Parks: Streaming Video Executives Bemoan Data Fragmentation

As media companies push to generate positive cash flows for their direct-to-consumer streaming businesses, almost 50% of executives in the streaming industry claim they are lacking the data needed to make good business decisions, according to new data from Parks Associates.

Specifically, Dallas-based Parks found that fragmentation of information across myriad data points stymies executives’ ability to properly analyze and make decisions regarding increasing advertising, raising prices, and related bottom-line decisions regarding content acquisition and production. Indeed, 71% of industry executives say it is difficult to see all of their streaming-related data in one place.

“Nearly half of industry executives do not have the data they need, in the way they need it, to make the best business decisions possible,” Jennifer Kent, VP, research, Parks Associates, said in a statement.

Companies that own or aggregate television and video assets distribute their content across 18 platforms, on average, so fragmentation in their data sources creates numerous and ongoing headaches for them when trying to make informed decisions about their services and subscribers.

For example, 78% of streaming executives said content performance by title is or would be “very useful” but just 46% said that data is fully accessible to them.

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Not surprisingly, artificial intelligence, or AI, is seen as a possible solution to the aforementioned data issues. The need for media companies to manage, optimize, and predict content revenue performance across all distribution models, including FAST, AVOD, SVOD, TVOD, pay-TV, and broadcast, suggests incorporating emerging AI tools, according to Mark Moeder, president of the SymphonyAI media division, which markets software providing first- and third-party data-driven on audience engagement and content preferences.

“Access to accurate, complete, and current data is the cornerstone for making good business decisions,” Moeder said in a statement.

Parks is partnering with SymphonyAI to offer insight into the streaming market.

“Currently data is not optimized to enable informed decision-making, and these gaps are limiting the full potential of this market,” Kent said in a statement.

Netflix Releasing Weekly Top 10 Content Charts

Netflix is getting into the ratings game. The SVOD behemoth Nov. 16 began releasing Top 10 weekly charts of favorite movies and episodic shows streamed by hours — not number of households or two-minute minimum — across its global footprint, and in detail across 90 countries. Netflix has also added its accounting firm, EY (Ernst & Young), to validate the chart data.

The four global charts, which highlight movies and TV shows (English, non-English), are available on a select website (Top10.Netflix.com). They  underscore Netflix’s attempt to be more transparent when it comes to data surrounding its original programs and movies.

Last week’s top-performing content, according to Netflix, included actioner Red Notice, with 148.7 million hours; Italian drama Yara with almost 18 million hours;  season three of “Narcos: Mexico,” with 50.3 million hours; and South Korean game-show-themed drama “Squid Game,” with 42.8 million hours.

Netflix’s lists are ranked by hours viewed per title, i.e. the total number of hours subscribers spent watching a season of a series or film. Hours viewed are tracked over the course of a week, starting on Monday and ending on Sunday with the lists being published on Tuesday.

Each season of a series is measured separately, so one might see seasons two and three of “Stranger Things” separately on the list. All titles, whatever the genre, are eligible for the lists — series and films, kids and family, Netflix and licensed.

The top 10 most popular Netflix films (English), TV (English), films (Non-English), and TV (Non-English) of all time are based on the total number of hours a title was viewed over its first 28 days on the service. Weekly reporting is rounded to 10,000 to account for any fluctuations in internet connectivity around the world.

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“Figuring out how best to measure success in streaming is hard, and there’s no one perfect metric,” Pablo Perez de Rosso, VP of content strategy, planning and analysis, wrote on a blog post.

De Rosso said traditional measures like box office or share of audience (which was designed to help advertisers understand success on linear TV) aren’t relevant to most streamers, including Netflix.

Netflix is currently tracked by numerous industry data charts and has dominated Nielsen’s weekly Top 10 content lists since their inception.

“Having looked at the different options, we believe engagement, as measured by hours viewed, is a strong indicator of a title’s popularity, as well as overall member satisfaction, which is important for retention in subscription services,” he wrote.