The entertainment sector is one of the most affected by digital transformation. The industry has reinvented itself by switching to on-demand entertainment, streaming services and cross-platform products, while moving away from traditional channels. In this shift, data has become the most valuable asset for the sector. By leveraging data, entertainment companies can reach new markets, tailor content for audiences and make informed decisions to capitalize on opportunities and mitigate risks.

Entertainment companies that do not ensure high standards of data governance and data security are exposing themselves to a wide range of modern threats — cybersecurity and privacy breaches, legal problems and big data management inefficiencies. In contrast, leading entertainment companies that build and maintain robust data governance frameworks reap numerous benefits.

How the entertainment industry uses data

Used in every process — from content creation to distribution, marketing, decision-making and management — data is woven into the daily operations of modern media and entertainment companies. The entertainment industry, in particular, uses data to:

  • Better understand and track consumer preferences, identify trends and popular themes, better craft products and content, and gain demographic insight.
  • Analyze audience behaviors and historical data, predict box office performance and future projects scenarios.
  • Deliver hyper-personalized entertainment experiences.
  • Drive distribution and marketing, targeting specific demographic groups and interests and adjusting prices based on demand, viewer engagement and market competition.
  • Measure success and predict return on investments, elaborate financial forecasting, revenue streams, streamline budgets, measure product success, subscriber growth and other key metrics.

How data governance affects the entertainment industry

In the business of entertainment, data governance ensures product and system standards and integrity, builds brand value and customer trust and helps companies meet sophisticated regulations while strengthening cybersecurity postures.

Beyond securing profits and streamlining operations, effective data governance programs serve as a safety net for the entertainment industry, proactively addressing potential risks. There are numerous examples of data governance gone wrong in the industry that prove the consequences of poor data management.

SEE: Explore the main differences between data governance and data management.

For example, on-demand streaming platforms like Netflix lost millions of subscribers in 2022 as they failed to understand inflation, password sharing and other key data. Poor data governance can also lead to compliance and legal problems, such as those reported by CNBC, where the co-producer of “The Matrix Resurrections” filed a case against Warner Bros. for an alleged breach of contract.

These are just a few of the many cases of data governance gone wrong in entertainment and how data governance affects the entertainment industry. Whether it be ending up in court, losing revenue or damaging customer trust, data governance is vital for the sector.

The benefits of data governance for entertainment companies

Some of the benefits typical of data governance usually include enhanced decision-making, improved compliance and increased cybersecurity and efficiency. However, there are numerous other benefits for entertainment companies to access through data governance programs:

  • Stronger brand and customer trust: Entertainment companies can build trust by openly and transparently committing to data governance, privacy and security.
  • Improved content recommendations: A solid data governance framework will improve content recommendation efforts and ensure the responsible use of data for these programs.
  • Personalized marketing: Data governance can help entertainment companies personalize marketing campaigns for their customers, leading to increased engagement and conversion rates.
  • New revenue streams: Data governance is vital for entertainment companies that want to identify new revenue streams and explore them responsibly.

Data governance challenges in entertainment

Most of the data governance challenges faced by the entertainment industry are not unique to the sector. Like many other industries, entertainment industries must also face challenges with protecting sensitive customer data, ensuring data quality and accuracy, maintaining compliance, and navigating data silos.

However, despite many of these challenges being experienced across various types of businesses, entertainment companies do have some specific data governance nuances:

  • Managing intellectual property rights: Unlike other industries, entertainment must consider complex IP rights and restrictions associated with creative content.
  • Online platforms and user data: With the expanded market reach, responsibly and safely managing big data and user data can be difficult.
  • Innovation: Staying one step ahead of disruptive data trends caused by innovation is only possible with a good data governance policy that is designed to be flexible and withstand constant updates.

Best data governance practices for the entertainment sector

Small, medium or large entertainment companies must embrace the best data governance practices to successfully operate in the modern world. This often means aligning data governance with business goals, training the right team, using the right technologies and monitoring and adjusting data governance processes over time.

Data governance is not a one-time project; it’s an ongoing process that requires continuous effort and commitment. For the entertainment industry, which has been built on the success of creative talent, shifting to a data culture can be challenging.

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But by following best practices and understanding how data is used in the industry, entertainment companies can reap many benefits, overcome challenges and mitigate threats to build new value.

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Learn the latest news and best practices about data science, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, data security, and more. Delivered Mondays and Thursdays