How cognitive computing can help the entertainment industry

By Josie Baik

In 2015, Deadline reported there were 409 original scripted television series released on broadcast cable and online, which is nearly double the number of scripted shows released in 2009, according to FX Networks. With an additional average of 600 movies released every year, the TV and film landscape has never been so saturated. Companies must look for new solutions to survive this competitive landscape rather than relying on the tried-and-true processes that once ruled Hollywood.

Here are some ways that cognitive computing can help the entertainment industry boost its competitive stance:

Content creation: Language processing

Although data is not a replacement for creativity, it can assist studios with anything from their decision-making process to their marketing strategy. For some time, Netflix has analyzed what you watch, what you’ll likely watch in the future and which actors you’ll watch in order to create great new shows such as “House of Cards.” With cognitive computing, studios and production companies will not only be able to use the types of analytics Netflix incorporates into its decision-making process, but also evaluate crowd sentiment through social listening on Twitter, Facebook, news sites, blogs and other channels with its natural language processing capabilities. Which genres are people talking about the most on social media? Is the chatter negative or positive? Which actors and actresses suffer from audience fatigue? These are some examples of the deeper level of understanding that studios can gain from this discovery process.

In addition to informing the creative process, studios can utilize this type of sentiment data to identify and create segments of people who are most likely to watch their programming. From here, cognitive software can create an infinite amount of marketing content to meet the specific taste of each group to maximize their interest. In addition, much like high-frequency trading, marketing spend could be adjusted in real-time based on the real-time interaction data. This should not only increase the effectiveness of the marketing efforts but also prove to be more cost-efficient than the traditional “spray-and-pray” awareness strategies often employed.

Metadata: Visual recognition

Much like Amazon’s X-Ray, some studios have started to experiment with metadata for their production processes. By manually entering data for each scene — such as location in the film, actual filming site and the actors in each scene — companies are able to search and perform research on granular facets to power new products or features that are not necessarily intuitive. Additionally, data aggregation promotes and increases the efficiency of collaboration between vendors and content creators.

With cognitive computing, computers can now recognize objects within an image or video and their context. In addition to being able to recognize the actors and location of a specific scene, the cognitive software will be able to know whether a knife in the scene is being used to cook or to stab and the context of a yell, cry or laugh. By taking out the manual elements of data entry involved in this downstream process, companies can potentially decrease their production time, which could signify a decrease in cost.

There are many ways cognitive computing can be successfully applied to the entertainment industry. With some musical artists already using these functionalities to generate hit songs, perhaps they will someday help filmmakers write hit scripts.

Written By

Josie Baik

IBM Mobile Futurist

Josie Baik is a business strategy, mobile and millennial marketing expert, and social influencer with two startups under her belt. She also has expertise in business analytics – utilizing critical insights to make strategic operational decisions – and financial valuation. She…

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