AI to generate $16.5 billion in media, entertainment services by 2026 — ABI Research

Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) plays a crucial role in ensuring that the media and entertainment industry is able to cope with the challenges as it undergoes a transformative process. This is one of the findings from the ABI Research’s AI/ML in Media and Entertainment application analysis report.

Data from consumers are any organization’s valuable asset but the sheer amount it generates can be overwhelming at some point. This is where AI/ML can help, according to global technology intelligence firm ABI Research.

ABI Research said the market potential for AI/ML in M&E will reach US$16.5 billion by 2026.

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The report found that organizations consider Direct to Consumer (DTC), emphasis on privacy, omnichannel marketing, and cord-cutting are creating numerous challenges for M&E service providers. Other areas where AI/ML will be of help are in creating deeper levels of personalization, an area which according to studies consumers would prefer.

Personalization is becoming more nuanced and intelligent away from simple suggestions of multimedia programs to watch or product recommendations. AI/ML solutions available today enable M&E companies to tailor their services in line with the rich metadata they extract from their subscribers, which drills down into sub-genres and incorporates more information about the user’s history, tastes, and preferences in a very personalized way.


“Thanks to AI/ML, ads are becoming more contextualized, leveraging a wealth of data around environmental factors like weather and local store inventories,” said Michael Inouye, principal analyst, Next-Gen Content Technologies at ABI Research. “This data is being used to offer more targeted, contextually appropriate, and timely ads, for example, a pharmacy could market allergy medicine to individuals within a high pollen count area and highlight nearby stores with available inventory.”

Within the M&E vendor space, particularly ad tech, there is a wide breadth of companies leveraging AI/ML to underpin their personalization and media workflow solutions. From the public cloud companies, of which AWS stands out with its media solutions and support for companies at various levels of AI/ML expertise and a growing partner ecosystem, to more specialized players who target specific applications and media workflows.

Mixed reality

There has been a dramatic shift from the M&E industry that once prized end-to-end platforms and turnkey solutions to modularity and flexibility.

“This speaks to the ongoing changes in the industry but also the increased diversity among service operators and customers, who bring in their own levels of expertise and preferred partners,” Inouye said.

Openness and flexibility will be key as we move further into the future when mixed reality (XR) becomes more mainstream and new opportunities, like shoppable TV, will become a reality. Today, companies like TheTake are powering shoppable content in TVs and mobile devices, which will dramatically change with the availability of smart glasses.