Gigaom is reporting that Hunch co-founder Chris Dixon has released a new product called Forage Thursday night that utilizes the Hunch API to build personalized YouTube playlists based on the people you follow on Twitter.
So how does it work? Dixon told me via email that Hunch uses preferences from existing users to predict recommendations for users not known to the system. “Basically we have about one million people who have Twitter (or) Facebook connected into Hunch and told us about their music preferences,” he said. “We use this ‘known’ data to make inferences about unknown users based on who they follow, who follows them, and other signals.”
Dixon also emphasized that Forage is exploratory by nature — it won't necessarily list your favorite bands, but rather music you may want to try. And I gotta say, it actually works pretty well for that purpose. Not only does it serve up an interesting selection of videos, users can also link to the resulting playlists. Unfortunately, it struggles with one of the issues many music-focused YouTube mashups are facing: Some major labels aren't allowing third party sites to embed their clips.
Paul Johnson from Appmarket.tv previously covered Hunch in a piece last year:
According to Caterina Fake of Hunch.com, the type of Recommendation Engine used by Netflix and other Connected TV players do not work because they are vertically challenged and they dont know what socks you wear.
Thats right… socks. Eh?!
If you dont know Caterina Fake, she sold Flickr to Yahoo a few years ago, after growing it into one of the most popular photo sharing sites around.
If you don’t know Hunch.com, it is a company we first came across when they launched their beta at the beginning of 2009, and since then, they have been attracting consumers and collecting a huge number of answers to the broadest range of random questions I have come across. They have been building a recommendation tool that gets smarter the more their users use it.
So what relevance does Hunch.com have to the future of Connected TV, could they improve the recommendation engines currently in use by content providers, and does it actually matter?
Hunch.com believes they will be part of the Connected TV future, because of the masses of data they have been capturing on consumers, and what they are now turning into a new set of views on likes and dis likes across a vast range of different products and services...including Film and TV.
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EDITOR'S NOTE: (I first saw NDS's one screen solutions with their proof of concept TV widgets at IBC 2008 and they were perhaps, along with Samsung and Yahoo at the time, providing the greatest innovation around single screen TV apps solutions - noticably, at IBC 2010, they were making a hard shift to multiplatform).
NDS, a leading pioneer of technology solutions for digital pay-TV, today announced the launch of the NDS Service Delivery Platform, a fully scalable platform that enables TV operators to extend their offering to companion devices through third-party applications.
The NDS Service Delivery Platform (SDP) provides an open API that acts as an interface between apps on devices, a service provider’s TV platform and social networks or other internet content. Providing a standard web services interface, the SDP enables the development of a limitless number of applications to complement or control the TV viewing experience.
"Simultaneous TV and internet device usage is a growing phenomenon and presents opportunity for pay-TV operators, studios and app developers to create companion content and services. The potential lies in enhancement of the audience experience, the chance to reach the customer outside of the television viewing period, and in providing new avenues for advertiser engagement.” commented Adrian Drury, Principle Analyst, Ovum Media and Broadcast. “The NDS Service Delivery Platform takes an interesting approach to solving both issues. Ovum looks forward to seeing audience response to the first applications that exploit the web services exposed by SDP."
Enabling a multi-device ecosystem, the SDP places the TV operator at the core of the multi-screen entertainment experience, utilising the untapped creative potential of the app developer community and facilitated by a fully featured developer portal.
“The NDS SDP enables operators to harness the creativity of the thriving app developer community. The key to the platform is the two-way communications model, enabling not only content on devices, but that crucial link between the device and the operator platform – including the set-top box, so that it becomes a companion to the viewing experience.” said Nigel Smith, VP and Chief Marketing Officer, NDS. “The SDP fosters a symbiotic relationship that allows operators to drive service adoption through the apps, whilst enabling developers to generate revenue and providing subscribers with an enriched experience.”
Broadband News had some excellent coverage of the shift from single screen widgets to multiplatform delivery.
Beavon showed Broadband TV News an application that worked in tandem with an IP-enabled set-top box, bringing up additional information relevant to the on-screen programme, and changing channel if required.
NDS has also launched the Infinite TV Exchange, designed as a global business-to-business content marketplace, feeding special interest channels through over-the-top delivery. Explaining the concept Yoni Hashkes said the exchange would allow everyone from Jamie Oliver to Rolling Stone magazine to build their content into a TV channel. “Big brands such as National Geographic would be able to use this to create ancillary channels.” NDS is providing a hosted service that ingests, builds and schedules the content, adding in commercials, and collecting any subscription fee. “We will pre-integrate our technology making it very easy for the customer to just flick the switch and turn it on,” said Hashkes.
