NAB 2018: Analytics Scientists Look at Social Media and Bots

Fabric Media chief executive/founder Jason Damata led a discussion at NAB with two experts in the field of social media intelligence. Dr. Indraneel Mukherjee founded LiftIgniter, which is “a machine learning personalization, recommendation and discovery engine” for websites and apps to have one-on-one conversations with users. Dr. John Kelly is chief executive at Graphika, which turns “network relationships into dynamic maps of social influence, enabling precision targeting and action to drive business results.” Continue reading NAB 2018: Analytics Scientists Look at Social Media and Bots

Spotify Purchases Content Recommendation Startup MightyTV

Streaming music service Spotify has acquired New York-based startup MightyTV, which created an app that uses artificial intelligence to provide video recommendations based on individual personal preferences and aggregated user ratings. The acquisition will provide Spotify with technology that could be used to target ads. The company is looking to ramp up ad revenue, since most of its millions of users opt for the free ad-supported version of its service. MightyTV has already shuttered its video app, and plans to integrate the technology into Spotify. The deal will also bring MightyTV founder and CEO Brian Adams to Spotify as VP of technology. Continue reading Spotify Purchases Content Recommendation Startup MightyTV

Rovi Renames Itself TiVo After Buyout, Launches UX Interface

Rovi has completed its $1.1 billion cash and stock deal to acquire DVR pioneer TiVo and, in an unusual move, announced that it would rename itself after the company it just purchased. The company also unveiled TiVo UX, its new on-screen user experience that integrates programming options from multiple platforms for a seamless search and recommendation interface. The new UI — featuring TiVo’s innovative Prediction tech — is designed to access content from TV and mobile sources quicker and easier, in an effort to “allow every device to become a primary screen for video consumption.” Continue reading Rovi Renames Itself TiVo After Buyout, Launches UX Interface

Facebook Bot Recommends Movies Based on Your Interests

While Facebook’s bot platform remains in its early stages as developers test potential apps and the challenges involved with natural language processing, a company named And Chill has created a movie recommendation engine that may be ideal for the social platform. Going beyond the basic like/dislike model, the new bot can be accessed through Messenger or SMS and asks each user for specific reasons why he or she likes a given movie. The information is then analyzed by And Chill to provide appropriate recommendations of similar films and links to YouTube trailers. Continue reading Facebook Bot Recommends Movies Based on Your Interests

There is Untapped Potential in Enhanced Online Video Search

We are used to very sophisticated search for text, but when it comes to online video, search tools are quite primitive. Netflix allows users to search by titles, people and genres; Hulu powers search for titles and people; and HBO Now restricts search to titles. The potential for exquisitely granular search — and potential new revenue streams — can be found in each TV show or movie’s rich metadata. But how to unlock it, and how to structure search is still open to question and experimentation. Continue reading There is Untapped Potential in Enhanced Online Video Search

Netflix Users Control What Shows They Share with Privacy Tool

Netflix’s new privacy feature will now allow users to select which shows they want to share with Facebook friends. In the past, people who decided to link their Netflix and Facebook accounts shared their viewed titles to all of their Facebook friends. Now, each user can recommend a TV show or movie to just one or more friends. With this update, Netflix users now have the ability to be more selective about which programs they recommend to others, and which programs they hide. Continue reading Netflix Users Control What Shows They Share with Privacy Tool

Spotify Intern Creates System to Improve Recommendations

By analyzing the acoustic properties of songs on Spotify, intern and PhD student Sander Dieleman hopes to advance the streaming service’s recommendation algorithms to aid users in discovering new and lesser known music. Rather than basing recommendations on the choices people with similar tastes make, they would be based on songs the user listens to. This method, which requires deep learning, would then mix more obscure but user relevant songs into the recommendations. Continue reading Spotify Intern Creates System to Improve Recommendations

