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By Dennis Kneale
When does Big Data become too much data?
For the first time this year, the Internet will break the Zettabyte Barrier--a total 1.1 zettabytes of data will course through the veins of the Internet by the end of 2016. The Library of Congress, the second-largest library in the world, holds 160 million items, including 24 million books. A zettabyte is the equivalent of three million Libraries of Congress.
Media and entertainment companies are at the forefront of efforts to harness the tidal wave of Big Data and turn it into a wealth of new insights, as the audience fragments into millions of individual pieces. "It's not just about viewership anymore, it's targeting, recommending models, personalizing engines, watching Hulu and Netflix, and having content suggestions," says Thomas Siegman of RSG Media, which advises content companies. "It's an air of personalization versus just figuring out what people are watching."
The secrets unlocked by Big Data open up new ways to engage emotionally with consumers at a deeper level, deal with their desires and anticipate their next wishes. "There's an opportunity to subtly influence the influence-able [and] actually create needs, wants and desires," says one expert.
This Big Data Insight report is the first of a series of four columns in Broadcasting & Cable andMultichannel News, sponsored by RSG Media. Its tools help content creators—cable and broadcast networks, production studios, cable systems, sports leagues, and videogame networks—make sense of the massive amounts of data spun off by the mobile boom.
Today's technology environment is a marketer's Big Data dream. There are now more than 2.6 billion smartphones worldwide. It's like having Little Brother in your pocket, tracking almost every move as people watch TV, interact with two million apps, a billion websites and link up with Facebook friends.
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