Over the past 10 years, the cable television sector in the United States has enjoyed a period of growth that has enabled unprecedented creativity in the creation of high-quality content. AMC Networks has been at the forefront of this new golden age of television, producing a string of successful, critically acclaimed shows such as Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and The Walking Dead.
TDedicated to producing quality programming and movie content for more than 30 years, AMC Networks Inc. owns and operates several of the most popular and award-winning brands in cable television, producing and delivering distinctive, compelling, and culturally relevant content that engages audiences across multiple platforms.
Getting Ahead of the Game
Despite its success, the company has no plans to rest on its laurels. As Vitaly Tsivin, SVP Business Intelligence, explains: “We have no interest in standing still. Although a large percentage of our business is still linear cable TV, we need to appeal to a new generation of millennials who consume content in very different ways.
“TV has evolved into a multichannel, multistream business, and cable networks need to get smarter about how they market to and connect with audiences across all of those streams. Relying on traditional ratings data and third-party analytics providers is going to be a losing strategy: you need to take ownership of your data, and use it to get a richer picture of who your viewers are, what they want, and how you can keep their attention in an increasingly crowded entertainment marketplace.”
Zoning in on the Viewer
The challenge is that there is just so much information available—hundreds of billions of rows of data from industry data providers such as Nielsen and comScore, from channels such as AMC’s TV Everywhere live Web streaming and video on-demand service,from retail partners such as iTunes and Amazon, and from third-party online video services such as Netflix and Hulu.
“We can’t rely on high-level summaries; we need to be able to analyze both structured and unstructured data, minute-by-minute and viewer-byviewer,” says Vitaly Tsivin. “We need to know who’s watching and why—and we need to know it quickly so that we can decide, for example, whether to run an ad or a promo in a particular slot during tomorrow night’s episode of Mad Men.”
AMC decided it needed to develop an industryleading analytics capability in-house—and focused on delivering this capability as quickly as possible. Instead of conducting a prolonged and expensive vendor and product selection process, AMC decided to leverage its existing relationship with IBM as its trusted strategic technology partner. The time and money traditionally spent on procurement were instead invested in realizing the solution—accelerating AMC’s progress on its analytics roadmap by at least 6 months.
Empowering the Research Department
In the past, AMC’s research team spent a large portion of its time processing data. Today, thanks to its new analytics tools, it is able to focus most of its energy on gaining actionable insights.
“By investing in big data analytics technology from IBM, we’ve been able to increase the pace and detail of our research an order of magnitude,” says Vitaly Tsivin. “Analyses that used to take days and weeks are now possible in minutes, or even seconds.
“Bringing analytics in-house will provide major ongoing cost-savings. Instead of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to external vendors when we need some analysis done, we can do it ourselves— more quickly, more accurately, and much more costeffectively. We’re expecting to see a rapid return on investment.
“As more sources of potential insight become available and analytics becomes more strategic to the business, an in-house approach is really the only viable way forward for any network that truly wants to gain competitive advantage from its data.”
Driving Decisions with Data
Many of the results delivered by this new analytics capability demonstrate a real transformation in the way AMC operates. For example, the company’s business intelligence department has been able to create sophisticated statistical models that help the company refine its marketing strategies and make smarter decisions about how intensively it should promote each show.
With deeper insight into viewership, AMC’s direct marketing campaigns are also much more successful. In one recent example, intelligent segmentation and lookalike modeling helped the company target new and existing viewers so effectively that AMC video on-demand transactions were higher than would be expected otherwise.
This newfound ability to reach out to new viewers based on their individual needs and preferences is not just valuable for AMC—it also has huge potential value for the company’s advertising partners. AMC is currently working on providing access to its rich data sets and analytics tools as a service for advertisers, helping them fine-tune their campaigns to appeal to ever-larger audiences across both linear and digital channels.
Vitaly Tsivin concludes: “Now that we can really harness the value of big data, we can build a much more attractive proposition for both consumers and advertisers—creating even better content, marketing it more effectively, and helping it reach a wider audience by taking full advantage of our multichannel capabilities.”
在过去十年中，美国有线电视部门经历了一个创意创新、内容创新的发展阶段，以提高节目内容的质量。AMC Networks一直站在电视新黄金时代的前列，产生了一系列成功的、批判性的电视节目，例如《Breaking Bad》《Mad Men》《The Walking Dead》等。
面临的挑战是:可用的信息有很多，有上百亿之多，这些信息的来源是Nielsen、comScore等行业数据提供商，AMC TV Everywhere Web直播、视频点播服务等渠道，零售合作伙伴包括iTunes、Amazon,第三方在线视频服务包括Netflix、Huluo。
“我们不能依赖这些高层次的总结， 我们需要能够去分析结构化、非结构化数据，每一分钟、每一个用户的数据。”Vitaly Tsivin说，“我们需要知道谁在看电视，以及为什么看，我们需要快速地知道这些以便做出决定。例如，在明晚的《Mad Men》中，是否在某个时间内播出广告或促销活动。”