Streaming Wars a ‘Brute Force’ Game Today


LOS ANGELES — Dave Cornella, SVP of global strategic accounts for Whip Media Group, looks at the streaming landscape today, and sees a problem.

“If you look at our industry today, we’re spending billions on content, but the acquisition licensing on content is really missing meaningful, global insights into what the value of that content is,” he said, speaking during a breakout presentation at this month’s Smart Content Summit.

Media companies have realized the value of bringing their own content direct to the consumer, launching their own platforms. And the streaming wars are being driven today “by brute force,” Cornella said, with the major competitors spending major sums of money to have the most content possible.

But with content costs on the rise, how are they deciding what to efficiently acquire, distribute and monetize? That’s why data-driven decisions have becoming absolutely critical, with consumer viewership and engagement data available to be smarter with what content to go after, he added.

“Whether you’re a buyer, or a seller, you really need to understand the behaviors of the connect consumer,” Cornella said. “It’s fragmented, and become more difficult to get the data.” It’s moving from a content-centric world to a consumer-centric world, and if you don’t understand the consumer, you could be wasting your money, he added.

Whip Media’s collection of businesses — Mediamorph for content value management, first-party audience insights via TV Time, and metadata from TheTVDB database — allows the company to accurately gauge the actual value of a piece of content, by pulling together both consumer and platform data for most anything.

With an estimated $120 billion being spent on original content alone last year, mining data in the right way to help you understand what content is likely to succeed can make all the difference, Cornella said. Add in library content, and the number is even more enormous.

“Can the industry continue to spend at an unprecedented level? Probably not,” he said. “You need to make sure you’re making smart choices.”

Alex von Krogh, VP with Whip Media, pointed out that new streaming services are still on the horizon, and they have the opportunity to learn from the “throw it against the wall and see what sticks” mistakes their predecessors have made.

“One concept to think about is ‘travelability,’” where certain types of content perform better than others in various countries and various platforms, he said. “There’s lot of ways to look at that, traditional viewership, volume, but what we think isn’t being done today is measuring how people engage with that content,” von Krogh said. By tracking how consumers actually engage with content — memes on social media, fan pages, and other trackable mentions — the content value proposition becomes even more clear.

“All of these things are important to tracking the why behind the watch,” he said.

The Smart Content Summit was sponsored by TapeArk and Seagate, Whip Media Group, EIDR, BeBanjo, Cinelytic,, Sohonet, Spherex and Sony, and produced by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) and the Smart Content Council.

Click here to download audio of the presentation. Click here to download the presentation PDF.