In the fast-paced world of streaming media, where every second counts, revenue operations are at a critical juncture. Their days are akin to driving a Formula 1 car while relying solely on the rear-view mirror, as the monitoring data they require to ensure continuous peak revenue performance is often delayed, incomplete, limited to local ad systems and far from actionable. And the stakes have never been higher and are only increasing as more and more viewers and ad dollars shift to streaming.
Quite simply, as streaming becomes the epicentre of viewer engagement and revenue generation, the need to vastly improve operational monitoring solutions has never been more urgent.
After all, how much does a minute of downtime or missed revenue generation cost you and your business?
The Rear-View Mirror Problem
Current revenue monitoring practices attempt to use outdated and generic tools to navigate an ever-changing landscape.
In many cases the setup centres around summary reports and spreadsheets that are updated daily or weekly from local data sets pulled from up to 10 ad tech systems. The effort to keep this data fresh and relevant can be a herculean task that is the result of days of manual effort. High value effort that could be much better spent elsewhere.
More often than not, however, this report is too late to be of any use. The damage is done from a bad creative, mistargeting a campaign or a code update that did not work as expected.
Revenue operations teams demand real-time insights; relying on historical data is akin to driving via the rearview mirror.
Product: “I Smell Smoke”,
RevOps: “But Where’s the Fire?”
At the core of pretty much every streaming business will be an analytics and monitoring framework powered by complex sounding systems like QofE (quality of experience), Observability and Telemetry data. These are very much in the domain of engineering and product teams and provide foundation level coverage of the core business infrastructure and systems.
However, more and more they are trying to repurpose these tools to support higher order and more complex use cases that concern revenue operations teams daily. On the one hand it makes sense to remain as efficient as possible with the tools you already have in your belt, however there is no denying that increasingly these tools cannot provide the necessary information required.
Take a QoE platform with “ad error” support. It is quite clear that this platform will do a terrific job recording any error at displaying an ad on the client device because that’s where their recorder is located. But can it provide the connection back to the originating ad request and everything that happens in between that event and the end ad being delivered?
If you were tasked to put out a fire and all you were told is I smell smoke in that general direction, how successful would you be?
Revenue operations teams require incident reports and alerts that connect to the systems they manage and control.
Might As Well Just Put It All on Red
The rapid rise in ad spend on Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV (FAST) platforms is a testament to the increasing dominance of an offsite distribution strategy in thinking and planning of content publishers and broadcasters.
With every new partnership and endpoint that is brought online the blindspot in the revenue operations teams increases.
Existing monitoring solutions that require code in the app simply cannot take part in this growing segment of revenue generating inventory.
In fact, at this point, the industry has gone back to their ‘dark ages’ where information sharing is done via email and spreadsheets once every few days, at best.
It is the greatest of ironies that the area which content publishers and broadcasters believe is currently their most effective growth area is being managed blindfolded. They might as well just go to a casino and put it all on red.
What Great Looks Like
Implementing a robust and effective monitoring framework to meet today’s streaming revenue operations requirements involves:
Continuous Monitoring of Revenue KPIs:
Moving beyond periodic reports and embracing continuous monitoring of KPIs, plus understanding and measuring revenue KPIs. Real-time insights provide early warning of issues enabling swift intervention, and the right KPIs provide the information in the right language to derive actionable insight.
Toolkits for Rapid Issue Resolution:
Equipping revenue operators with advanced toolkits that are capable of identifying root causes quickly. The goal is to shift from a reactive stance to a proactive one, where issues are resolved within minutes and hours, not days and weeks (if at all!).
Agile and Adaptive Systems for Ad Supported Streaming:
Embracing systems that can adapt to the dynamic nature of the ad supported streaming industry. Agility is key to staying ahead of potential distribution issues and ensuring you provide a fully monetised and seamless viewer experience no matter where they are.
In an era where streaming services are not just a choice but a way of life for millions of viewers, the revenue operations teams at the core of streaming media businesses must revolutionise their revenue monitoring solutions. By adopting a proactive mindset, purpose built continuous monitoring systems and robust analytical toolkits, these businesses can accelerate success by ensuring minimal downtime, maximised revenue generation and delivering an unparalleled streaming experience to viewers wherever they are.