Metadata, that new mining that changed entertainment

The data, the gold of the times that concern us. Nowadays, with a hyper-connected society and before an endless offer of consumption of cultural and entertainment products online, a new type of source of power is gaining ground: data, that trace that we leave with our presence on the Internet, however minimal. to be.

According to the National Survey on the Availability and Use of Information Technologies in Households 2020, from Inegi, some 84 million Mexicans are active Internet users and spend an average of 94 hours a week connected, that is, providing data on their consumption habits. . Of them, at least 58% consume content from different platforms and these, in turn, assimilate the information that users reveal with each choice, length of stay and sociodemographic profile.

In the “Big Data” chapter of his podcast Solaris, the Spanish writer Jorge Carrión warns that currently only 5% of the data on the internet is analyzed in a useful way, but according to the trend, more and more information is being released by us on the web will be processed, used and interpreted. And he adds: “in the 21st century, the extraction of minerals in nature makes less and less sense (…) but in that same panorama a new science has been born, data science, and with it, a new practice: the mining, not of metals, but of data, of huge and monstrous amounts of data”.

harvesting information

One of the companies dedicated to this data mining for services in different markets is the Nielsen conglomerate, which also ventures into the entertainment industry with focused studio arms, such as Nielsen Gracenote, which provides creators, distributors and platforms with a selection of entertainment consumption metadata; or as Nielsen IBOPE, dedicated to the study of audience behavior and its relationship with advertising activity.

El Economista talks with Gabriel Ellstein, leader and specialist at Gracenote, and Ana Laura Barro, client business partner at Nielsen IBOPE, to learn about the evolution of audiences and its impact on the entertainment industry.

“Metadata has evolved hand in hand with platforms, because it is the blood that drives the system”, shares Gabriel Ellstein. We are past that era, he says, dominated by content dictated solely by five broadcast television channels. On the other hand, today the alternative offer is diametrically larger, with more than 300 closed television channels and some 89 streaming service platforms operating in the country, which have an offer of more than 34,000 movies and more than 8,000 series. , according to information as of 2021 from the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT).

And that sea of ​​content will continue to grow, according to trends. Just in the last five years, the streaming entertainment offer doubled. As if that were not enough, the offer of content via YouTube is unfathomable. In 2019 alone, about 500 hours of content were uploaded per minute. These small but revealing data are only the outline of how monstrous the tidal wave of information that we contribute and to which we have access today is.

Gracenote, shares Ellstein, has been operating in Mexico for about seven years in the collection of information on entertainment content and its main clients are many of the most important television stations in the region, which continue to learn from our habits for the construction of their schedules.

Who modifies whom: the contents or the audiences?

“Whoever is modifying both the measurement and what is transmitted by the same media is the consumer,” answers Ana Laura Barro. For example, she shares insights into consumer behavior in the initial bewilderment of the pandemic:

“When the pandemic came, television use grew by 12%, that is, households had the television on for an average of nine hours a day. There was so much unverified information on the internet and through social media networks that people started turning to TV for a reliable source, to understand what was going on.”

Once this need for accurate sources of information had passed, says the Nielsen IBOPE specialist, the explosion of the entertainment offer on the internet came, with data such as those explained above, but, she specifies, “definitely open television continues to be the platform that generates more audience”.

And it is that according to the IFT, by 2021, 94% of households in Mexico reported having television and 75% of those people with television recognized that they watch open content continuously. The leading channels are Las Estrellas, Canal 5, Azteca 7 and Azteca Uno.

In short, all our audiovisual habits are evaluated and shared with the production, distribution and transmission companies of cultural and entertainment content. Are we aware of the information we trust every time we decide to see content?

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