A data analytics company, SymphonyAM, has been getting a lot of attention for unlocking Netflix’s secretive protection of its viewer numbers. Which makes you wonder: Could they use the same techniques to unlock what people are reading via an equally secretive text media company: Amazon?
SymphonyAM courted controversy when traditional media providers, like NBC, used its figures to downplay the challenge fron Netflix and other online/streaming TV services. Netflix has complained about their accuracy, but obviously those complaints haven’t quite convinced the industry, or the public. So how is SymphonyAM doing it? And could it usefully extend the service to books and e-books?
According to Symphony AM, its service provides “our patented cross media single source measurement in one integrated mobile app.” This app recognizes and tracks media content and advertising on broadcast and digital TV, and can be extended to social media and other platforms. The growing panel of SymphonyAM users are paid regularly to feed information into its cloud network, and to participate in surveys, etc.
Given that breadth, and the capacity to integrate services, the service should surely also work for the Kindle Store, Amazon, and e-books in general, or even print books. I’m sure users would be just as happy to be paid to feed in information on what they’re reading as they are on what they’re watching. That might be enough of a proposition to attract attention from the Big Five, anxious to get their hands on Amazon’s jealously guarded sales figures.
Could this mean an end to Amazon sales secrecy? I wouldn’t bet on it. But I will be interested to see if Amazon joins Netflix in protesting against SymphonyAM’s success.