To overcome these challenges, operators need to deploy best practices by examining and enhancing four pillars of their business:

  • Increase subscriber numbers through acquisition, retention and upselling services.
  • Optimise content to better map the catalogue to the audience, increase service stickiness and acquire content in a more cost-effective way.
  • Enhance the quality of experience by actively monitoring the network to identify any issue to guarantee a smooth experience.
  • Improve targeted advertising by optimising slot inventory and audience micro-segmentation to increase value to advertisers.

By directly addressing key organisational and management challenges through the four pillars that can hold up the business, operators can create a more robust and agile organisation. Doing so enables them to be more resilient and able to adapt quickly in the face of crises – and it’s only through ongoing real-time access to and analysis of data from across the organisation that this can be possible.

For more information on how service providers can build resilience in the Covid era, download NAGRA’s newest white paper Shaping post-Covid resilience for the premium content, pay-TV and Telco businesses.