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White Paper

Keep Your Customer Experience Streaming

Why media companies need software analytics to win over today’s digital audiences

Table of contents

Introduction

The media and entertainment industry continues to experience significant disruption as traditional print, broadcast, cable, and film companies work to protect their legacy revenue streams and simultaneously create internet-delivered OTT (or over the top) offerings as a bridge to the future. Born-digital disruptors, meanwhile, leverage their native advantage in audience development via social media while striving to create high-quality content that can compete with traditional offerings.

Entirely new business models are emerging thanks to best-of-breed capabilities in content creation and content distribution (for example, see Major League Baseball Advanced Media). At the same time, vertical integration is becoming common as B2C streaming providers create their own content even as traditional content providers create OTT offerings.

Across this spectrum of change, it’s a simple truth that the amount and dimensionality of knowable data on the digital customer experience has grown faster than most organizations are able to collect it and use it to make decisions.

In this white paper, you’ll learn how digital consumption habits are changing the requirements for media success, why every media company must act like a software company in the face of these changes, and how software analytics can help you deliver the best digital experience possible.

Three Key Factors Driving Media Success

Media success can be defined as getting the right content to the right user—on-demand, via the user’s preferred device, with the best user experience possible. More fundamentally, though, success is defined by revenue, including advertising, licensing fees, and subscription fees.

In order to maximize revenue, today’s media and entertainment companies must focus on three key areas:

  1. Innovation around product, content, and user experience
  2. An omnichannel approach that drives unified—and
    enhanced—customer relationships
  3. Mobile and video as the centerpiece of new offerings

What is required to execute on these imperatives?

Innovation demands agility

Successful media organizations must quickly meet customer demands via new and innovative offerings. This requires collaboration between product, development, and operations teams, all adhering to global, business-centric KPIs and analytics. It also requires the ability to quickly deploy quality software. From an application and infrastructure perspective, media and entertainment companies are increasingly turning to the cloud and agile development techniques to more quickly create and deploy applications and optimize their infrastructure.

Omnichannel requires top-notch brand and user experiences

For media brands, it is crucial that users have similar brand experiences when consuming content via traditional web, mobile web, or native mobile channels. This daunting technical challenge is often addressed with website and app redesigns employing Single-Page Applications (SPA) technologies using frameworks like AngularJS and Backbone.JS, responsive web design, and hybrid mobile applications. On the backend, cloud-based microservices architectures help nimbly support multiple digital channels.

The availability, performance, usability, and enjoyment of a website or mobile app determines whether a media company gains new customers, whether existing customers consume more content, and whether users share that content via social media. Marketing organizations have long employed sophisticated user engagement and audience development analytics. Too often, however, that data is not shared with product, development, and operations teams. User experience data must be used across teams to successfully drive innovation in customer experience.

Mobile and video need monitoring

As user experience becomes the key competitive differentiator, media companies must have content that is highly available, can be delivered to customers on demand, and performs well across all digital channels, with an increasing emphasis on mobile.

Users increasingly access the web via mobile devices, and video is becoming the dominant content format. Successful media companies must understand the dynamics and performance of mobile users as well as the availability, quality, and performance of video.

Media Companies Are Now Software Companies

As outlined above, in order for the business to succeed, a media company’s technology—and more specifically, the team supporting that technology—must succeed. Whether that’s done via infrastructure optimization, support for new frameworks like single-page applications, or mobile performance monitoring, it’s becoming increasingly clear that media companies must now act like software companies to support optimal content delivery.

To win in today’s environment, a media business must be agile and collaborate around three software-related goals:

  1. Application performance. Application infrastructures must flexibly deliver content—whether the content is a web page or streaming video. Content must be highly available and be delivered to the end user fast. Errors and slow performance could result in the loss of new customers or lowering the future value of existing customers. Once backend application availability and performance is optimized, performance issues must be monitored on the frontend as well: to the (desktop or mobile) browser and native mobile app.
  2. Customer experience. For B2C digital media, where the majority of revenue comes from advertising, the web page is the business. As the richness and complexity of code running in browsers and mobile applications increase dramatically, so does the need to quickly identify and fix frontend errors (JavaScript errors, app crashes) and optimize the performance of content and apps to satisfy users’ demanding expectations.
  3. Business success. Business success of software is determined by how it helps grow and ensure revenue or reduce costs by increasing efficiency. For media companies, business success can rest on page views, new subscriptions, videos watched, licensed content delivered, etc. To be truly innovative, product, development, and operations teams must collaborate around application performance, customer experience, and business success. Together, they must create a performance culture based on data-driven decisions.

Bleacher Report Hits a Home Run With Software Analytics

One of the fastest-growing digital properties in the U.S., Bleacher Report is the leading digital destination for team-specific sports content and real-time coverage. Knowing that sports fans want their news fast, the media company relies on New Relic Software Analytics to ensure speedy delivery of content and prevent downtime through performance monitoring and optimization, scalability testing, and capacity planning.

With insight from software analytics, Bleacher Report can respond more quickly and effectively to issues reported by users. “When things go wrong, New Relic helps us pinpoint exactly where the issue is,” says Eddie Dombrowski, senior software engineer at Bleacher Report. “Instead of asking the user a dozen or more questions about the problem, you only need to ask one question. And it’s the right question because we use New Relic.”

“Instead of asking the user a dozen or more questions about the problem, you only need to ask one question. And it’s the right question because we use New Relic.”

—Eddie Dombrowski, Senior Software Engineer, Bleacher Report


The Need for Software Analytics

The media and entertainment industry is undergoing dramatic change, from the emergence of digital media to the impact of OTT streaming. Business models are being rewritten as media companies become software companies.

New Relic provides powerful software analytics solutions that help media companies empower high-performing software development and delivery teams. Whether you’re migrating to the cloud, improving mobile engagement, or boosting video performance, software analytics is all about enabling innovation based on your software data.

New Relic APM can help companies optimize their on-premise and cloud infrastructures. New Relic Browser, Mobile, and Synthetics can help teams understand and improve their omnichannel end-user experience. New Relic Insights provides KPIs and analytics that can drive collaboration within and between teams to enable agility and innovation.

The modern media business demands top performance 24 hours day, 7 days a week. With software analytics, you’ll be well equipped to meet that goal.

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