Chatbots: a special VAST REPORT
Over the past two years artificial intelligence systems and automation technologies have become increasingly popular tools for enhancing sales, marketing and customer services. Especially chatbots have gained immense popularity in 2016 and numerous companies and brands have launched their own bots in order to enhance their services and engage with customers.

In April 2016, Facebook enabled third parties to release their own chatbots on Facebook Messenger, which encouraged a large number of companies to connect with the millions of Facebook users on a more individual level. Developers were encouraged to build their own chatbots and Facebook Messenger quickly became a platform for business transactions and conversation. But also instant messaging services and other social media platforms such as Twitter, Telegram, Viber and Kik have opened up their platforms to third party chatbots. Another popular method is the direct integration of a bot into the company- or network-owned website, as many have demonstrated.

A chatbot is a great and versatile tool for engaging with consumers, viewers and fans. For fashion and retail brands, for example, the advantages of using chatbots are obvious: bots offer a customer service that never sleeps and is available at any given time. Also, bots make business transactions fairly easy through integrated ordering and booking options. But also TV networks and media production companies can benefit from the use of chatbots. Over the last few months, TV channels have begun to dip their toes into chatbot waters as well, illustrating the great potential this technology offers and how it presents a useful way to extend the content offer and drive fan engagement.

Our latest special VAST REPORT features 13 case studies of broadcasters utilizing chatbots for different purposes. Use cases range from providing information and additional content over personalized news feeds and educational entertainment to fan engagement and bots that let viewers feel like they enter the world of their favorite series. They all give a glimpse of the future possibilities by adding a new layer of interaction and viewer/user engagement to the broadcasters’ marketing and promotion.

Highlights include Food Network’s recipe chatbot on Facebook Messenger; CNN’s US election chatbot on Kik; National Geographic KiDS’ virtual T.rex that answers all kinds of questions about dinosaurs; and MTV’s use of Facebook Messenger to engage the audience of their awards shows. How chatbots can be utilized to market fictional series has been demonstrated by Channel 4, Hulu, HBO and also Netflix, who created bots that let viewers talk to characters from their series’ universes.

These case studies show the versatility of chatbots. As chatbots have established themselves quickly, marketing experts predict 2017 to be the year of the chatbot. Consumers and audiences have already had a chance to adopt these digital assistants and this might be the year for many further technological advances, giving chatbots a chance to become mainstream.

For more of these case studies, please access our VAST BUZZ or get more information about our database here: