Orchestrated media

3 minutes estimated reading time

I decided to revisit the idea of orchestrated media recently. I had been working on the SEO of a post from 2011. This post linked out to an article by BBC research and development on orchestrated media.

Picture of a test card from CCTV in Beijing
Test card from Chinese public broadcaster CCTV.

The BBC where aware that media consumption had become more complicated. Attention whilst watching the TV at one time competed with the occasional trip to the kettle; or flicking through a newspaper that was to hand but otherwise undivided. What became the TV changed with the advent of content distributed over internet connections to the web and mobile devices. But it wasn’t only about the proliferations of screens, but also how it interplayed with other media.

It doesn’t necessarily imply simultaneous consumption of content via these different media forms. Nor does it imply the consumed content is related across the screens (e.g. an audience member may be using Facebook or Twitter for a completely unrelated purpose, while paying less attention to the TV show).

Thinking in those terms is perhaps unnecessarily limiting in scope and misses the broader picture around the opportunities of social media, creating more seamless media experiences, and how these flow from home environment to beyond.

Jerry Kramskoy on the BBC R&D blog on ‘orchestrated media

This gives marketers a number of interesting things to think about. When is TV not TV. Think about live event programmes like The Apprentice or Britain’s Got Talent where social acts a ‘giant sofa’ as viewers share their opinions on what they see on screen. Twitter has tried to tap into this link between TV and discussion in its marketing efforts.

As broadcasters, the BBC started to think of the potential in a two-way conversation that was far more democratic than SMS polling, email or letter bags and phone-ins.

Orchestrated Media (OM)to refer to this experience of interaction, synchronisation, and collaboration of programme and companion content across devices. OM creates a new form of audience engagement with the broadcaster. Let’s start with some high level goals

• Enable interactivity around the content (voting, games) and synchronisation thereof, based on time and/or events (such as a producer-console triggered “button push”)
• Enable richer exploration of programme
• Enable social network interactions through sync-related information and content identifiers for replay purposes
• Migrate content between the TV and mobile devices (such as a load-and-go service that runs overnight to load the mobile with video corresponding to the unwatched portion of a program, or a resume-for-home service that picks up viewing on the TV from where it left off on mobile)

Some of the necessary components in reaching these goals include
• Visual feedback of shared interactions on TV screen
• Private interactions on mobile screens
• Support for not only live experience but also time-shifted and on-demand and pay-per-view ones
• A back-channel to broadcaster for interactions, behaviour etc
• Audio for different languages, directors commentary, clean audio etc, selectable per individual, synchronised to the programme
• Accessibility for all above
• Application life-cycle and runtime management

Orchestrated Media – beyond second and third screen (II)

This seems to be aimed to provide a seamless anytime, everywhere experience. Think of the way services work in the background as part of Apple’s ‘Continuity’ service layer. As marketers, if we’re thinking about an orchestrated media landscape, how do we hand off between channels and provide prospective customers a similar kind of seamless experience. How do we manage long term and short term attribution and feed these insights into proportion of media spend?