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How MTV And Nickelodeon Use Real-Time Big Data Analytics To Improve Customer Experience

26 January, 2017

How MTV And Nickelodeon Use Real-Time Big Data Analytics To Improve Customer Experience

Viacom, owner of household brands such as Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV, is one of the largest media companies in the world, delivering more than 170 cable, broadcast and online networks in around 160 countries.

Monitoring of the digital networks which are used to pump their content into millions of homes gives them access to a huge amount of data, on how both their systems and their audiences behave.

Like many large organizations, Viacom is currently maneuvering to position itself as a fully data-driven company – with as few of the important decisions left to guess-work and gut-feeling as possible.

In fact, Viacom is so heavily involved in Big Data, that as well as luring talent from tech companies such as Microsoft in recent years, it has even produced a super-cool rap video to proclaim its love.

As part of this drive, it has developed a number of use cases for the network data it is collecting. Dan Morris, senior director of product analytics, took the time to talk to me about two of them – explaining how they combined this network data with cutting edge real time analytics, to improve viewer experience and increase customer retention.

Improving video experience 

Streaming petabytes of video data across the world puts a strain on the delivery systems – we’re all familiar with online videos either failing to load or constantly stuttering as they rebuffer.

At the same time there are areas where excess bandwidth is going to waste – when everyone is asleep or out at work. Viacom has built a real-time analytics platform based around Apache Spark and Databricks, which constantly monitors the quality of video feeds and reallocates resources in real-time when it thinks it will be needed.

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