We recently completed FreeWheel’s Second Annual Global Hackathon: a 24-hour marathon during which our people transcend geo and departmental borders to collaborate, incubate and innovate. This year’s hackathon was a record-breaking event for our company. More than 250 hackers in the US, China, France and the UK consumed record amounts of coffee and Red Bull while building 49 impressive projects that promote both innovation and efficiency in our operations. The demo phase of the hackathon was streamed globally to foster connection across the entire organization.
Like all mass media, the TV and premium video industry is in a time of transition: digital technology is impacting the way people choose to consume media which has far reaching consequences. Reports of TV’s death have been greatly exaggerated but there is no doubt that viewing habits are creating more complexity for the media owner, the brand advertiser, and everyone in between. The good news is that while linear TV viewing may be declining, total audience/viewing of video is up, affirming the need to re-aggregate these fragmented audiences to achieve scale across the array of new screens.
I recently had the opportunity to participate on a panel discussion at the Broadcasting & Cable Advanced Advertising Summit called, “Big Changes From Big Data,” along with big data experts from ABC, 4C Insights, Discovery Communications, and iSpot.tv. In a compelling conversation on a complex topic, one thing remains clear: it’s really not the lack of scale, variety, or richness of data that is holding the industry back, nor is it a result of deficient technology. The heart of the challenge we face is how the premium video economy can align on a shared context around the data and tap into it as an ecosystem. Here’s my current take on the state of big data in the industry.