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While the “internet of things” is still in the early stages of development, the media and entertainment industry already has many of the digital building blocks in place to make it a reality. Large publishers and broadcasters—many of which control the content and its delivery—have switched to digital business models and have the network and IT infrastructure to support high-speed transmission, new formats (e.g., 3-D, 4-D, 4-K ultra HD, high dynamic range, virtual reality) and multichannel delivery, as explored in the new eMarketer report, “The Internet of Media and Entertainment Things: What Marketers Need to Know Now.”
Because a growing percentage of media and entertainment content is consumed on digital and mobile devices, the number of industry-related IoT connections is rising. In its “State of the Market: The Internet of Things 2015” report, Verizon Communications found that IoT connections on its network in the media and entertainment vertical increased 120% in 2014 compared with 2013. The industry was third in terms of growth, behind manufacturing (204%) and finance and insurance (128%).
Other research reveals similar growth potential. An April 2015 survey of worldwide business executives by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) found that while the average per-company global IoT spending by media and entertainment organizations wasn’t remarkable when compared with other industries, it was expected to increase nearly 54% over the next three years, to $72.6 million in 2018 from $47.2 million in 2015. And as a percentage of average company revenues, this spending was 0.57%, second only to the travel, transportation and hospitality industry.
The same study found that the bulk of IoT activity in this industry involved the use of apps on smartphones, tablets or other digital devices. More than six in 10 global media and entertainment executives polled said they monitored customer data through mobile apps. To a lesser extent, survey respondents also reported IoT use in production and distribution operations to track product flow (33.3%), the use of digital sensors in products (12.5%), tracking devices in business locations (8.3%) and customer wearables (4.2%).
While nearly all types of media and entertainment businesses will benefit from the IoT, publishers and broadcasters are ahead of the curve. Many can already harvest various forms of data—location, behavioral, consumer-preference and demographic among them—from a variety of devices and systems, construct detailed consumer profiles and use them to create and instantly deliver personalized content across multiple screens.
Other companies seeking a piece of the media and entertainment industry IoT pie include telecom and cable service providers, advertising and marketing agencies, information technology firms, consumer electronics manufacturers, TV and movie studios, sports organizations, recreational facilities, event promoters, gaming companies, casinos and many others.
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