Media Pitch: Apex Decisions Crunches Big Data to Identify the Best Ways to Monetize Readers
Publishers have embraced data as invaluable decision-making tool that guides content strategy and audience development. Still, many publishers are slow to act on their data, often testing a certain strategy for months, analyzing results, and eventually changing tactics if those results are not promising. What if publishers could use the data they already have about their audience to predict their future actions, make decisions faster, and drive more revenue as a result?
That is the promise of startup Apex Decisions, a “science-as-a-software” decision solutions company that helps publishers measure the financial impact of their subscription offers, content bundles, and advertising. Co-founded by Dr. Subhash Gupta, an expert in building statistical frameworks that drive real-time decision-making, Apex Decisions helps publishers predict the most effective way to monetize its readers. In the following interview, Anish Nanavaty, a member of the Apex Decision advisory board, explains how Apex Decisions was founded and how the startup is driving revenue growth for publishers.
1. Explain your existence: What problem are you solving or opportunity are you enabling? How are you unique and innovative?
The problem we are solving is understanding an individual at a very granular level so that a business can predict what content or ad will they consume, when will they consume and what will they be willing to pay for it. We are unique as we guarantee our impact and base most of our compensation on the impact that we create.
2. Inspiration: How did you come up with this idea? How does your new tech solution reflect changes and trends underway in the media world?
After leaving particle physics, the problem that always intrigued our co-founder Dr. Gupta was the ability of the human brain to make real time decisions in spite of its need to process an almost infinite amount of information (i.e., the inputs through all our senses at enormous granularity). The ability for us to make these decisions in real time requires a framework of statistical thought that did not exist. The creation of a statistical framework for building predictive models that support real time decisions has been the driving force behind Dr. Gupta’s life’s work.
The ability to collect enormous amounts of data in real time and over long periods has made personalization of pricing, content, and ads the key to the survival of a media company. Google and Facebook’s advantage in the advertising and marketing space is their ability to collect enormous amounts of data about almost all individual’s use of internet. They have been able to use this vast amount of information to develop ad targeting technology, thus cornering the value of the audience created by the media industry. In actuality, the media industry has a deeper knowledge about an individual and they should be able to target ads and content at a much more granular and precise level using the science and technology Apex is creating. The ability to create content bundles, ads, and pricing at an individual level will become critical for any media company to survive and thrive.
3. Results: How have you or do you plan to help media companies increase revenue or cut costs? Can you quantify this?
We guarantee a revenue impact of at least 8% in our renewal subscription pricing solution. We think that the impact of individual level personalized content and ad targeting is significantly larger. Combining the personalized content and ad bundles with individual level pricing could double a company’s revenue provided they have sufficient data.
4. Share some wisdom: What do you think are the most important trends affecting the media business today? What do you see that no one else sees?
The explosion of data is a given fact. What no one has mastered (including Google and Facebook) is the ability to use this enormous data (including all past history) for making optimal real time business decisions.
5. What’s Next? How do you plan on expanding or improving on your offering? Where do you see opportunities for growth?
Based on our initial success, we are increasing the number of pilots and tests in a number of domains. Currently we are working with a few clients and are excited with the impact we have been able to make with individualized renewal subscriber pricing. We are in the process of expanding our solution set.