April 05, 2022 - 583 views|
Consumers expect interactive experiences that blend content, community and commerce. Here’s what it takes to deliver an all-inclusive CX.
Suddenly, it’s not enough for content to be attention-grabbing. With phone in hand and the big screen on the wall, consumers today want their viewing experience to also be a place where they can socialize and buy.
This movement toward “converged consumption” started with streaming and broadcast experiences that enabled viewers to chat virtually with friends and followers while watching a show. Then, media companies devised ways to purchase items such as clothing and skincare products as part of the viewing experience.
Next up is an even bigger leap. People will be able to make purchases and interact with their communities without ever disengaging from the entertainment they’re watching.
To meet viewers’ needs for an experience that combines content, community and commerce, media companies will need to reconceptualize the user experience, rethink their partners, build out cloud capabilities, and figure out how everyone can make money from the venture. But before they can do that, media companies need to understand how commerce came to content and who the big players are in the field.
It was only a matter of time before the buying experiences of Instagram and TikTok made their way to streaming and network content. What makes the media world different from these social channels, however, is consumers’ propensity to wield multiple devices as part of a single viewing experience. Viewers now move seamlessly among a mix of devices, from big screens and smartphones to tablets and laptops.
Creating an all-inclusive media experience that combines content, community and commerce takes an ensemble cast of characters unaccustomed to sharing the screen together. Leading the way in bringing content and community together are standalone apps like Kast and cable industry efforts such as Verizon Media’s “Watch Together” feature for its Yahoo Sports app. Big tech is also doing its part: Apple built SharePlay into IoS 15, providing platform-level co-viewing capabilities.
On a parallel path is the commerce component, where early entrant NBC Universal reports its shoppable TV campaigns convert 73% more consumers than traditional campaigns. Cable programmer Discovery is now airing shoppable ads that align with its catalog of food and home programming, and Netflix operates an online store that sells clothing featured in its hit series Emily in Paris.
While it remains to be seen how the metaverse will play into the convergence trend, media brands are signaling they’re all in. The Disney Metaverse is in progress. And the Recording Academy will host a series of events related to the Grammy Awards on the Roblox virtual platform.
Despite these advances, major challenges loom in the form of siloed ecosystems and lack of agility. Creators of content, community and commerce are typically unaccustomed to collaborating and sharing data. For their part, media companies are often unable to adapt quickly to consumers’ changing expectations. Our recent research found that while half of media respondents identified analytics capabilities as a priority for creating a complete customer view, only 16% said their organizations collect, analyze and apply customer data well enough to enable the personalized CX that’s at the heart of converged environments.
Here are four ways media companies can get ahead of the curve and achieve early success in enabling converged environments:
While still nascent, converged media holds the potential to grab even greater audience attention. By tackling the obstacles they’re likely to encounter, media companies can reframe how they interact with the broader consumer value chain—and move closer to the entertainment experience of the future.