To provide a multi-faceted companion device experience, the SDP facilitates the contextual delivery of additional content, information and social networking features from online sources. The platform uses intelligent mechanisms to ensure that content and metadata are retrieved from the most appropriate source, whether the operator platform or web-services such as movie databases or catch-up TV sites. Devices and individual subscriptions are recognised by the SDP, allowing the delivery of appropriately formatted content, to device specification and in keeping with the user’s pay-TV subscription.
The NDS SDP is compatible with existing TV platforms and STBs. Utilising device SDKs and app stores, it negates the need for per-device and per-service integration, enabling the operator to present their brand, new services and content on a rapidly expanding number of connected devices.Add a comment
The Adult Film Company, FyreTV has announced that it's going Over The Top (OTT) into a hybrid cable/IPTV system, with Polish partner Toya, guaranteeing viewers popular content 24 hours a day, rather than being restricted by Polish law, which forbids traditional broadcast television services from offering adult content before 11:00 PM.
The result of the alliance between FyreTV and Toya is a highly robust PPV (pay per view) and VOD (video on demand) system which offers thousands of movies on demand, far exceeding any current adult content options on the market for Polish consumers.
"We are honored to have been chosen by Toya to provide the highest quality adult entertainment for their IPTV platform," said Josh Stevens, Director of Marketing, FyreTV. "FyreTV will provide their subscribers with an adult video experience like no other, and we're looking forward to expanding overseas to offer such impeccable adult video content."
"Toya is proud to announce the launch of FyreTV availability to our customers," said Jacek Kobierzycki, CEO, Toya BR. "We always strive to be at the forefront of technology and offer our subscribers the widest variety of content choices on the market."
FyreTV will be available to a limited number of Toya's subscribers for testing purposes this March with full availability to begin in April.Add a comment
The first independent event focusing purely on the TV application opportunity has been announced at this month's IP&TV World Forum.
The TVAppHub, launched to help stimulate the TV Application market, is a free-to-attend conference for developers, which will feature training, panel discussions, presentations and demonstrations. It includes speakers from Deutsche Telekom, BBC, Betfair TV, Samsung Electronics and Sky News.
Taking place on Day one of the IP&TV World Forum (22 March), the event programme comprises of sessions such as Apps, Broadband & TV – a perfect convergence opportunity and Developing successful apps for TV with the aim to promote TV as an application platform, and bring scale to the TV App market.
Gavin Whitechurch, Director of the IP&TV World Series of events, commented: "The new generation of SmartTVs, which combine traditional TV with a broadband connection, open a world of possibilities for Apps which will revolutionise the media experience and make TV the personalised, interactive experience you always thought it should be.
"The TVAppHub will bring together application developers, tool providers, CE manufacturers, platform providers, and IP service providers to network, collaborate and transform ideas into action."
The TV application market has also been reflected in this year's IP&TV Industry Awards with the inclusion of a Best TV App Award, being presented at Madame Tussauds in London on the evening of 23rd March.
The IP&TV World Forum 2011 has been renamed and repositioned this year to be fully inclusive of the increasing number of service providers delivering TV via IP technology, focussing on hybrid, IP and Connected TV.
The comprehensive programme of more than 250 visionary speakers, including over 150 service providers from telcos, cablecos, broadcasters and content providers, is divided across four work tracks focusing on IP Platforms for TV, Network Optimisation, Service Management and The Business of Content.
To view the full event programme and register for the conference, visit the IP&TV World Forum 2011 website at www.iptv-forum.com call +44 (0)20 7017 5506. Follow IP&TV World Forum on Twitter at http://twitter.com/
APPLICATIONS CLOSE 12 NOON FRIDAY 11 MARCH
Complete your 2 minute video and 2 page application form completed now
MIPTV and Connected Creativity, 4-7 April 2001, Cannes, France.Add a comment
Millions of Warner bros. Facebook fans can now rent movies using Facebook credits and stream within studio's movie fan pages with more Programmes in the pipeline planned to be made available as digital movie purchases in the near future on the world's most popular social media site.
Warner Bros. Digital Distribution (WBDD), a market leader in video-on-demand and electronic sell-through, today announced it will begin testing an offering of selected movies for purchase or rental through Warner Bros. Entertainment’s Facebook movie Pages. Consumers will be able to use Facebook Credits to easily buy or rent a title, all while staying connected to Facebook.
Starting today, millions of fans who “Liked” Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster film “The Dark Knight” can rent the title through its official Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/darkknight). Consumers simply click on the “rent” icon to apply their Facebook Credits, and within seconds they will begin enjoying the film. The cost per rental is 30 Facebook Credits or $3. This offering is presently available only to consumers in the United States. Additional titles will be made available for rental and purchase on a regular basis over the coming months.
“Facebook has become a daily destination for hundreds of millions of people,” said Thomas Gewecke, President of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. “Making our films available through Facebook is a natural extension of our digital distribution efforts. It gives consumers a simple, convenient way to access and enjoy our films through the world’s largest social network.”
