RSG Media: M&E Can Pioneer a New Era of Disruption

The first supercomputers came around in the 1950s, with the purpose of forecasting the weather. A decade later, supercomputers we’re being used for the first of nearly 60 missions to Mars to date.

The reason Shiv Sehgal, chief product officer for media tech firm RSG Media, led off his July 25 presentation (“What Does A Machine-Learning & A.I. Enabled Media Organization Look Like?”) at the Smart Content Summit East event was simple: technology has helped man do amazing things, but it’s always been for the benefit of man, and can’t be done without other people.

For media and entertainment, the ever-changing landscape in TV viewing has resulted in increased competition to attract and retain views, and has seen more and more media companies turning to scaled distributed computing platforms and machine learning and AI technologies to help them navigate the business.

“Today, what does a machine-learning and AI-enabled media organization look like?” Sehgal said. “I think we need to have perspective about the technologies we’re talking about, how they have been applied before, what the value add is.

“The media and entertainment industry is a hit-driven industry, so should we be focused on finding hits, or investing in technology which we don’t understand in 2019, even though it’s been around for years?”

Every day, M&E companies are buried with data, and at the same time worried about why ratings dropped for a show, making it difficult to focus on the strategic things, Sehgal said. The introduction of machine learning and AI enables organizations to scale platforms to meet the demands of more data and audience-based insights, finding the most effective time slot to air a program, to forecasting avails across networks, to even project net gains three weeks out.

“We together as an industry can make a change. Why not now, and why not us?” Sehgal said.

Investment in these technologies can result in enhanced title metadata across all sources, more accurate forecasting based on historic program performance, audience insights and more. But you can’t rely solely on the latest tech: everyone in your organization needs to work together, and be on the same page, Sehgal said.

“What I hope you can take away is a bit about the art of the possible,” Sehgal said. “It’s not about AI, it’s not about machine learning, it’s about people, and can you have people together from different perspectives and have conversations with each other to deliver something great?

“We’ve done great things when we’ve put people together.”

The 2019 M&E Day, which also included Content Protection Summit East conference tracks, was produced by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA), in association with the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA), the Hollywood IT Society (HITS) and the Smart Content Council, and was presented by Microsoft, with sponsorship by Akamai, BTI Studios, ISE, LiveTiles, MarkLogic, RSG Media, ThinkAnalytics, Amazon Web Services, the Entertainment ID Registry (EIDR), the Trusted Partner Network (TPN) and Richey May Technology Solutions.

Click here to download audio of the presentation. Click here to download the slide deck.