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Study: IoT Could Help Deliver Content to New Platforms

Applications enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT) could help media companies unlock revenue possibilities and make accessing new platforms and content easier, according to a new study by consulting firm EY (formerly Ernst & Young).

EY’s report – Internet of Things: Human-Machine Interactions That Unlock Possibilities – states that the potential for IoT in media is expansive, enabling providers to create deliver and tailor content for new platforms and to measure the context of media consumption through analytics.

The media and entertainment industry already is using IoT to some extent, according to the report, via inertial, motion and image sensors used in animation, gaming, video images, camera stabilization, sports and 3D.  

 “Armed with meaningful insights about consumer behaviors and preferences, M&E companies will be able to use data to deliver highly personalized, contextually relevant entertainment experiences to help people reimagine their experiences on devices they already own,” Chris Gianutsos, EY executive director, Media & Entertainment advisory services, said in a statement.

"To fully exploit the potential of IoT, there’s also an opportunity to expand to platforms that may not be considered part of the entertainment ecosystem or even exist today," he added. "Think about having news and information delivered on household appliances or video streaming in self-driving cars. We expect this will dramatically redefine consumer expectations in the near future.”

Those sensors also could provide data on consumer habits, preferences and the context in which media is consumed. Better data also could help address measurement deficiencies, like the duplication of unique users across platforms, and enhance what marketers know about their audiences.

“In an IoT world, media companies will be able to understand what a person is watching, as well as measure how, where, why and with whom consumers are viewing content,” said partner and EY global media & entertainment advisory leader Howard Bass said in a statement. “This new level of insight and context provided by smart devices will allow M&E companies to deliver targeted advertising that is relevant to a person’s mood, physical activity or location in real-time. IoT will not only improve the content experience for consumers, but it will also encourage the advertising industry to completely redefine its measure of success.”

There are risks to IoT, mainly regulatory hurdles, legal precedents, intellectual property rights, lack of connectivity standards and lack of IoT scale to reach critical mass, the report said. The biggest challenges are around privacy and cybersecurity, as protecting personal privacy and information will become increasingly difficult as more data is accumulated and more devices are connected.

“IoT is both disruptive and inevitable,” Gianutsos said. “For M&E companies to be successful, they will have to address risk and quickly innovate to respond to evolving customer needs and deliver rich content experiences. Only then will the M&E industry find real value in its IoT investments.”