AI is now as omnipresent as reality TV shows – you might not always want to see it, but it’s there, and it’s not going away! For the more adventurous business leaders in the TV industry it might feel like being handed a brand-new remote control with a million buttons – fascinating, thrilling, and yet, just a little bit terrifying. I can literally see all the innovation guru fanboys sitting on the edge of their plush, leather chairs, apprehensive like a cat at a dog show.. It’s the ultimate plot twist: watching the next disruptive episode in the TV industry sitcom to unfold right in front of us – and I admit: I am the biggest cheerleader!

Why is TV ripe for AI?

There are several reasons why the TV industry is particularly ripe for a digital transformation spearheaded by AI:

  1. Data abundance: TV is a data-rich industry. From viewing patterns and consumer feedback to advertising performance and script success, there’s an ocean of data to be mined. AI thrives on data and its ability to analyse these vast datasets can provide unprecedented insights for the industry.
  2. Need for personalisation: Today’s audiences crave personalisation. With streaming platforms and online content, consumers are used to being served what they want, when they want it. AI is unmatched in its ability to analyse individual preferences and create customised viewing experiences.
  3. Competition and innovation: The TV industry is no stranger to competition. With the rise of streaming services and other digital platforms, the battle for eyeballs has never been fiercer. AI can provide the edge in this intense landscape, driving innovation in content creation, distribution, and marketing.
  4. Cost efficiency: The production process in the TV industry is often costly and time-consuming. AI can streamline numerous aspects of production, from scriptwriting and scheduling to post-production editing, potentially saving time and resources.
  5. Interactive experiences: As audiences seek more interactive and immersive experiences, AI can play a pivotal role. Whether it’s virtual reality, interactive narratives, or adaptive storylines, AI holds the key to the next generation of viewer engagement.
  6. Rapid technological advancements: The TV industry has always been at the forefront of embracing new technologies. As AI rapidly advances, its adoption in the TV industry can lead to unprecedented changes and opportunities.

Compared to other industries that might be slower in data gathering or lack the technological adaptability, the TV industry is uniquely positioned to be shaped significantly by AI in the future. The ‘AI season’ in the TV industry’s series is just getting started, and it promises to be a thriller!

Christian Knaebel, Global Media Consult

AI will make us better in serving TV audience what they really want

In an industry that’s constantly trying to keep up with the Kardashian-esque pace of audience preferences, AI comes as a breath of fresh, data-driven air. Just like how Netflix’s algorithms know your secret fondness for 80s rom-coms, AI tools can help industry executives tap into what viewers want, before viewers themselves know it!

  1. AI Audience Analytics: These tools are like the industry’s very own digital Sherlock Holmes. They analyse viewer data to decipher patterns and predict trends, even making sense of the most obscure viewer behavior. IBM’s Watson for instance, with its cognitive computing power, has been used to draw meaningful insights from user data, helping decision-makers in the TV industry understand what their audience wants.
  2. Social Media Sentiment Analysis: Ever wished you could eavesdrop on every viewer’s conversations about your show? With sentiment analysis tools, you almost can! These AI tools scan social media platforms, analyzing comments and discussions to gauge viewer sentiment. This is like holding a giant ear to the virtual world, listening in on millions of viewers at once.
  3. Predictive Analytics Software: These tools are the equivalent of a digital Nostradamus. They use past data and trends to predict future audience preferences. Tools like Google’s AutoML Tables can be used to build machine learning models capable of predicting future trends with accuracy.
  4. AI Content Analysis: AI tools like Valossa provide deep content insights based on automated video recognition. Imagine having a robot assistant who watches all the content out there and gives you detailed reports. Exhaustive TV watching without the popcorn calories!

Who knew data could be this entertaining! Whether it’s understanding why viewers can’t get enough of the latest reality TV craze or predicting the next big trend in sci-fi, AI tools are the industry’s magic crystal ball, answering the eternal question: “What do viewers want?” 

AI as our ultimate crystal ball

In the soap opera that is the TV industry, AI has graduated from being a bit part player to a lead actor in the decision-making process, and its star is only set to rise!

  1. Data-driven Decisions: Picture AI as a wise, all-knowing oracle. With its ability to analyse enormous data sets and draw insights, it will play an even bigger role in decision-making, using historical data to predict future trends. It won’t just be about ‘going with your gut’ anymore; AI will ensure decisions are backed by concrete data.
  2. Rapid Prototyping: Imagine if you could test out hundreds of different TV format ideas at a click. In the future, AI could facilitate rapid prototyping of different TV formats, essentially predicting their success before a single frame is shot.
  3. Real-time Tweaking: Like a master chef adjusting seasonings based on taste, AI could enable real-time tweaks to TV formats based on audience reception and feedback. Changes that once took seasons to implement could be done on the fly, optimising viewer satisfaction.
  4. Interactive Formats: AI could facilitate the creation of more interactive TV formats, where audience actions directly impact the content. We could see the rise of ‘choose your own adventure’ formats, where the storyline adapts based on viewer choices.
  5. Hyper-personalized Content: The future might see AI enabling the creation of content that’s tailor-made for specific viewer segments, or even individual viewers. Think of it as the TV equivalent of your barista knowing exactly how you like your coffee!
  6. Global Localization: As TV content becomes increasingly global, AI can assist in creating formats that resonate with international audiences, taking into account cultural nuances and local preferences.

In the future, AI could be the unsung hero behind every successful TV format, making the process less of a ‘hit-and-miss’ and more of a ‘data-and-hit’. So, here’s to AI – the next big TV star in the making!

