By Allan Maurer
Ever settle back in your easy chair or on the sofa, scanning your movie options and think, “I’m in the mood for a love story.” Or an inspirational film? Or scary movie? Well, soon, you may be able to search for entertainment that matches your mood via cable set-top boxes or TV connected devices.
Durham, NC-based Digitalsmiths, which has developed personalized video discovery technology has added mood-based recommendations to its “Seamless Discovery” platform.
The company has cut a deal with a tier-one cable provider to include its discovery technology in new set-top boxes which may start appearing in homes by August.
The company says it has a vast database that leverages the world’s largest collection of scene-level, time-based video data from Digitalsmiths and industry-standard data sets from Tribune Media Service (TMS) and other 3rd parties.
Digitalsmiths CTO and co-founder Matt Berry tells us the company uses both quantitative and qualitative metrics to test its recommendation algorithm. “We can look at what the customers consumed in the last four weeks and correlate that with the recommendations we would have made, then measure the error rate.”
Also, he adds, “We do random sampling and have 1,000 subcribers (their identities unknown to Digitalsmiths) rate our recommendations, regardless of how they consume the media.” In recent measurements, the company’s recommendations were well received by 95 percent of consumers, he said.
Social buzz also considered in recommendations
While Berry sees mood recommendations as important, they are not the be all and end all of getting timely, well-received suggestions to consumers, he says. “We blend it with things such as the consumer’s behavior – what they’re watching or tend to DVR, what’s going on via social buzz – measuring through Twitter and other social media.”
One of the problems with recommendations, he notes, “Is that they tend to become stale if they just rely on historical ratings (such as on Netflix or Amazon).
“Twitter is an example of how dynamic TV shows can be. In sports, for instance, a quick recommendation that a tight game is tied in the last two minutes – that’s one type of recommendtion we’re trying to hit for our consumers.”
Digitalsmiths powers the personalized search and recommendations on M-Go, a free app embedded in a variety of coming consumer electronics, including: