With Artificial Intelligence (AI) continuing to be a prominent buzzword throughout 2019, many media organizations are already beginning to see the incredible capabilities of AI using its advantages to enhance human intelligence while gaining real value from their data.

According to PWC, artificial intelligence will contribute as much as $15.7 trillion to the world economy by 2030. Therefore with increasing evidence demonstrating the benefits of AI, media companies are gaining a deeper understanding of what AI can really offer. With artificial intelligence gradually spanning into many strategies, we can only expect this to accelerate throughout 2019.

We examine the top leaders in the media industry who have successfully incorporated AI into their organization to gain a competitive edge while reducing ad operation costs.

Media Industry Leaders Successfully Implementing AI

1. Salesforce Einstein

Salesforce has embraced AI for both sales and marketing with the introduction of Salesforce Einstein, a set of advanced AI capabilities including, predictivity, personalized customer experiences, and automation, which aims to eliminate repetitive and time-consuming processes. Einstein is not like “general AI” offering that attempts human-like perception thinking and action, rather it is an intelligence capability built into the Salesforce Platform with a specific focus on delivering smarter customer relationship management.

With AI embedded, Einstein can help media companies to learn from their data in order to deliver predictions and recommendations based on their unique business processes. Therefore, it is clear that soon Salesforce users such as Vox Media, NBCUniversal, Pandora, and EA will start to adapt Einstein capabilities.

According to Salesforce, 60% of market leaders believe AI can help them run more effectively and will assist with better decision making while providing publishers, advertisers, and agencies with improved recommendations. This ultimately means that you can focus on what matters the most, the customer.

2. Netflix

With the presence of AI in today’s society becoming more and more ubiquitous, it is no surprise that large media companies continually deploy AI-related solutions that directly interact with consumers daily. Netflix’s success can not be explained without the understanding of their granular knowledge of their subscriber base and their AI-driven focus on personalization and customization.

In May 2019, Netflix announced the development of their workflow management and scheduling application, Meson, to manage it’s various machine learning pipeline which builds, trains and validates personalization algorithms, which is responsible for providing video recommendations.

Take a look at the following Netflix use cases of AI, Machine Learning & Data:

  • Personalized Movie Recommendations

Netflix uses the viewing history of other users with similar taste profiles to recommend what you may be interested in watching the next time. This is to ensure that you stay engaged and continue your monthly subscription.

  • Personalization and Auto-Generation of Thumbnails

With thousands of video frames from existing movies as a starting point for the generation of each thumbnail, Netflix annotates these images and ranks each image in order to identify which image has the highest likelihood of resulting in a click. These calculations are based on what others with similar profiles to you have previously clicked on.

  • Movie Editing

Using historical data of previous quality control checks have failed in order to predict when a manual check would be most beneficial, which otherwise could be a time-consuming and laborious process.

  • Streaming Quality

Netflix uses past viewing data to make predictions regarding bandwidth usage which can help decide when to change regional servers to optimize load times for all users during expected peak times.

For Netflix, by offloading work which cannot be effectively completed by humans yet still maintaining the role of experts to optimize machine-generated results, the company has established one of the most accurate and powerful recommendations systems worldwide.

3. IBM Watson Media

IBM introduced its artificial intelligence engine Watson in 2018 with the aim to make efficient media based on data and AI. The cognitive supercomputer IBM Watson can be used for multiple things but IBM is currently working on optimizing the programmatic media buying process.

With Watson Media Solutions, it enables media companies to infuse AI throughout their media workflow or video library ultimately unearthing opportunities to improve viewer engagement, video analytics, delivery, and monetization.

It was recently awarded the 2018 Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Award Winner for Enterprise Video Platform, having two solutions in this category including their “Video Distribution & Workflow” which aims to alleviate the complexity of ingesting, compiling and preparing both metadata and video assets for delivery to virtually any screen.

Many media companies including Fox Media and The Weather Channel have embraced IBM Watson’s AI capabilities. In 2018, Fox Media teamed up with IBM in order to enhance the sports viewing experience of the FIFA 2018 World Cup with the use of AI technology. As Fox sought to provide remotely produced feature stories and highlights in real-time for 64 World Cup matches taking place in Russia while utilizing their production facilities in Los Angeles. In order to tackle this challenge, Fox sports deployed an integrated best-of-breed solution consisting of IBM and Telestream Lightspeed Live, in which the deployment enabled high-quality streaming to remote production teams in near real-time. The results include the ability to create captivating content, deliver 2 petabytes of data across unmanaged IP networks, and greatly reduce costs.

4. Spotify

Spotify, the largest on-demand music service in the world with more than 150 million active listeners, is renowned for pushing technological boundaries with the use of big data, AI and machine learning in order to drive success. Their strategy has consistently focused on machine learning and therefore continues to stir up the way we listen to music. The app uses AI in order to connect with users, creating daily playlists based on what you’ve been listening to previously, while also suggesting new artists or albums that you may like. As it generates statistical summaries for all the activity from its users on a daily basis, it can identify users favorite genres, artists and languages in order to create the right mix of recommendations for each individual.

Spotify is most definitely a data-driven organization, as data is used in pretty much all parts of the organization. Daily, Spotify users create 600 gigabytes of data which is used to perfect algorithms and machines in order to improve customer experiences and extrapolate insights.

5. Amazon

Amazon is fast-rising as an advertising technology and services vendor and has generated $1.5 billion in ad revenue last year, while it is predicted by eMarketer that Amazon will be the third-largest digital advertising provider by 2019.

It is also has a robust advertising exchange which offers a “header bidding” programmatic advertising solution to publishers while providing search advertising through its A9 division where it can place ads on publisher’s pages while storing advertising inventory on Amazon.

But it is Amazon Web Services (AWS), which lifted Amazon’s profits to a record, accounting to more than 71% of the company’s total operating income, which many media companies are utilizing. For example, Hearst, one of the largest media companies in the world were challenged with the need to develop a platform that analyzed real-time clickstream events including readership stats, impressions and page views for more than 200 global websites while providing editors with a better way to monitor analyze trending content in order to promote cross-platform sharing and increased consumer engagement. With AWS, Hearst managed to build a clickstream analytics platform which transmits and processes more than 20 terabytes of clickstream on a daily basis.

The benefits of utilizing AWS artificial intelligence capabilities include:

  • Fast insights
  • Simplified data analytics
  • Increased content recirculation
  • Reduced complexity

Artificial Intelligence: Future-Proof Your Media Sales

Artificial intelligence is changing the world we live in. Instead of focusing on the fear of automation, media companies need to fully embrace new technologies to ensure that they implement effective AI systems to enhance and complement their current human intelligence.

According to HubSpot, 63% of people are not actually aware that they use artificial intelligence technologies. Although people may not be aware, it is evident that the adoption of artificial intelligence is expanding.

AI, is ultimately increasingly, serving as an engine that drives richer and more realistic experiences in the media industry, as personalization is now becoming a standard client expectation. It is without hesitation that AI is poised to be an integral strategy for staying ahead of industry trends and keeping up-to-date with consumer demands.