Remember the days of seasonal tv and movie releases? How viewers used to wait until late September for a new slate of television programming to hit the big networks (!!!), or how an early November theatrical release date was a sign of Oscar-worthiness?
Neither do we.
The age of streaming changed how we watch, what we watch, and when we watch it. It especially changed how networks, production companies, and even streaming services themselves measure the success of their programming.
With new streaming content being released every day and distribution rights changing hands in a blink of an eye, maintaining streaming availability data, keeping it accurate, and ensuring that all associated metadata and imagery are up-to-date is a nearly impossible task.
Think of it this way: someone – or, more accurately, some team – is behind keeping track of data for anything and everything. After all, the data that we so easily access online doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. While we often take for granted accessibility to data (for example – every time you Google something, you’re accessing data), few really understand how streaming data works and how to analyze, organize, and distribute it, especially when it comes to streaming data.
Over the past decade, Reelgood has captured streaming data with a special interest in streaming availability – what to watch, where to watch, and when to watch it. With a team that deeply understands just how complex a task of this magnitude is and will be for the foreseeable future, the data team at Reelgood strives to satisfy the demand for up-to-date data.
Why Data Accuracy and Accessibility Matters
Satisfying user demand is likely one of the drivers for why companies want the most up-to-date data. Another driver besides satisfying user demand is that having timely as well as historical availability helps with internal content licensing strategy.
From a consumer standpoint, streaming data availability allows consumers to choose and decide what to watch within their existing subscriptions without the need to jump from one platform to another. Because of the abundance of streaming services available, consumers often find themselves increasingly frustrated or even confused when a title they expected to be on one service is suddenly on another. When a consumer is increasingly disappointed or frustrated with a service, they’re likely to cancel it.
From a business standpoint, the stakes are much higher. Let’s look at seven different cases that are affected by data accuracy and availability:
- Building Search and Discovery platforms – Data is extremely valuable when it comes to building a search and discovery platform. Without access to accurate data, your results have no value for consumers, and that means neither does your platform.
- Data as the foundation for building recommendation engines – With Reelgood’s genres, keywords, and tags data stitched with consumer preferences, engines can power personalized recommendations on their platforms.
- Driving competitive insights – When customers are able to view their data alongside their competitors, they can plan and build their content strategy.
- Powering voice assistant devices and search engines – Streaming data and its constantly changing availability is often searched for through voice assistant devices.
- Media investment planning – Media companies often find streaming data extremely valuable while making investment plans. For example, if a historical series like Bridgerton is doing well on Netflix, other services could use that as a signal of audience preference and increase their investment in historical dramas within their production companies.
- Content lifetime analysis – Further down the investment path, if a certain type of content is picked up by multiple services for redistribution, it’s a sure signal for media companies to understand the shelf life of content and make investments based on that analysis.
- Deriving ROI based on marketing dollars – When you have accurate data to back up your content strategy, your strategy will be successful, which translates to ROI on the marketing budget spent.
Why Data Accessibility is Challenging
To help illustrate the importance of up-to-date data availability, we’re going to take you on a journey with Top Gun (1986). In anticipation of the release of Top Gun: Maverick, viewers began to watch and rewatch Tom Cruise’s original star-making film, Top Gun.
In fact, the anticipation around Top Gun: Maverick was so great and drove so much interest in the original that its license became irresistible to multiple streaming platforms. There’s value to consumers and streaming platforms when there’s interest in a property.
As we know, streaming availability is ever-changing, making tracking data tough. This is also tough for consumers. Since January 1, 2020, Top Gun has moved 20 times across 8 streaming services, and in 2022, Top Gun has moved 6 times over 4 services.
Aside from satisfying consumer demand for accurate data that can change by the hour, data accessibility faces many other challenges.
Collecting data across multiple sources – from websites and press kits to data feed and APIs in various formats – is tremendously time-consuming. Once that data is collected, it must be cleaned up and enriched – meaning missing data and imagery must be located, vetted, and attached. Think of it this way – tracking streaming data is like trying to build a road without stopping traffic.
But what makes data accessibility and accuracy most challenging is that streaming data is extremely dynamic. In addition, the increased amount of fragmentation and new platforms entering the market daily while the existing platforms constantly change their strategies by rolling out new tier packages makes tracking data cumbersome, to say the least.
Our Solution: Full-Service Data Feeds
What’s the solution? Reelgood’s full-service data feeds, or as we call it, our Firehose.
Our high-quality, full-service data feeds hold up-to-date streaming availability information – like where a series or movie is streaming – and deep links including metadata – such as a show’s name, its cast, and genre – all of which is invaluable for streaming companies for the many reasons we’ve sited above and as we’ve noted are tremendously challenging to get right.
As the leader in providing accurate streaming data and trusted by millions of consumers, Reelgood’s Firehose provides the highest quality full-service data feeds in the industry. With flexible data delivery mechanisms in addition to speed, Reelgood is powered by advanced machine learning. With a customer-first mindset and an adaptive team, we’re not only highly skilled, but we also love what we do.
As streaming continues to be the dominant way that consumers take in tv and movies, Reelgood’s ability to capture streaming data will continue to be of the highest importance. With a deep understanding of the complex task at hand and a team passionate about data accuracy, Reelgood will continue to satisfy both consumer and business needs.