Artificial Intelligence Will Revolutionize the Media Business. Here’s How.
The media industry has been buzzing about artificial intelligence for years. Yet practical uses for the technology are only just being realized by companies like The New York Times, the BBC, and Condé Nast. Although applications for AI in the media business are still in their infancy, it will not take long for the technology to affect every aspect of the business, says Nick Edwards, CEO & co-founder of Boomtrain -- creator of a marketing platform built on AI tech. Edwards argues that AI is the most important technology impacting the industry today and it will continue to shape it in the years to come.
In the following interview, Edwards explains why AI is an important tool that can differentiate publishers’ content in a crowded marketplace by delivering the right message to the right user at the right time.
Boomtrain sponsored the 2016 FUSE Media Summit.
What are the most important technologies shaping the media business today?
I believe the single most important technology shaping the media business today is artificial intelligence (AI). Media companies’ business models have been desiccated over the past fifteen years. Originally media companies were able to build competitive advantages through two concepts: content and distribution. However, over the past few years the competitive advantage of distribution has faded -- everyone has access to internet, anyone can build an app or get access to news & content.
So now we look at a new competitive advantage: relevancy. AI provides contextual relevancy for any individual to connect people to relevant content at the right time and in the right context, it’s all about the experience you provide to consumers. A good example of this is as a consumer -- your Sunday reading habits are likely different than your Monday morning reading habits and media companies need to be smart about delivering that experience.
What emerging technology or trends do you think will have a profound impact on the media business in 2020?
The start of AI today will have a profound impact on media business in 2020 because what we see today is just the beginning of what we will see 4 years from now. The capabilities of AI are vast and will continue to develop. The media experience for consumers will evolve to applications that proactively surface most relevant content all around web based on individual interest and passions.
Consumers will communicate and engage with news with features such as speaking apps and chat bots. Machine learning will synthesize intelligent summaries and content in order to serve the most relevant content back to the consumer. We will see a subset of individual news & media platforms consumers will go to for editorial voice and content. Those apps will have integrated AI & machine learning (ML) into their platforms so they serve contextual relevancy.
What should media companies be doing now to prepare for the future and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology?
Every media company needs to be proactive when it comes to investing in AI technology in order to better understand each individual reader or viewer of their content. Social media is great for brand awareness and top of the funnel, but using data to understand who is consuming your content creates a 1:1 relationship with consumers. Email is the web’s oldest communication paradigm and is considered old, boring, and stogy but AI has helped us rebirth email allowing the experience to be individual and relevant. Email is the only channel not owned by a company allowing publishers to own relationships with their consumers. We recommend AI to invest in building these individual relationships on a 1:1 basis.
Why do you think media businesses should attend FUSE?
Media businesses need to stay on top of technology trends BEFORE they are happening. FUSE is a great opportunity for leaders within these organizations to learn, network, and hear about what technology is doing and how it can impact their business and set them up for success. Boomtrain will be there sharing insights and best practices in the world of AI & ML and can help you build your roadmap to the future of AI to stay relevant.
How are you helping media and publishing companies discover new technology-driven business opportunities?
Sell them Boomtrain (okay, just kidding!) but as an AI company we understand that there is still a vast need to educate media and publishing companies on the capabilities and importance of AI to improve their customer experience. Not all media executives would know what to do with an AI platform. We work with well over 100 brands so we have a broad perspective of what companies are doing in this space and we can both learn from our customers and share best practices in the industry. Boomtrain partners, teaches, and shares what we are learning from industry leaders that are using AI to take their business to the next level.