-->
Save your FREE seat for Streaming Media Connect this August. Register Now!

How AI Helps Solve Streaming Content Monetization

Much discussion of AI and streaming relates to streamlining and automating workflows, but how content companies can leverage it to personalize their content and target ads more efficiently, among other monetization strategies, is another question the industry is examining closely.

Chris Pfaff, CEO, Chris Pfaff Tech Media, Producers Guild of America (PGA), VR AR Association (VRARA), dives into the AI streaming monetization question with Bethany Atchison, VP, Distribution Partner Management, Vevo, Daniel Trotta, Product Manager, Content Engagement & Monetization, Warner Bros. Discovery, Alan Wolk, Co-Founder/Lead Analyst, TVREV, and Paul Erickson, Founder and Principal, Erickson Strategy & Insights in this clip from Streaming Media Connect 2023.

“I'm just curious from all of your perspectives where you see AI working,” Pfaff says. He asks Atchison to give her thoughts on the situation.

“We generally use AI for combing through all of the mountains of data we have across our different channels and platforms,” Atchinson says. “We definitely believe in the importance of the human element in creating our programs on our channels. So we're really not leveraging that to create the content, but we are using it to make sure that everything is being surfaced, and that also enables us to surface new artists that might not be top of mind for everyone watching, but because the data is organized so cleanly, we're able to find rising artists who are new in hip hop and put them on our Vevo hip hop channel and give them a platform and an opportunity to be seen in a CTV environment.”

Pfaff says to Trotta, “I'm sure you've got some homegrown AI that you use in addition to other major vendors. Talk about some of your war stories in trying to implement AI to ‘know thy audience’ better.”

“A lot of what you see on a streaming homepage is personalized to you and your past viewing behavior and what similar viewers to you have viewed in the past,” Trotta says. “The human element there that is still really vital is pointing the algorithm in the correct direction. So that's setting the key input and key output metrics and determining [if you] are going to optimize for the most active viewers you can get on your service in a given day? Are you going to optimize for the most viewing hours you can get on your service in a given day? Are you going to optimize for the frequency with which users come back in a month? These are all [elements] that get sped through the pipeline that ultimately becomes what the user sees. But that's the fundamental question to kick everything off each time.”

Pfaff says, “I think that, certainly, this will get better and better, but you've got to do that for millions of viewers and devices as well.” He next asks Wolk how he and TVREV view AI and how it aids service providers.

“I think AI is going to be a huge game changer,” Wolk says. “We’re already seeing it now…the thing that we always talk about is how nobody wants to run their funny commercial during the funeral scene of a show, and it's been very hard to identify that…and now they're able to do that to understand the emotions and even other things, like if I'm Cadillac and Matthew McConaughey is in a scene, I want to run my ad there too, so it creates a nice synergy. And then even understanding what sorts of shows viewers like and being able to personalize their feeds. It's just such an exciting time, and the ability to do this is just going to be incredible.”

Pfaff asks Erickson, “I'm just curious, in terms of things like ad frequency and ad fatigue…how that needs to be solved and what you're seeing in terms of solutions.”

“Well, certainly I think AI will help in that, but my thoughts on ad overload and poor targeting…they're always going to be a net negative for engaging or retention, which obviously impacts your ROI over time,” Erickson says. “My thought on this [is that] content is that the lifeblood of any video operation, whether that's traditional broadcast, the streaming services, Free Ad-Supported Television (FAST) channels…it can make or break the economics of your service. The right content brings people in, keeps them there, and brings them back. But running out of content leads to them to churning. Spending too much on that content, no matter how good and relevant will put you upside down ROI-wise. So today, I think we're finally seeing serious judicious review of content spending when it comes to acquisitions and commissions to ensure that overall content budgets are being used efficiently and profitably.”

He notes that ad frequency and poor demographic data are particular issues for FAST. “Hopefully, it's going to be improved, and it is improving.” He says that ultimately, it remains very important “To make sure that you are spending your budget judiciously on the right kinds of content, whether that's an original commission or licensing it…I think that will still be fundamental to your service's success.”

Watch full sessions from Streaming Media Connect November 2023. We'll be back in person for Streaming Media NYC on May 20-22, 2024. More details here.

Streaming Covers
Free
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues
Related Articles

SMNYC 2024: Bedrock CEO Jonas Engwall Talks Pan-European Streaming Platform Growth

Streaming Media's Tim Siglin interviews Bedrock Streaming CEO Jonas Engwall at Streaming Media NYC 2024. Bedrock is a leading streaming tech company in Europe, and Engwall discusses their new M6+ platform, which features short-form content in a vertical form, podcasts, and advanced AI search. Engwall also talks about how Bedrock aims to help stakeholders pivot into the streaming world, offering a platform that can be tailored to different countries and partners' needs.

SMNYC Debates: TO AI, OR NOT TO AI?

On Monday, May 20, at Streaming Media NYC, two lively debates on the topic of AI in Media and Entertainment showcased leading industry figures. The first, "AI: Boon Or Bubble?" examined the ways that AI has entered every sector of the media, business, and technology worlds, and it explored how much of AI's insurgency is a fad, and how much of it is the actual future of streaming. The second, "The Real Value Of Artificial Intelligence," explored the fearmongering around the idea that "AI is coming for our jobs," and focused on how AI/ML might make workflows more efficient and effective, grow or refine reach, and help to boost bottom lines.

Q&A: AI in Advertising With Rembrand’s Cory Treffiletti

Cory Treffiletti, CMO of Rembrand, discusses the company's innovative use of programmatic generative AI for virtual product placements, along with how speedily AI is developing within the advertising industry and the ways it is upending the traditional media buying process.

How the Hollywood Strikes Will Change Premium Content

With content production largely on hiatus in the US for months during the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, as those strikes drew to a close in fall 2023, content companies found themselves at a crossroads, with the opportunity to start generating content fraught with strategic complications. In some respects it's a new beginning, and a chance to consider new approaches rather than simply filling a void. So what's next in the premium content world? On the content side, Warner Bros. Discovery's Dan Trotta and Vevo's Bethany Atchison, and from the analyst corner, TVREV's Alan Wolk, Chris Pfaff, and Paul Erickson weigh in on this critical question of where we go from here in this clip from their panel at November's Streaming Media Connect.

Pros and Cons of AI in Streaming

What are the significant upsides and downsides to the growth and adoption of ChatGPT and other AI applications for streaming professionals, and how can they leverage its strengths effectively? Boston 25 News' Ben Ratner, LiveX's Corey Behnke, AugX Labs' Jeremy Boeman, Mobeon's Mark Alamares, and Intellivid Research's Steve Vonder Haar discuss in this clip from Streaming Media Connect 2023.

How to Deal with AI Hallucinating, Copyright, and Fact-Checking

How can streaming pros deal with all of the copyright and fact-checking pitfalls of using AI systems trained with public datasets as error-ridden and inappropriately expropriated as the internet itself? Boston 25 News' Ben Ratner, IntelliVid Research's Steve Vonder Haar, AugXLabs' Jeremy Toeman, and LiveX's Corey Behnke discuss how to navigate this minefield in this clip from Streaming Media Connect 2023.

How Does Generative AI Impact Streaming Monetization?

Generative AI is a game-changer for all sorts of businesses, and how to leverage it is a key strategic and technical concern for a range of streaming organizations looking to monetize their content and operations. Darcy Lorincz of Barrett-Jackson Auction Company, C.J. Leonard of Mad Leo Consulting, and Reality Software's Nadine Krefetz explore generative AI's current and imminent impact in this clip from their panel at Streaming Media Connect 2023.