GUEST COLUMN: The role of AI and ML in the media industry

GUEST COLUMN: The role of AI and ML in the media industry

There is a role for AI and ML to play the hero that saves the day at every juncture.

Vishal Soni

Mumbai: There is truly no such thing as "show business!" We have seen the world of entertainment and media shape shift over the last few years, and more dramatically ever since the world around us changed in the wake of the pandemic. The entertainment industry showed a massive fillip during the lockdown years, but not in the way that was expected. The new age of media and social media platforms have transformed the way entertainment is consumed today, and the role of technology has become far more intrinsic along the way too. Everything from how we create, publish, and share textual, audio, and video content to the increasing accessibility of production technologies such as high-resolution cameras, content development software, and smartphones is changing. The landscape is burgeoning with tech-driven innovation both from the delivery and consumption ends of the spectrum.

With revenue expected to exceed $9.5 billion in 2022 when video ad tech is taken into account, the importance of AI and ML in the media and entertainment sector can no longer be dismissed. While it may not have been an obvious use case earlier, today, harnessing AI and ML to better target homes with advertisements, automate more operations, and secure the operators' content and services is only the tip of the iceberg. AI has already demonstrated its promise in the music business by producing beautiful tunes and in the world of art with a strong aesthetic influence. It will be interesting to see how AI in entertainment is likely going to have a marked influence on how people interact with movies, television shows, videos, sports, and games.

Glimpses of this shift are already apparent today. Media firms realise the growing competition they face with new players in the market, right from OTT platforms to social media platforms, vying for the consumer's attention. There is a swelling urgency to not only produce more content more rapidly but also ensure that the quality and intrigue of the content produced remains top-notch.

Enter AI and ML.

There are myriad applications for these two cutting edge technologies, to enable a massive uptick for media and entertainment businesses, right from beta testing of content to gauge interest to creating interactive content to even assessing the right platform for maximum success and viewership. There is a role for AI and ML to play the hero that saves the day at every juncture.

Some of the emerging areas of application for AI and ML are:

Knowing your audience: With increased choices comes the problem of plenty too. Audiences that were previously limited to a few platforms for satiating their entertainment appetite are inundated with a plethora of choices. In such a landscape, knowing audience preferences becomes business critical, and media companies that can harness the power of machine learning to understand their audiences more keenly are going to have a definite advantage as we move ahead by being able to provide relevant and engaging content to each individual every single time.

Feel with your audiences: It’s not enough to just know who your audience is. A step up from the data intelligence that AI and ML provide is understanding how audiences feel each time they view content that is produced by you. Testing your audience's emotions can help you dive deeper into how the content was consumed and perceived in order to make future bets that are likely to help you win viewer share and also ensure stickiness in an era when customer/viewer acquisition costs are only climbing up.

Deliver to your audiences: How many times have you heard the phrase "right place, wrong time"? Marketing leaders understand the critical importance of timing in reaching out to customers. The same content that finds resonance at a particular time can have a diametrically opposite response when you catch the consumer at the wrong hour. Emotion AI can help you not only understand how much of the content delivered is falling on the right side of the scale to ensure better results for your targeted campaigns. Retiring the spray and pray approach could be very possible if advertisers and marketers can tap into the hidden potential that emotion AI helps unlock for all the video content that is being produced for their brands' success currently.

Engage your audience: If only we could read the minds of our users to know exactly what they have understood and where the gap remains, all our efforts to produce better content in any context would be multiplied. This function is offered by all major corporations, like YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, etc., to improve the dependability and usability of their services.

AI is also capable of adjusting video quality for internet speed. AI can analyse the internet connections of various viewers in various regions to handle this issue, and it can compress videos without sacrificing their quality to provide a buffer-free streaming experience.

