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Jinni's win signals avalanche for personalized TV


Published: 31 August, 2012


While the largest contract for recommendation systems in Europe is on the way to a combination of ThinkAnalytics using Red Bee metadata, at Liberty Global, which serves some 17.6 million homes at Liberty Global, other candidates are finally stacking up millions of potential homes, including Israel's Jinni.

This week it added 1.9 million potential targets when Spain's leading DTH player Prisa decided it would use the system to offer OTT services, adding to wins at Belgacom and Swisscom already registered which mean 3.8 million pay TV homes can use the system in just three territories. We suspect more such wins are on the way.

While the potential number of homes is important, the speed at which people shift to the new TV viewing paradigm is also important, with Virgin in the UK, using a TiVo designed recommendation cloud service to attract 1 million UK homes, out of less than 4 million Virgin TV customers. It has done this in 18 months from start, and similar moves are afoot at Ono and ComHem which also use TiVo.

Everywhere we look, recommendation systems which allow a personalized view of TV, are winning a huge number of consumers over, and this is the way forward in Europe certainly, and probably around the world. Recently companies like Rovi have said in public that it does not see the EPG dying anytime soon. Well we do, certainly at the high end where people pay for best in service. Other players working this seam include Viaccess-Orca, Rovi itself and companies like Netgem and Beenius we know have made bids along this line. Ericsson cannot be far behind if it wants to continue winning IPTV implementations.

Imagine a TV portal as familiar and personal as your own Facebook page. It is so much better than an EPG view with 300 channels. Personalized viewing will stimulate tablet viewing, with appropriate UI systems and search and social TV extensions. All of which points unerringly to the have and have-nots in pay TV - those with personalization systems and those losing customers.

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