Content Is King, But Convergent Content Is Better
‘Content is King’ like food is King. It’s enjoyed so much more when it’s shared, engenders participation, and the experience of consumption is at least as satisfying as what has been served. In other words: social, interactive and immersive – 2021’s content Holy Trinity.
In terms of content, what, where, how, and why we consume it is now is a veritable smorgasbord of choice, and the decision-making factors can sometimes make the simple task of choosing what to watch, overwhelming at times.
Decision Drives Audience Distraction
That’s a scenario that’s not lost on Netflix and Roku who are actively working on improving menu operations, the latter observing it can take an average of seven minutes for a viewer to decide on something to watch. That’s a long time in consumer terms. It’s long enough to evoke exasperation or lose a viewer to distraction because they’re not yet committed to what they’re watching.
Pre-emptive program suggestions and streamlined menu operations are two ways of easing the burden of an abundance of choice, but so is an Audience Engagement Platform (AEP), and as the uptake of VR surges, AEP’s hold increasing appeal. One such example is LiveLikeVR. With real-time audience engagement with socialising, polls, quizzes, forums, vision switching, game analytics, and gamification, the LiveLikeVR AEP can make content social, interactive, and immersive expanded rationale to select a program.
Audience Engagement Platforms Influence Selection & Drive Engagement
AEP’s are currently predominantly used by producers/broadcasters of sports content. Still, I can see how this product could be harnessed for live streaming of other events, such as concerts and theatre performances, especially the features with advertiser appeal.
Now that Covid has brought such events into the online dimension introducing the concept of enjoying with others is no longer the uncomfortable concept it once was.
The AEP attempts to give viewers more involvement in the content through virtual participation and virtual game ‘presence’, to bring elements of enjoyment of the game as if they were at the game. They offer the viewer more interaction, more involvement, and more personal investment in the content, which makes their choice and investment of time a deeper and therefore more satisfying experience.
Desktop, laptop, mobile, CTV, or partnering through customised APIs, a team’s millions of users can engage and interact as a community in real-time as they watch the game through an AEP. Importantly, the LiveLike AEP lets the broadcaster collect first-party data by giving them the tools to control the user experience and fan engagement within their own seamlessly branded environment.
Where Broadcaster, Viewer & Brands Find Win-Win
The viewer experience can be tailored to a niche interest or predilection such as: does the viewer want fun, analysis, the scoop or VIP access? This is a highly specialised content adjunct that peer-to-peer social networks are not putting the same dedicated effort into as the purpose-driven AEP’s are at this time. Only Broadcasters have the rights entitlements to facilitate the interactive and predictive gaming features, ie. gamifying of the broadcast viewing experience, tying it to live, real-life rewards on their apps. Again, LiveLikeVR is an exciting example, and although this four-minute introduction video by the founders is from 2016, it gives a good idea of the experience.
For the broadcaster, the opportunity to control and expand engagement with the audience in their own branded environment also provides an exhaustive array of additional and unique monetisation opportunities. Deriving further revenue from a global audience is essential to offset the enormous expense of the broadcast rights.
From the ability to offer fans free or premium tiers, sponsored or advertising features from ad impressions, contextual advertising, custom response emojis and animation, stickers, poll integrations, micro-transactions, in-game or chat rewards, data insights, and more.
In the example of LiveLikeVR, broadcasters can take as much or as little from the array of AEP solutions they offer. From building their own API that uses the LiveLike features, taking a full solution using an SDK, commission a customised game design or UI/UX, or taking a fully customised solution. There’s no one size fits all, but a broadcaster is sure to find a solution that fits.
The media industry has gained a lot of insight from the gaming community on creating community, engagement, and audience stickiness. Like gaming, streaming TV can enjoy the matrix of features that the digital environment affords. These features are at the cornerstone of how audiences will choose and experience their TV.
Audience engagement platforms are another example of how convergence through technology provides content and consumers with the next level of satisfaction with content. Social, interactive and immersive is definitely 2021’s content Holy Grail, and it’s giving us a reason to choose.
If you’d like to know more about audience engagement principles or options, contact Wanted Consulting – Reward Offered.