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How AI will Personalize Media and Entertainment

The traditional media and entertainment (M&E) industry continues to undergo a transformative process, adapting to customer preferences, new tech, and government regulations. Meanwhile, new direct-to-consumer online entertainment services and pay-TV cord-cutting have created disruptive challenges.

These rapidly evolving trends also include handling the high volumes of data generated, complexities in audience targeting and identity resolution, and the need for deeper levels of personalization.

All these changes are making artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) essential to automating many digital media processes -- including content selection, content management, media workflows, customer relations, and digital advertising.

Media and Entertainment Tech Market Development

According to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research, the upside market potential for AI/ML revenue growth within the M&E sector will reach $16.5 billion by 2026.

Personalization is becoming more nuanced and intelligent. AI/ML solutions enable M&E companies to tailor their services with the rich metadata they extract from their subscriber's usage.

That usage data drills down into sub-genres and incorporates more information about the user’s viewing history, content tastes, and preferences in a very personalized way.

"Also, thanks to AI/ML, Ads are becoming more contextualized, leveraging a wealth of data around environmental factors like weather and local store inventories," said Michael Inouye, principal analyst, Next-Gen Content Technologies at ABI Research.

This data is being applied to offer more targeted, contextually appropriate, and timely ads -- for example, a pharmacy could market allergy medicine to individuals within a high pollen count area and highlight nearby stores with available inventory.

Within the M&E vendor space, particularly ad tech, there is a wide breadth of companies leveraging AI/ML to underpin their personalization and media workflow solutions.

From the public cloud companies, of which AWS stands out with its media solutions and support for companies at various levels of AI/ML expertise and a growing partner ecosystem, to more specialized players who target specific applications and media workflows.

According to the ABI assessment, there has been a dramatic shift from the M&E industry that once prized end-to-end platforms and turn-key solutions to more modularity and flexibility.

"This speaks to the ongoing changes in the industry but also the increased diversity among service operators and customers, who bring in their own levels of expertise and preferred partners," Inouye says.

Outlook for M&E Technology Applications Growth

Openness and flexibility will be key as we move further into the future when mixed reality (XR) becomes more mainstream and new opportunities, like shoppable TV, will become a reality.

Today, companies like TheTake are powering shoppable content in TVs and mobile devices, which will dramatically change with the availability of smart glasses.

 "Throughout all these market changes, AI/ML will play a critical role in moving the M&E industry forward to adapt and take advantage of any new market opportunities," Inouye concludes.

Therefore, I anticipate that the applications of artificial intelligence in this sector will continue to evolve and enable the enhancement of existing services, plus foster the introduction of totally new offerings.

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