When Big Data takes the lead in entertainment

Big Data has an impact on content distribution because it can give us the right offers at the right time. It even influences the movers and shakers in entertainment in their work, as it helps them to create material that has every chance of igniting the public’s enthusiasm.

From Big Data to targeted advertising

Big Data made its entrance into the world of entertainment via over-the-top (OTT) operators, which use a recommendation-based model. “Subscribers have access to a huge catalog, and we need to help them to identify what they might like by understanding their normal consumption patterns”, explains Thierry Denoit, Big Data and Content Manager at Orange.

If Big Data allows on-demand services to customize their content, what’s in it for linear channels? Over and above recommendations for on-demand content, which they also offer – specifically via catch-up services – targeted advertising is of interest to them. Widespread in the United States, it could arrive in France if the regulations change: differentiated advertising is currently prohibited on live channels.

Big Data: a magic potion for artists?

Can content itself be influenced by Big Data? It is said that Lady Gaga uses Big Data to analyze feedback from her fans on social networks, thus allowing her to create the ideal playlist for her concerts. Similarly, the writers of a number of TV shows “listen” to social networks during and after the broadcast of an episode in order to adapt future scripts. But surely always giving the public what it expects may encourage a degree of fatigue and could well blunt the creative talents of the artists themselves?

Why would we not use the knowledge we gain from Big Data? There have always been rules in terms of artistic creation. There are as many potential scenarios as there are styles of music or painting… In the past, the rules were intuitive, but today they can be spelled out by Big Data. Having said that, there are always people who follow the rules and others who ignore them.

Thierry Denoit

Above all else, technology has limits. Admittedly, it is now capable of providing an in-depth analysis of the style and composition of an artist’s paintings or music to create an “original” work, which could mislead even the experts. However, content remains a very human expression. Directors, for instance, can express themselves via production, lighting or set design.

Brand new: a Big Data department at Orange

In April 2017, the Content Division created a Big Data and Content Department which aims to learn more about consumer expectations.
It is the division’s first technical department, and brings together staff who specialize in statistics, IT and the business-related aspects of Big Data. Within the Group, their skills will be used by business lines and countries to support their Big Data and content requirements.