Notes from the Field: Rhiza and the Edinburgh TV Festival

If you follow Rhiza on Twitter you may have asked yourself last week: Did they expand into the TV business? Why are there so many photos from the Edinburgh TV Fest red carpet? No, unfortunately there won’t be a soapy reality TV show  starring  Rhiza any time soon, but we have learned that networks and content producers are ready to tackle a big challenge: finding a strategy for data.


Laura and Susanne man the Rhiza Booth at the Edinburgh TV Festival

Rhiza CEO Josh Knauer and Affinio VP of Business Development John Gleeson on the #EdTVFest red carpet

Josh speaking on a panel to media execs about what bonds marketing and research: audience insights

Program Strategists, Brand Managers, Sales Executives and Content Producers around the world want answers to an array of questions: Where do people live who like my show? What kind of other shows do they typically like, too? How do they engage with my show? Do they watch it on their laptops? Do they send snapchats of themselves watching the program with friends? What kind of drinks do they have sitting in the fridge? What do they think of the actors that I like to cast in my shows? Are they into gaming?

These questions can be answered today by looking at different kinds of data. The TV industry has always relied on ratings data to measure the success of their programs. Now that we are living in an explosion of content variety and availability, capturing a full picture of their audience is essential for producers and programmers. Beliefs, media footprints, device usage – with data TV networks can get savvy about their business and their talent. They want to invest in better content that people will love and engage with, and the best distribution partners and content sponsors. Popularity and accessibility are directly tied to revenue.

Audience insight researchers have become very important players in the entertainment universe but there are only so many geniuses you can afford to hire. Too often the great insights remain siloed in disparate datasets or they cannot be properly communicated in an effective timeframe across all teams that need knowledge from data. This was the overall most frequent feedback at the Edinburgh TV Fest. Rhiza was received with enthusiasm. The work Rhiza does with the BBC could become an industry-leading example of foresight and strategic excellence to make data available across a big organization for even the smallest business decisions.