Scotland-based ThinkAnalytics says it has struck deals that will see three major cable MSOs in North America add its recommendation engine to their interactive program guide, which will allow subscribers to receive suggestions for TV shows and movies based on their viewing habits.
ThinkAnalytics chairman Eddie Young told FierceCable that two MSOs will launch ThinkAnalytics recommendation engine in the next four to eight weeks, and that a third major MSO is expected to launch the product in October. "I can't say the names because of NDAs [non-disclosure agreements], but you will see them over the next couple of months," Young said.
Several international pay TV providers have already deployed recommendation engines from ThinkAnalytics and other vendors, but the technology is just beginning to gain traction in the United States. Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) has built its own recommendation engine for use with its new X1 digital video service, and DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) has also deployed a program guide that suggests titles based on viewing habits.
ThinkAnalytics says its recommendation engine has been deployed by 20 service providers worldwide, including BSkyB, Virgin Media and ITV in the United Kingdom, German cable MSO Unity Media and Belgian broadband provider Telenet. More than 70 million subscribers have access to its search and recommendation technology that can be used to navigate live TV, video-on-demand and over-the-top video content.
Look for ThinkAnalytics to strike OEM (original equipment manufacturer) deals with other cable technology vendors. Young says the company is talking to set-top, middleware and interactive program guide vendors about integrating its recommendation engine technology with their products.
ThinkAnalytics faces competition from TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO), rival recommendation engine vendors such as Jinni and multichannel providers that could develop their own recommendation engines for program guides.
- see the news release
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