Technological Disruption in Media & Entertainment Industry

The year is 1996. Microsoft founder Bill Gates published an essay on their official website. He pointed out many factors more than 20 years back, which are still relevant today. Here’s a sneak peek.

Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.

The television revolution that began half a century ago spawned a number of industries, including the manufacturing of TV sets, but the long-term winners were those who used the medium to deliver information and entertainment.

When it comes to an interactive network such as the Internet, the definition of “content” becomes very wide. For example, computer software is a form of content-an extremely important one, and the one that for Microsoft will remain by far the most important.

But the broad opportunities for most companies involve supplying information or entertainment. No company is too small to participate.

One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create. In a sense, the Internet is the multimedia equivalent of the photocopier. It allows material to be duplicated at low cost, no matter the size of the audience.

The Internet also allows information to be distributed worldwide at basically zero marginal cost to the publisher. Opportunities are remarkable, and many companies are laying plans to create content for the Internet.

—Bill Gates, Founder, Microsoft Corporation.

Coming to the present scenario, the overall picture is much more complicated. The media industry has been transformed by several waves of digitization – file-sharing, streaming, social and mobile. On top of that, it is being driven by the impatience of consumers to access any content from anywhere in the world, any time they want to.

The social media platforms, video-streaming service providers, and smartphone apps are continuously competing for consumers’ attention every single second that they spend online. The size of content that gets created every second goes beyond gigabytes; media companies being engaged in a tooth-and-claw battle for consumers’ attention.

This is a hypercompetitive market, and to simply have great content is not enough. The enterprises need to leverage existing media and entertainment IT solutions in order to integrate their content into high-quality user experiences, with customized content, better recommendations of what to watch or listen to next, more personalized and relevant adverts.

How are companies leveraging the existing solutions to provide better content?

Case study 1:- Netflix has the ability to provide a 100% personalized content recommendation to its customers based on their historic consumption and behaviour during past viewing sessions. 

Their algorithms detect viewers’ intent and interest by determining which movies and television shows are watched on its platform, how many of these programmes are viewed from beginning to end, how often they are paused or rewound, how often they are searched for by particular users and how frequently they are mentioned on social media platforms.

Case study 2:- Dataminr is one great  service that constantly reads Twitter streams, public data sets and other unconventional sources of information and transforms them into actionable signals on real-time basis. Their algorithms allow clients to detect the earliest signals for breaking news, real-world events and emerging trends relevant to finance, news, the public sector or security and crisis management

Case study 3:- Pandora is a freemium music-streaming service which gives its users recommendations based on their listening habits. Every song gets analysed for up to 450 characteristics that have a bearing on user preferences, resulting in a uniquely customized experience for each listener.


The overall social impact of such initiatives can be mixed. Use of predictive analytics in content creation should be aimed at efficiency and innovation. Analytics is the filter of human insights. It helps in creating diverse and differentiated experiences. But, one should not use it unsubtly, posing the risk of reducing content diversity, stifling innovation and creating bland and unvarying experiences.

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