Content Personalization in Media

Media is Embracing Content Personalization, But Where Does it Go Wrong?

Content Personalization in Media is the key to engaging customers. It’s difficult to believe how and when we came a long way ahead from the cord-cutting era and how our consumption patterns changed considerably, but subtly. Perhaps that’s exactly the beauty of personalization—you evolve without realizing. 

Content personalization is disrupting the media and entertainment business. Today having great content is no longer enough to disrupt the landscape of competitors. Throwing feeble messages on the wall and hoping that something sticks can only be a madman’s idea of operating in the age of digital transformation. To win and retain customers’ trust, it’s important to personalize digital experiences and make them channel-agnostic. 

The Disruption Effect: Media is Embracing Personalization

The transformation of the Media and Entertainment industry is revving up. The content is increasing at a vigorous rate, day by day. Due to an increase in the amount of content, personalization has become absolutely necessary to keep users/consumers engaged and satisfied. A number of research reports have suggested that around 40-85% of the traffic on media and entertainment platforms come from recommended and personalized content. That’s enough ground for the enterprises to lay the foundation for change. 

Personalization is broadly categorized into two categories: Explicit and Implicit Personalization. Explicit Personalization is straightforward. User themselves choose or follow the topics/categories on the platform. However, Implicit Personalization uses machine learning algorithms that analyze the behaviors, profiles, locations, usage patterns, and many more factors of users before recommending content. 

Where Does Content Personalization in Media Go Awry?

Personalization is a demand that can’t be ignored. To reap its benefits, enterprises need to get their approach right and be fully process-aware while transforming in whichever way possible to control the inhibitors. However, some enterprises simply try to settle in. Below are a few factors that derail an organization’s attempt at personalizing content. 

1.  Selection of Cross-Industry Algorithms that Behave Out of Context 

Problem: Most of the media and entertainment organizations have their platforms implemented either by some technology vendor or by their in-house teams. They implement personalization and content recommendation implicitly without understanding the underlying philosophy for a media and entertainment platform. Most of these personalization and recommendation algorithms have come from the e-commerce domain where a product is recommended based on the users’ buying behaviors and other parameters while targeting upselling and cross-selling. That’s exactly where the approach turns wrong.

Solution: The media and entertainment businesses must try to garner more screen time and engagement from an advertisement in order to get additional revenue. Since the content that a user is reading or viewing or listening can have a lasting impression on the psyche of the users, it requires a lot more than just personalization and recommendation algorithms used by the e-commerce companies. 

2.  No Emphasis on Hiring Social Psychologists 

Problem: Nowadays, having a bunch of technologists and data scientists/Machine Learning experts are important to make your digital platform engaging. Media and Entertainment enterprises don’t need talent, but the right and effective talent to build immersive experiences. They need social psychologists on board to understand the impact of the recommendation and personalization on the different type of users. However, these enterprises choose to go with consumer psychologists, which have experience in the e-commerce industry and aren’t aware of the dynamics of media. That’s where they fall out of place. 

Solution: The implicit recommendation and personalization should always be designed in such a way that it does not feed the user with a particular type of content over and over again This is important to ensure that the users’ outlook does not narrow down. Since excessive personalization defeats the purpose of the media and entertainment platform, it also kills the diversity of content and opinion. So, the need for social psychologists is the writing on the wall. 

3.  Continued Dependence on Biased Algorithms 

Problem: The team that’s responsible for configuration or building the algorithms for the recommendation and personalization systems should take care of some basic points. Most of the recommendation systems are biased towards the popularity of a content, which makes the popular content an obvious choice for the recommendation. This leads to more biased content that does no good to the user personalization experience. 

Solution: The recommended content should be mixed with less popular, complementing, or alternate view content to make the personalization experience much better. With the help of the social psychologists in the team, you can find out the right balance of content; the one that’s less biased and encourages the user to explore your platform.

Final Word

The days of cord-cutting media content are gone. It’s personalization that’s winning over. However, a poorly or overly implemented personalization strategy can have an adverse effect on the consumers’ psyche. Don’t let the biases of recommendation systems encourage prejudice and ruin the experience of the customers on your media and entertainment platform.