NBC.com to Use Video Recommendations Technology from Peter Gabriel-Backed The Filter

--Microsoft Files Patent for TV Recommendations System

The Filter, a white-label provider of video recommendation and relevance systems that is backed by rock musician, Peter Gabriel, announced last week that it has been tapped by NBC (which will be its biggest client to date) to power short-form video recommendations for the broadcast network's Web site. According to the company, its technology will bring to the fore relevant video selections from NBC's catalog (which includes clips from such shows as "Chuck," "30 Rock," "The Office" and "Saturday Night Live"), thus providing NBC.com users with easy discovery.

The Filter says that its new deal with NBC follows a trial of its recommendation and relevance platform with NBC.com's video content. According to the company, the trial resulted in an uplift in video streams per session within the Web site, thus helping increase video consumption and user engagement. "We are delighted that NBC.com has selected The Filter to optimize video content, after a hugely successful trial," The Filter CEO, David Maher Robert, said in a prepared statement. "Our sophisticated systems are continuously demonstrating to our expanding customer base that The Filter can achieve measurable and impactful results. As we continue to enhance and develop our offering across different media, we look forward to strengthening our relationship with NBC.com, providing the Web site with the most highly targeted and timely video recommendations." Added NBC.com general manager, Stephen Andrade: "The Filter's highly effective algorithm has clearly demonstrated that it can deliver relevant video recommendations within NBC.com, helping our users find new and compelling content, and as a result, drive video consumption."

The Filter claims that its "modular, proven and scalable" technologies--which it says use a wide array of statistical and rule-based analysis, combined with advanced artificial intelligence techniques--are being used by a broad range of publishers, content owners, distribution platforms and aggregators, including Dailymotion (with which it announced a deal last month), Sony Music Entertainment, thePlatform, We7 and DVDPost. The company says that its technologies have been proven in commercial environments for over five years now, reaching over 95 million unique users per month and delivering close to a billion API recommendation calls per month.

In related news: GoRumors, an Indian blog devoted to rumors in the high-tech space, has discovered a recent US patent filing from Microsoft that describes a system for recommending TV shows to viewers. "A computational recommendation engine is described," Microsoft's patent abstract states. "In embodiment(s), identifiers of ranked programs can be distributed to television client devices, and then a viewing vector from each of the television client devices can be received where the viewing vectors indicate which of the ranked programs have been displayed for viewing at different ones of the television client devices. A client devices group can be created that includes a subset of the television client devices based on the viewing vectors that are received from respective ones of the television client devices. A ranked program can be determined that has not been displayed for viewing by some of the television client devices in the client devices group, and a recommendation of the ranked program can be communicated to the television client devices in the client devices group that have not had the ranked program displayed for viewing." (H/t Ryan Lawler, NewTeeVee.)

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