WarnerMedia, the media and entertainment company owned by AT&T, is taking inspiration from the consumer packaged goods industry as it develops a new digital streaming service.

Natasha Hritzuk, vice president of consumer insights at WarnerMedia, discussed this subject at the Advertising Research Foundation’s (ARF) 2019 AUDIENCExSCIENCE Conference.

And the insights helping shape its new streaming service, she reported, are emerging from techniques usually employed by the manufacturers of products like fast-moving consumer goods.

“The way that we’ve approached it is to really almost treat it like a consumer packaged-goods product,” she said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: WarnerMedia leverages CPG thinking to build a new streaming service.)

Such a strategy, she offered, is influenced by the notion that a CPG manufacturer normally delineates a customer problem and then seeks to resolve it in new ways.

“I think a lot of these technology products end up being things that are kind of baked [up] between engineering and marketing [teams], and the consumer gets brought in fairly late in the game,” said Hritzuk.

“So, engineers turn up features, they get – maybe – quant tested, [and] you create a hierarchy of things that are going to be critical for launch, [and then] maybe things that kind of come further down the pipeline.”

Once it launches – with a beta roll out forecast for later this year – WarnerMedia’s streaming service will enable it to utilise A/B testing and other real-time, data-led techniques.

But, as a starting point, it will pursue “co-creation with consumers” to help identify and build out different features, offering a different kind of information than mouse clicks and thumb swipes on a product that already has gone live.

“We tried to intercept that a bit earlier on and said, ‘Hey, we may be utterly unaware of key features that consumers want that they haven’t even had a chance to articulate,’” explained Hritzuk. “So … we had consumers actually building out the tech features [and] the different features that they wanted on the app.

“And we’ve been testing them now to get a sense of what is table stakes and what consumers really value as differentiated, and maybe vital, offerings that aren’t currently available in the ecosystem.”

Sourced from WARC