In an era of evolving business models and digital transformation, data sharing remains the essential component to discovering more innovative ways for sharing vital information within the industry. It is a fundamental topic this year, and the debate continues to raise questions. For example, how does the collaboration or data sharing keep customers engaged; how do we identify ways to attract customers or boost attendance with relevant content; finally, how do we utilize information in ways that will produce more profitable outcomes for the cinema industry?
Why is it important to share data?
George Daston, a Victor Mills Society Research Fellow, at Procter & Gamble, illustrated the benefits of access to tens of thousands of data-sets. Data sharing encourages connection and collaboration between companies, which fundamentally spots current market trends. In a time where devices gather ubiquitous amounts of information, there is no point in treating data as silos; mainly, because companies do not explore the full analytical potential of available data. Megadata makes it possible to perform a variety of analysis which might not be feasible with a smaller sample or just a few data-sets.
Brent Dyke, Evangelist and Author, for Adobe, discussed analytics and ways companies (e.g. LinkedIn and Pandora) share useful information about their customers. In an effort, to educate, engage and retain customers, these companies cultivate an environment of shared resources. In essence, data sharing creates a virtuous cycle where more customers engage due to better-targeted marketing campaigns; additionally, it increases new business pipelines, attracts new users and produces more relevant data.
Data sharing is not being fully utilized, between the Studios and exhibition, because the nature of the business model relationship automatically creates a barrier to the flow of vital resourceful information (e.g.customer behaviors, exhibitor information, content delivery, ticket sales, etc.). In contrast, we see how other industries assimilate integrated data and maximize retail success.
Specifically, Amazon has spurred the use of aggregated customer data to improve an individual user-experience through product recommendations between the retailer and product manufacturer, as well as Netflix, who loaded with their subscriber’s behaviors is placing them at a substantial advantage for creating and distributing content. Most recently, Movie Pass, reveals their intentions of playing into the distribution space by accessing valuable information about their almost 2 million subscribers (e.g. demographics, forecasts and customer preferences; not just attendance and money).
How to make Data Sharing a Reality?
If exhibitors and Studios wish to compete in the information era against the new digital competitors, they must find ways to share data. Specific ways to accomplish data sharing is by leveraging available technology platforms effectively. To drive the analytics, content creation and distribution, perhaps what is next for the exhibition/cinema industry is to look at a possible second generation Virtual Print Fee (VPF) program which aims to facilitate data sharing at its core.
Additionally, exhibition and Studios have an opportunity to map and understand all the data that is available to them, so they can build value, break silos and create an action plan to implement technologies to connect them. The more data points exhibition and Studios can combine (e.g. information about customer behaviors and mindsets) predictions and distribution can become more efficient and content more targeted so all parties benefit.
What is the Takeaway?
The primary focus for long-term viability within the industry is to overcome roadblocks, generate a more transparent sharing relationship (between exhibition and the Studios) and create the flow of standard reciprocal information, which will communicate to each other’s platforms.
Data Sharing is valuable, and the informational transparency resources of raw data could prove the industry can adapt to its competitors. Again, the ability to reinvent processes is a crucial step forward, mainly, to compete in this ever-changing entertainment environment. Also, there should be metrics, not just for sharing data, but also for sharing data in positive and creative ways. Finally, in an industry, where “Content-is-King” behaviors and analytics must drive content more-than-ever!