Rovi Tech Personalizes Cable Guide with Recommendations

California-based Rovi is developing technology that will turn cable TV guides from endless grids to a more-personalized recommendation service. Its version of the TV guide tracks viewer habits to make recommendations based on what the viewer has watched before, at what time, and even in what room. It searches through the live line-up, on-demand content, and Netflix to make recommendations. Users can also search for movies and shows using voice commands. Continue reading Rovi Tech Personalizes Cable Guide with Recommendations

Amazon Launches Ad-Free, Streaming “Prime Music” Service

As expected, Amazon has launched Prime Music featuring more than one million songs and hundreds of playlists. The new service offers unlimited streaming without ads or restrictions. It is free to Amazon Prime members and could potentially help attract new subscribers (those who are interested can sign up for a free 30-day trial). Prime members can also listen to downloaded music offline on their Kindle Fire, HDX, iOS, Android and Mac/PC devices via Amazon’s Cloud Player. Continue reading Amazon Launches Ad-Free, Streaming “Prime Music” Service

Redbox Refocuses as Sales and Streaming Service Stagnate

Redbox, the nation’s largest DVD renter, is uninstalling more than 500 kiosks, renegotiating contracts with studios for more favorable content rights, and optimizing its streaming service, Redbox Instant. These changes come as the company faces several challenges: revenue rose only three percent last year after double-digit increases in past years, good locations for kiosks are dwindling, and Redbox Instant only accounts for less than 1 percent of video-on-demand rentals. Continue reading Redbox Refocuses as Sales and Streaming Service Stagnate

Focus on Personalization: The Netflix Vision for Internet TV

Neil Hunt, Netflix’s chief product officer, announced several of Netflix’s predictions for the future of TV at New York City’s Internet Week conference. He said the company is perfecting its personalization technology so that Netflix will know exactly what you want to watch, and will give you one or two suggestions rather than an endless grid of movies and shows. The vision also includes elimination of the commercial, more smart TVs, and maybe even live sports on Netflix. Continue reading Focus on Personalization: The Netflix Vision for Internet TV

Mortar Data Makes it Easier to Build Recommendation Engines

Mortar Data, a New York-based company known for building and hosting custom big data applications, recently announced the launch of a recommendation engine platform that allows anyone to build their own system, and use it with their own data, for free. Recommendation systems are becoming increasingly popular, and have become a gold mine for big companies such as Pandora and Netflix, which use the services to make recommendations based on customer history. Continue reading Mortar Data Makes it Easier to Build Recommendation Engines

Macy’s is First Major Retailer to Use Apple’s iBeacon Tech

When Apple released iOS 7 in June, the company incorporated a proximity-based service called iBeacon that is now being used in retail stores. Mobile retail app developer Shopkick recently announced a service called ShopBeacon that uses iBeacon technology to track customers when they enter and move around the store, and allows the business itself to interact with the customers as they shop. ShopBeacon’s first official trial partner is Macy’s. Continue reading Macy’s is First Major Retailer to Use Apple’s iBeacon Tech

Report: LSE Recommends More Collaborative Digital Culture

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has released its “LSE Media Policy Project Brief” as a policy analysis of the digital media industry. It counters claims that media industries’ revenues are in overall decline, points to successful new businesses that are based on sharing, and questions copyright enforcement efforts. The brief also makes recommendations that the British government should halt the Digital Economy Act of 2010. Continue reading Report: LSE Recommends More Collaborative Digital Culture

Apple Acquires Video Aggregator Matcha.tv, Fuels Speculation

Apple has acquired Matcha.tv, a Web service that provides users access to videos from various sources. Video aggregation technology has also been appearing in new and upcoming video game consoles. The Matcha.tv site has been shut down and customer data deleted, a move that has created speculation on the reason. Some question if Apple will attempt to change the TV experience with the development of a recommendation system or a cloud-based DVR. Continue reading Apple Acquires Video Aggregator Matcha.tv, Fuels Speculation

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