The Value Of Viewing Data

 Big data, data mining, yadda, yadda.... the buzzwords of the last decade has revolves around this.

More often that not it’s about Big Internet (and political and geopolitical entities) harvesting and manipulating data for their own benefit. However , there are timed when insight into this data can be salutary for us individuals.

Spotify just unveiled its annual Wrapped summary, where you can see what your listening habits were over the previous year. 

Of course, now that we watch most of our TV online such stats also exist for our video viewing habits.

Indeed, organisations such as Netflix use these to predict the relevance of content to their subscribers.

However, to get a similar view to the Spotify profile is difficult. I spread my viewing across twenty or so apps and websites on five or six services (Fire TV, Roku, iOS, LG TV, etc..) on maybe fifteen devices from my iPhone and various tablets to my TV screens.

This is further obfuscated by the viewing habits of my wife and nephew and niece (yes, Pepper Pig appears next to The Man In the High Castle on my Prime feed...).

It goes to show how fragmented the TV universe is as we enter 2020. Indeed, it is becoming more confusing as major new services launch.

As I have previously written, Roku, in particular, is in a strong place to aggregate and exploit our viewing data. But to what end ? 

Well, hundreds of billions are being spent on producing content, but there is scant information on what actually works. As viewers migrate away from ad driven models and services compete for subscriptions, these data are going to be increasingly important.

Measuring and tracking TV has long been a compromised science monopolised by the likes of BART and Nielsen.

Personally, I suspect that seeing a ‘Roku Wrapped’ summary of my viewing might be salutary, possibly resulting in a lot more time taking country walks...