Advertising and the media

Advertising, design, and content promotion are just a few of the marketing and trade applications of artificial intelligence in the entertainment industry. The greatest AI algorithms to use when developing solutions for advertising and marketing that are results-driven. With the use of AI-driven marketing software apps, companies may address the needs and preferences of their audience, develop marketing plans, and create efficient customer-centric digital solutions. For instance, AI in the media sector may quickly produce hundreds of eye-catching graphic designs for advertising. Thanks to such cutting-edge and revolutionary technology, manual labour has been substantially reduced, and productivity has increased. Using emotion AI, the advertiser can understand the best demographic to pinpoint their campaign towards to get maximum output.

For example, if the emotion AI indicates that a person gets the feelings of passion and attachment while watching a football match, it can help the sportswear company understand that this particular audience and this medium work best to reach them through their campaign. By checking the pre-launch creative intelligence output and post-launch creative intelligence output, the campaigns will become more focused.

Development of AR/VR

As we are already seeing with the usage of AR in advertising, it's important to note that in addition to the fundamental use of AI in entertainment, AR and VR app development will also make this area more compelling and immersive. We will be able to watch events from all angles, enabling us to have experiences that are richer and better. AI will assist us in comprehending the sensation of the actual, live event. AI may, however, be used to produce interactive content for AR and VR. With a set of goggles and AI technology, the entertainment sector may work miracles and produce magnificent scenes.

Consumer interest is naturally drawn to the creation of virtual reality content for cooking shows, reality shows, and live events and programmes based on artificial intelligence. Watching television and movies with true emotional effects won't be a pipe dream with all these modern technological advancements; it will certainly become a reality. To make this a reality and to understand the concrete effect of the content, Emotion AI will be a tool that will be pathbreaking and extremely important for advancements in terms of what kind of content would be precise for different pieces and scenarios.

Harnessing Emotion AI

For any piece of content to succeed, gaining and sustaining the attention of the audience in question is key. If the audience isn't engaged from the beginning, one has already lost the plot. It, therefore, becomes imperative that the industry puts its best foot forward by testing creatives before the final launch—it helps to gauge the potential. Pre-testing content using Emotion AI helps empower the creators to better understand how pre-launch video creative intelligence can help drive better business outcomes. Emotion AI testing with a pre-defined target audience helps content creators ascertain whether the content is evoking the right kind of reciprocal emotional response. It empowers the creators to understand zones of high and low engagement and modify content for maximum engagement. The organisations can have the emotional AI response outputs mapped to multiple variables of age, gender, geography, time of day, etc., ensuring that the content is never out of flavour.

Subtitles and automatic transcription

International media companies should provide material that is relevant to audiences in different locations. As a result, businesses must offer precise and appealing multilingual subtitles for their video content platforms. It may take thousands of hours and effort to hand write subtitles for several films and TV series in a variety of languages. Additionally, finding the ideal applicant to accurately translate text into several languages is challenging.

Thus, to bridge this existing gap, the powers of AI-based technologies like deep learning and machine learning are harnessed for natural language processing to transcribe movies, music videos, and TV episodes into many languages. To reach a larger audience and foster user engagement, the voice of the movie is translated into several languages with subtitles and audio commentaries.

For instance, YouTube's artificial intelligence helps its publishers easily access their material by automatically generating closed captions for videos posted to the platform.

Metadata tagging

With the huge amount of content being created every minute, making this content visible to viewers can be an unnerving task for media and entertainment companies. Distributors and media producers like CBS Interactive are utilising artificial intelligence-based video intelligence technologies to thoroughly analyse the footage by detecting and framing things in order to add appropriate tags in order to carry out this task on a wide scale. As a result, any content held by media firms is easily discoverable, regardless of its bulk.

Due to the intense rivalry and the changing nature of the market, the economic and business models needed to flourish in the digital world are difficult and call for a considerable change in mentality and approach. Customers are the core of the media industry because they are now more powerful than ever. Organisations all across the world are realising that the customer is really the king and cannot be disregarded. By unravelling and experimenting with AI and ML, media and entertainment houses are maximising their business performance and enhancing the user experience and entertainment value with greater efficiency.

The author of the article is co-founder and CPO Vishal Soni.