Streaming market insights with Capgemini’s Frederic Vander Sande


The streaming frenzy continues with more people using Over-The-Top media (OTT) services than ever before. According to the latest Capgemini report, OTT platforms have become more mainstram with intense competition prompting the launch of new, improved streaming services in the recent 18 months.

In an interview with Frederic Vander Sande, Capgemini Vice President of Telecom, Media & Entertainment, Inside Telecom obtained exclusive insights regarding the importance of the integration of big data analytics to create next-level, personalized user experiences.

Tell us more about content experience personalization and enrichment? What are the most prevalent trends right now?

When we surveyed the companies, the result was that data is the most important factor regarding personalization and experience. That does not mean that data is not important on all other aspects such as content production on monetization for example, however personalization is key.

We also found out that the way to enrich the users experience is crucial as in how can data help companies bring content to users, how to make sure you give customers their preferences on time with the right message, opening direct communication. Direct customer interaction is important.

It is not only about big data and knowing who you are, but it is about mixing that with a lot of different data around. It is both in terms of big data (ethnographic) or enrichment of external data together with the data you have internally.

The rising demand for streaming services has created a highly competitive market. How important is data to business survival?

The number of launched services in last 18 months made it a revolution for the market. Two points have been reached here: First, every broadcaster launched a new service if they didnt have one, and second, we can have a look at Pecan company (Ad business) which has been launched in the U.S. which promotes the OTT with ads and has the advertisers join the business, therefore creating a really competitive environment.

Streaming services now focus on a simple, intuitive interface. What has prompted the shift?

Netflix prompted the shift and simplified the content, as they became so big and users are used to it. You can select your profile and get the right content by having it presented to you in a super simple way, the user experience as well, is very important. Whatever Netflix does, others follow, that is why it will be more difficult to be innovative on this but you can only improve and data is crucial for that.

What are the current challenges for the Media & Entertainment industry? Would you say that big data runs the risk of killing or cultivating creativity?

The main challenges for media companies is social media companies like Google, Facebook and Apple because they are attracting audiences, advertising budget. The COVID-19 situation is also accelerating this challenge with every single media company.

Two matters are important when developing OTT platforms: How do I secure access to content? How do I see what is key? The biggest challenge for media companies is creativity, to find the right balance between human creativity, which is required and necessary and how to leverage tech and data in order to enrich the experience. The mutual point between companies is agreeing that the production side doesn’t use too much data, but they do.

How can data support content marketing to attract new subscribers?  

One of the key elements is the more you have information about subscribers, the better you can give the service in the most efficient way. The challenge here is two fold: if you do it too well, people will notice, which makes the company leave that human touch, in addition to saying that if you are not big enough, you will not have information to be relevant.

So size on the one hand and the ability to get the right information out of the client and being not pushy on the other, is key. This situation is considered a big challenge for small companies.

From your perspective, what were the most surprising findings from the report?

Maturity of media companies in terms of data and especially in Europe. When you approach leading companies, you find out that they haven’t embraced the algorithm world, and this is not only a challenge for the media companies but for culture and diversity as well.

How do you see the SVOD market evolving?

SVOD, which is subscription based VOD such as paying Netflix 10 euro/month to get access to their service. There are two things: we are evolving in a mixed market where you have subscription based services where people pay a monthly fee and advertising services. What we see more globally is platforms combining both, either because one market prefers one or because the client doesn’t want to spend 10 euros; they would have to subscribe to many services at once to have a balance between those two. However, OTT is becoming the normal.

How are media companies building customer relationships with their older audiences?

Acceleration across all age groups. A  few years ago, streaming was for the the youngsters. Part of the challenge for the companies is to address this audience. Content and value proposition are evolving to address audiences that are older. This process will continue to unfold, nonetheless what needs to be clear is that traditional TV and media will remain for years because not everyone wants to go on the internet.

What kind of impact is cybercrime having on the streaming industry?

If you are a media company, you need to build an environment of trust, otherwise people and advertisers will not invest with you. Regulations are playing an important role in helping combat cybercrime and keeping up with thos regulations is a challenge for the fact that they need to move as fast as the market.

Capgemini’s official website.