Moving Beyond Recommendation Engines: Why there is no silver bullet for content discovery

These days, there is more TV and video content available than ever before- viewers can download, stream, watch,  and record just about any TV show they want.

Yet with no way to filter available content, viewers are struggling to cut through the clutter and find interesting TV shows. In 2010, 90% of all Europeans either occasionally or frequently found that there was nothing to watch on TV, despite all the content available.
 
As a result, most TV service providers now recognise the need to incorporate a recommendations engine as part of their content discovery mix. 
 
Depending on the provider, this can be a matter of  the video-on-demand store, promoting premium TV channels, or driving viewers to video-on-demand services from within the traditional EPG.
 
However, not every viewer has the same content discovery needs; while some viewers are searching for a specific show, others are simply browsing for something new to watch.
 
At the same time, while a 60 year old woman may look for new TV shows to watch by reading her favourite newspaper each week, a 15 year old boy may be influenced by what shows his friends chat about on Facebook.
 
As a result, to keep TV relevant for each individual, there is no single "silver bullet" solution that will work for everyone.
 
TV Genius research found that viewers' content discovery behaviour can be grouped into 5 categories:
 
 
1. Socialites: Influenced by friends and family, channel surfing, and web and mobile (5-10%)
 
2. Progressives: Influenced by web and mobile content (5-15%)
 
3. Reactives: Influenced by channel surfing and on-air trailers (10-20%)
 
4. Traditionals: Influenced by newspapers, magazines, and on-air trailers (20-30%)
 
5.  TV addicts: Influenced by on-air trailers, the EPG, and web and mobile content  (20-30%)
 
As you can see, each group has very different content discovery behaviours. This means that TV providers need to offer a content discovery mix that appeals to each group.
 
 
Clearly, not only recommendations, but also TV search, saved search terms , TV reminders, social media suggestions, editorial reviews, popular programming, and the top trending TV shows of the day.
 
A full content discovery platform provides all of this functionality, and needs to be a lot more than “just” a recommendation engine.