AT&T signs Jinni to boost VOD sales with personalized recommendations

By Steve Donohue, for [itvt]

Jinni said AT&T is using its recommendation engine to offer U-verse TV video-on-demand subscribers a personalized program guide.

The deal, announced Wednesday, is one of Jinni’s biggest since it was founded in 2008. The Tel Aviv-based company also licenses its semantic discovery product to Comcast, VUDU and Microsoft for use on its Xbox gaming consoles. International customers include Belgium’s Belgacom, Spain’s Prisa TV and SingTel in Singapore.

Jinni’s recommendation engine is unique in the way it indexes movies and TV shows with  “descriptive gene tags” such as “clever heist,” “surprising twist” and “offbeat.”

When combined with anonymous data that details the viewing habits of U-verse subscribers, it could allow AT&T to recommend that subscribers who it believes are in the mood for "rough criminal heroes" watch CBS's Hawaii Five-0, 22 Bullets or Gangster Squad.

Jinni said AT&T is the largest customer of Ericsson’s Mediaroom platform to deploy its recommendation engine in the United States. In October 2012 – nearly a year before Microsoft sold Mediaroom to Ericsson – Jinni rival ThinkAnalytics said that Microsoft had added its recommendation engine to its Mediaroom IPTV partner program.

AT&T is using Jinni on every set-top deployed in U-verse homes, Jinni said. “Working with AT&T U-Verse is a major milestone toward realizing our vision of making the video discovery experience an intuitive, enjoyable part of watching TV,” CEO Yosi Glick said in Tuesday’s announcement. More