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AI helping Astro stir up entertainment

Ridhuan Sidek, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer, Astro

Technology giant Microsoft is enabling Astro to take the leap into the world of entertainment that is driven by artificial intelligence, with an aim to drive better economic outcomes for both advertisers and consumers.

Astro, in collaboration with Microsoft, has leveraged on the latter’s Azure cloud technology to experiment on Digital Customer profiling using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, as part of Astro’s digital transformation.

This experiment was conducted on the Stadium Astro’s (Astro website) platform, and was designed to increase the capability of Astro’s business to evaluate and respond to individual’s preferences in real time to effectively match supply with demand.

Talking about this experiment, Ridhuan Sidek, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer of Astro said, “Astro is pursuing a Consumer First narrative and one of our strategic initiative is the ability to adapt and respond to the changing landscape. We are constantly engaging and personalizing our content.”

One such experiment was carried out on the sports segment of the website, wherein, individual preferences for a football club, players etc. were rolled in for data analytics and machine learning, thus throwing up an interesting personalized page for the individual concerned.

“During the experiment stage, Astro observed a significant improvement in the click through rates across Stadium Astro’s content recommendations, indicating that more people were reading Stadium Astro’s content as they were more relevant,” added Ridhuan.

Commenting on the outcome, an Astro spokesperson said, “it was found that once this personalized pages/articles were published, the consumers showed a bigger propensity to buy the sports-related merchandise like jerseys and caps.”

The Digital Customer Profiling experiment was undertaken for a period of two months until August 2017.

This profiling allows Astro to understand its consumers and by leveraging the cloud infrastructure, Astro’s big data solutions can crunch billions of hypotheses in seconds to ascertain what each consumers’ interests are. This then helps personalize customer experiences in real-time.

The task facing Astro was to autonomously understand the interests of the customer’s fast enough to adapt to their interests whilst they are still on Stadium Astro’s website.

The AI technology resulted in tailored content for each visitor on the Stadium Astro’s website based on their preferences and importantly, a more relevant user experience. The Azure platform’s flexibility and cost-effective model allowed Astro to customize and take view of infrastructure optimization considerations.

Michal Golebiewski, Chief Marketing and Operations Officer, Microsoft Malaysia said, “our technology has helped transform the way people work, learn, play and communicate. This is first time Microsoft has worked so closely with Astro on a cloud based big data initiative and this will propel Astro’s digital transformation.”

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