With proliferation of various media devices and streaming platforms, video consumption has become a very individual experience – a far cry from what the traditional, linear TV got us used to. This shift not only impacts how and where people watch video, but also how the content is delivered.

Modern technology allows to display personalized video and ads to each person. In this way content providers and advertisers can cater to every viewer’s current distinct interests and needs – driving higher value of the content.

What is personalization?

Personalization in online marketing is nothing new – it has been around for some time now, helping digital marketers improve conversion rates. The key allure of implementing content personalization is hinged on the principle that people are more likely to react to content which was made to look like it was prepared specially for them. This could be done simply by using a person’s name in the messaging, or by more elaborate methods.

And there is data to support it: personalized emails are known to lead to 6x higher transaction rates, and CTAs which use personalized messages result in a 42% higher conversion. Also, personalized web experience can lead to a 20% boost in sales.

As the technology advances, personalization techniques can be applied to video content and ads. For example, videos can use leads’ names or other pieces of known data to make the content more valuable and relevant for the recipients.

Data is king

Any kind of personalization is contingent on access to granular data on the viewers – it takes more than just using a person’s name in the message. The data must be used to choose which content to use in the first place, and increase the chances that the person finds the content useful and relevant. This is how the dominance of Netflix was built – the platform not only streams the content, but – most importantly – crunches the viewership data to give great recommendations of new shows, and thus offer unparalleled viewing experience.

From the marketing perspective, solid personalization can be achieved by integrating your CRM and feeding the data about a user’s behaviour (products or categories viewed on your site) to a personalized video platform which can generate personalized videos, e.g. for retargeting purposes.

Companies like Kaltura do just that: they offer cloud TV providers a way to aggregate and make sense of the data, and build richer personalization experiences. It takes AI and machine learning to balance an operator’s commercial goals with the interests and preferences of each user.

Personalization is a staple of OTT content presentation

Considering how much content is offered by each streaming platform today, it would be risky to leave it to the user to always know what to watch next. This matters especially in OTT platforms, when users use a only simple remote and would rather see a list of all the most relevant titles on one screen immediately, and quickly start watching a show.

This is pretty much the standard, accepted and expected way of navigating through content in OTT devices. Personalized, relevant content is a must. For example, a good video personalization system makes sure a football fan is not being recommended basketball matches, and vice versa.

Personalization in Commercials: Cadbury

The chocolate giant pulled off a personalized video that would have been completely impossible only a decade or so ago. The company partnered with Idomoo’s PVaaS personalized video platform. To feed it with the necessary data, users are first asked to log into their Facebook page. Then, it not only uses the visitors’ first names, but also Facebook photos, which it dynamically embeds it in the video. But most importantly, everything is generated on the fly, so the experience is completely uninterrupted.


In a Nike personalized video, a strong bond is built with the viewers, who are engaged with a beautiful and stylish 3D animation presenting their achievements from the previous year (based on the informations pulled from the Nike+ platform), and giving new goals for the upcoming year.

My Virgin TV Kids

Virgin TV has created a video on demand (VoD) platform designed specifically for children. The platform is powered by zone·tv technology – it learns the habits, and preferences of children as they watch.

By analysing what children choose to watch or to skip, it crafts a unique, personalized TV experience. The result it is minimal need for content searching and maximum value and satisfaction. The platform learns the preferences, and the most relevant cartoons are played most of the time.

The wrap-up

With video personalization platforms able to process insane amounts of data, draw inferences and harness the power of AI to create completely new types of content, traditional video ads may soon be completely irrelevant. When the video personalization technology fully matures and gets powerful enough, product placement and personalized content may be sewn into the content itself – rather than thrive in ad slots.

But most importantly, because personalization makes the content more relevant and valuable to the user, it also makes ads less of a nuisance, and drives higher conversion rates.