Want to know your audience? It's location, location, location

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Charlie Johnson, Digital Element
Opinion
May 18th 2017 at 10:38AM : By

Knowing where your viewers are is as important as knowing who they are. Charlie Johnson, Digital Element’s VP of UK and Ireland, looks at the power of IP data in a mobile video world

Gone are the days of watching scheduled TV programmes delivered by a small band of terrestrial TV stations. The rise of the internet has driven a proliferation of TV and film content that can be viewed whenever the consumer wants, while mobile internet has enabled consumers to view content wherever they want. In turn, these developments have raised a key challenge that broadcasters must tackle – location.

With its growing popularity and reach, video-on-demand (VOD) presents a significant opportunity for broadcasters to increase profit — VOD services are generating global revenue that is expected to reach €34 billion by 2018. However, broadcasters must consider a number of issues to ensure they meet consumer needs, including providing content that is relevant, viewable on all devices, and adheres to geographic rights legislation.

Subsequently, location information and IP intelligence are vital for broadcasters’ digital endeavours, and here are the top three requirements they must consider to ensure success:

Adhering to geographic licensing rights

Broadcast content is bound by ever-changing geographic rights legislation and failing to comply can not only negatively impact brand reputation, but also result in severe cost penalties, making adherence essential. It is vital that content is always available to those permitted to view and inaccessible to those that are not. However, digital content is hard to regulate - terrestrial channels are often only usable in select countries, but the internet is everywhere.

IP geolocation enables broadcasters to identify the exact location of their viewers, right down to postcode level, to determine whether to allow or revoke access as geographic restrictions dictate. What’s more, premium IP Intelligence data can identify those who should not have access and are falsifying their location to gain access by hiding behind a proxy, VPN or Tor. The ability to distinguish location and proxy data will keep broadcasters compliant and ensure they offer a positive experience that keeps users coming back for more.

The rapid growth of the internet and the development of ‘smart living’ – thanks to the proliferation of smart TVs, virtual reality, and wearable tech – means that in the near future more IP addresses will be required.

While the current IPV4 framework allows for around 4.3 billion IP addresses, the next generation – known as IPV6 – will increase the number of available IP addresses to some 10 hexadecimal (or approximately 3.4×10^38 addresses.). It is therefore critical that broadcasters work with premium IP intelligence vendors, who are able to provide robust IPV6 solutions.

The ability to distinguish location and proxy data will keep broadcasters compliant and ensure they offer a positive experience that keeps users coming back for more

 

Boosting personal relevance on a global scale

The use of granular IP data to pinpoint viewers at postcode level, without intruding on their privacy, combined with the ability to detect the viewer’s internet service provider, empowers broadcasters to increase the relevance of their content. They can offer advertisers the ability to tailor messages for specific regions, maximising relevance and impact, and can also provide a personalised and intuitive experience that adjusts to consumer needs, delivering content in the right language and displaying appropriate local ads.

Furthermore, larger audiences bring greater competition, and global content services promise almost unlimited reach. This means broadcasters with the best targeting, such as postal code location detection, residential and business IPs, even organisation name and type options are likely to attract more advertisers and consequently, higher revenue. This highly precise level of targeting can be made even more effective by layering in data from other sources, such as demographic information or weather signals. It is therefore vital that information about audiences is precise enough to enable not only the localisation of a broadcaster’s own content, but also that of their advertising partners.

Optimising content for multiple devices

Consumers expect their online experience to be perfectly adjusted to whatever device they are using so that content loads instantly and in the ideal format. With BBC iPlayer receiving 44% of its requests from smart phones and tablets, optimising digital services for mobile is an important consideration. Fortunately, IP technology not only detects location — it can also immediately distinguish connection characteristics such as connection speed and connection type, to help optimise streaming content.

By instantly establishing how they are connecting to the network, broadcasters can adapt content delivery for maximum convenience and engagement. For example, the ability to see whether a visitor is using a wifi, fixed-internet or cellular connection will allow broadcasters to deliver content that loads at the optimal speed.

Knowing the connection speed and type also enables broadcasters to adjust advertising content for multiple screens, thereby preventing ads from negatively impacting the user experience. When combined, these elements boost perceptions of the service, enhance consumer usage, and add to the appeal of broadcast content for advertisers.

As broadcasters make the transition to digital they are safeguarding their future survival, but there are key considerations that cannot be ignored. Legislation, personalisation and device optimisation are vital to adapting services for the content revolution, and by framing their offering around location, broadcasters can guarantee success.