It’s been a very busy year for Samit, who has led SeaChange in a transition from a hardware firm to software/hardware-focused company. He also has published a landmark book entitled “Disrupt You!,” detailing how to master personal transformation, seize opportunities and thrive in the era of endless innovation. Calling traditional measurement the “horse-and-buggy of the entertainment world,” Samit cites an old saying in the TV business: “if you can’t measure it, you can’t monetize it.” “The need for an accurate, detailed representation of who is watching today’s plethora of interlinked and interactive devices is tantamount not to advertising as we know it now, but advertising as we know it will be,” he says.
What does the multiscreen experience look like in 3 years?
Millennials have educated all generations to demand content when, where, and on what screen they want it. Consumers spend more time with media in front of a screen than doing anything else — including sleep. With such a proliferation of content sources, they real challenge in three years will be content discovery. How to find the best content to match your interests, needs, and mood. The most important aspect of this new world order will be individualized adaptive technologies that learn viewing habits and preferences, then dispense media to devices upon which each consumer is known to consume them. A smartTV, for instance, might activate other devices when a specific piece of content is called, enabling the consumer to engage in an unlimited variety of activities, from generating real-time social conversation about content being viewed to active participation in related games and promotions. Three years from now, multiscreen is not going to be as much about convergence as it is about the ability to deliver a cohesive, multi-dimension, engagement-based experience to every user on an individualized basis.
To what degree will measurement factor into multiscreen monetization in 2016?
There is an old saying in our business, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t monetize it.” Massive, highly-disruptive change is already brewing. Traditional measurement is the horse-and-buggy of the entertainment world. Households don’t buy cars and soap, people do. The need for an accurate, detailed representation of who is watching today’s plethora of interlinked and interactive devices is tantamount not to advertising as we know it now, but advertising as we know it will be. Big data is already informing an ever-widening circle of consumer experiences, from TV-viewing to shopping and remote in-home security. Knowledge and understanding of where, when, and how consumers behave enables providers of not just entertainment, but a universe of industries to deliver the most well-suited and desirable experiences their customers have ever known.
What are your 3 go-to apps?
Of course, I appreciate media-centered apps across video, music, but, for me, content discovery begins with social. I discover more content from Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter than from any EPG or paid-media campaign. My social graph is a neural network of collaborative filtering that yields the most relevant content to match my lifestyle. Now that these tools are all mobile-centric, I am able to enjoy more content on the go and fill the otherwise empty white spaces in my day with knowledge and entertainment.
If you had to spend a month in the virtual reality, what would your environment be?
I would love an immersive rain forest environment. All the beauty and cacophony of nature without the mosquito bites.