How AI finally makes producing TV a more efficient process *bigsigh*

Let’s pull back the curtain on the behind-the-scenes magic that AI is orchestrating:

  1. Planning: AI is like that efficient assistant director who’s got everything under control. It can be used to analyse scripts, identifying required locations, props, characters, and even predicting optimal shooting schedules. Need to shoot night scenes? AI has figured out when you’ll have the darkest skies. Magic hour shoot? AI knows the best times and places. It’s like having a crystal ball for production planning!
  2. Budgeting: Here, AI dons the cap of a shrewd production accountant. It can forecast budgets based on script analysis, historical data, and market trends. Want to know how much that grand explosion scene would cost? Or how changing locations might impact your budget? AI has got the answers. It can even monitor expenditures in real-time, ensuring the production stays on track financially.
  3. Shooting: On the shooting floor, AI transforms into a high-tech camera crew. AI-driven camera systems like Sony’s AI Live can automatically track and film fast-paced actions, reducing the need for extensive camera crews. For instance, AI can handle capturing crowd reactions at a live show, letting the human camera operators focus on the main action.
  4. Real-Time Editing: During filming, AI is like a diligent editor, working real-time to produce rough cuts and sequences. With capabilities to perform instant edits based on predefined parameters, AI helps in real-time decision making. A good take? Bad lighting? AI can provide instant feedback, saving invaluable time on retakes.

Imagine this: It’s the final day of shooting, the budget’s been managed perfectly, you’ve nailed the golden hour shots, and a rough edit is already in your inbox – all thanks to your reliable AI assistant. Who knew AI could wear so many hats so effectively.

Human Creativity paired with AI: better scripts

AI, in the realm of scriptwriting, is like a caffeine-charged, ceaselessly creative writer who can churn out dialogues, plot lines, and characters, all while juggling data analytics. Let’s dive into some specific examples and scenarios:

  1. Generating Dialogues and Crafting Narratives: OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model has already showcased its impressive capabilities, generating everything from articles to poetry. When it comes to scriptwriting, AI could analyse data on successful scripts and popular dialogues, and then use this to generate catchy, viewer-pleasing lines. It might sound like sci-fi, but AI is already crafting narratives. For instance, ScriptBook uses AI to analyze scripts, predict success, and even suggest narrative changes.
  2. Assisting Character Development and Plot Design: Some AI tools can offer assistance in creating compelling characters and weaving intriguing plots. Tools like Plotagon and Arc Studio Pro use AI to help writers develop characters, suggest plot twists, and even visualise scenes. It’s like having a tireless co-writer who’s brimming with ideas!
  3. AI-Written Scripts in Production: There have already been instances of AI-written scripts being brought to life. Remember the 2016 short film “Sunspring”? Its script was entirely written by an AI named Benjamin, resulting in a somewhat odd, yet amusingly coherent narrative about a futuristic love triangle.

And now, for some crystal ball gazing:

The Future of AI in Scriptwriting: We’re still some way from seeing “Written by AI” in the credits, primarily because scriptwriting is deeply human, an art that requires creativity, emotion, and intuition. However, AI is poised to become an invaluable tool in the scriptwriter’s kit. It will be there, offering suggestions, optimizing dialogues for viewer appeal, and crunching data to guide narrative development. AI could even come up with entirely new genres and formats, pushing the boundaries of our imagination.

And who knows? In the future, there might even be a special Emmy category for AI – “Best Algorithm in a Drama Series” doesn’t sound too far-fetched, does it?

The most effective distribution partner for TV: AI assistants

Finally, let’s take a stroll down AI Avenue in the bustling city of TV Distribution:

  1. Targeted and Efficient Distribution: AI’s ability to analyze vast amounts of data makes it an invaluable tool in optimizing distribution. For instance, Parrot Analytics uses AI to measure audience demand for various TV shows across different platforms and markets, helping distributors decide where and when to release their content.
  2. Optimising Distribution Schedules and Platforms: Ever wished you had a magic crystal ball to tell you the best time and place to release your show? With AI, you pretty much do! Using machine learning algorithms, AI can analyze historical viewership data, cultural events, competing shows, and even social media chatter to determine the optimal time and platform for releasing new content.
  3. Managing Rights and Royalties: Dealing with rights and royalties can be a tangled web of confusion. But AI, like an expert attorney, can help manage this complexity. For instance, IBM’s Blockchain platform uses AI to manage digital rights and royalties, providing a transparent and efficient way to track content usage and ensure everyone gets their fair share of the pie.

Now, let’s look into the crystal ball:

The Future of Distribution – Personalized, AI-curated Content Libraries: In the future, your TV might know you better than your best friend! AI will be able to curate a personalized content library for every individual viewer based on their viewing history, preferences, and even moods. AI could even recommend new shows by comparing your profile with similar viewers.

So, you’ll no longer have to scroll endlessly, wondering what to watch next. Your AI-powered TV will do the choosing, leaving you to do the viewing. Now, isn’t that a future worth binge-watching?

Embrace the Monster and become its Master: make it your Genie in a Bottle

While AI does indeed feel scary to some extent and might provide endless sleepless nights to quite many in the TV industry, I encourage everyone to embrace it. Instead of being wary of the monster, embrace it, tame it and become its master.

AI technology is transforming the television industry by reducing the need for manual labor. Automated processes, such as content recommendation algorithms and autonomous advertising optimisation, eliminate the need for human intervention and can be completed at a much faster speed and with greater accuracy. AI has revolutionised the way television scripts and formats are created. AI enables TV content creators to have more creative freedom and comes with a range of tools that can be used to create original, entertaining, and engaging content.

We all have yet to learn a lot on how best to master AI and where we can use it most effectively. The article here nevertheless shows that we have a wide variety of use case where it ultimately is to the benefit of better content and more satisfied audiences: something we always strive for and that eventually makes us all happy and successful. Now, go an learn to master the genie.

Disclaimer: this article has been created partially with the assistance of AI!

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