The development of the Internet of Things in the Russian media industry

How IoT technology is changing everyday life: international experience and insights from leading Russian media experts

Smart technology is conquering the world, and the media industry is gradually evolving under the influence of IoT, big data and artificial intelligence. This article explores the different technologies used in the media, including the Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics (data analytics, DA) and artificial intelligence (AI).

This study was developed by experts at PwC’s IoT Centre of Excellence in Russia with support from Rossiya Segodnya. In preparing the study, we interviewed ten senior managers at the largest Russian media companies (their commentary is excerpted throughout the publication).

Big data, or what smart devices know about us

The penetration of devices into our lives has led to the emergence of enormous amounts of individual data. Media companies now have access to information about our locations, movements, favourite leisure activities, interests, preferences, contacts, plans and schedules, and even our physical conditions. Today, companies can easily track our interests and content preferences, including genres, favourite channels, viewing times and locations, as well as the platforms and devices we use.

However, the list does not end there. Devices can even measure our reactions to information and content by reading our heart rates and facial expressions. However, only a small number of companies are using this array of information to improve their services. Media companies need new approaches to retain their customers. Those that integrate IoT technology with the greatest speed and efficiency will likely prevail, as customers will enjoy qualitatively new levels of service and experience.


How data is used

1. User identification

Smart devices can recognise our voices and offer us a personal selection of news, or our favourite radio station or online media service. For example, Google Home can differentiate between our family members’ voices and launch a personalised selection of music when we say “Okay, Google, play some music”. The device can read the news feeds preferred by specific family members or display a requested movie on TV via Netflix. We can be identified by our voices, fingerprints, faces and geolocation.

2. Content personalisation and adaptation

At the same time, content can be personalised or adapted at different levels, starting with algorithms that have long been used by YouTube, Netflix, Apple Music, Yandex and others, and ending with changes in screenplays or movie endings depending on our tastes. Already today, the global leaders in the media industry are experimenting with interactive movies. For example, in HBO’s 2018 Mosaic, viewers can choose which hero they want to follow using a mobile application.

3. Personalised content delivery

Content can be personalised and delivered in many ways, including by adapting light, directing sound or adjusting the picture. Moreover, content itself can be altered depending on the delivery channel. For example, news texts may be adapted for reading or listening. The latest televisions are able to adjust brightness and volume settings based on the content and context, while the Google Home Max can identify our locations and objects around the speaker to optimise the flow of sound.

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