Fans will have full control over the film while watching it through their Facebook account for up to 48 hours from purchase. They can choose to watch it in full screen, pause the movie, and resume playing it when they log back into Facebook. Consumers will also have full Facebook functionality including the ability to post comments on the movie, interact with friends and update their status.
Next New Networks is now part of YouTube and will become a core component of YouTube Next, a new team that will focus on supercharging content creator development on YouTube, driving deeper expertise in partner audience development, and incubating new ideas that can be shared with the broader community.
Since Next New Networks opened their doors in March 2007, they've managed to create an effective platform for developing, packaging and building audiences for original web video programming - to the point that programming has been viewed over 2 billion times and built a following of more than 6 million subscribers.
A big part of that growth has been the more than 60 independent producers who have partnered with the company as part of the Next New Creators program, including popular YouTube partners such as The Gregory Brothers, Hot for Words, and Nalts, in addition to the ongoing growth of networks like Barely Political (home of Obama Girl and "The Key of Awesome"), Indy Mogul, ThreadBanger, and Fast Lane Daily.
Next New Networks. We are extremely excited to announce the acquisition of Next New Networks. Since launching in March 2007, the Next New Networks team has built a highly effective platform for developing, packaging and building audiences around original web video programming, attracting over 2 billion views and 6 million subscribers across their partner networks of channels and shows. Within YouTube, Next New Networks will be a laboratory for experimentation and innovation with the team working in a hands on way with a wide variety of content partners and emerging talent to help them succeed on YouTube. We are thrilled with the new capability the team brings and the positive impact it will have making our YouTube partners more successful.
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Transmedia has been a buzz word for a while, but today it's rapidly rising up the radar, with content creators increasingly interested in finding innovative ways to create stories that arc over various platforms, providing consumers with multiple entry points. A new trend report from JWT, the world's best-known marketing communications brand, explores why this trend is bubbling up right now, how it's significant for marketers and where it's going.
Understanding what transmedia means and how to develop relevant experiences that give audiences multiple entry points will be increasingly important for marketers as transmedia transitions into the status quo. The report, "Transmedia Rising," provides an introduction to transmedia fundamentals: It includes a half-dozen case studies, insights from transmedia experts, a guide to finding more information (from events to podcasts to books and video clips) and a timeline charting some of transmedia's milestones, from Disney to The Matrix and beyond.
"This is an era characterized by social media, multiple screens and empowered consumers, and transmedia leverages all of that while using age-old storytelling and marketing techniques," says Ann Mack, director of trendspotting at JWT. "For marketers, transmedia presents new opportunities for capturing consumers' time and attention-with the potential to enhance brand mythology and create more brand evangelists."
In coming weeks, JWTintelligence.com will feature two related Q&As: with the commercial and music video director Mathew Cullen, a co-founder of the new transmedia studio Mirada (spearheaded by director Guillermo del Toro), and with Wired contributing editor Frank Rose, author of the new book The Art of Immersion.Add a comment
Variety is reporting that the hugely delayed UK Connected TV service Youview has hired Lord Alan Sugar by the consortium of backing broadcasters to save ailing internet connected set-top box venture, YouView.
Appmarket.tv recently reported the project was set back six months and is expected to rollout well into 2012. And Youview has had it's detractors, including Sky, Virgin Media, IP Vision, Six TV, United For Local Television and the Open Source Consortium who have all called for Ofcom to shut it down. The delay has also meant that BSkyB and Virgin Media have been able to bow their own connected TV offerings.
In a statement Meek said:
"It has been apparent for some time that the YouView board would benefit from additional expertise in consumer marketing and technology delivery. Lord Sugar clearly supplies this. As the venture progresses toward launch, the change in chairman makes sense. I wish Lord Sugar well."
Speaking on behalf of the initiative's stockholders, Charles Dunstone, chairman of TalkTalk, said:
"Lord Sugar's experience in delivering set-top box technology to the consumer is unrivalled and we are delighted that he will be with us as we introduce a new, enhanced television experience to homes across the UK."
Similar broadcast-backed connected TV initiatives exist on the continent with the French and the Germans have been working on a fully Open Source Solution called HbbTV (Dutch public broadcasters are also using the platform) and NHK, Japan’s national broadcaster, has its own hybrid broadcast broadband called ‘Hybridcast’.Add a comment
For the first time in the UK the world's top content providers have come together to help drive UK innovation in digital media. IC tomorrow now gives you the chance to pitch your digital products and service to world leaders in music, publishing and TV with £200,000 to give away. Click here for more details.
IC tomorrow is supporting up to 20 six-month consumer trials of new digital products and services across creative market sectors including Music, TV/Film, Publishing and a Wildcard option. If successful you will be able to work with leading content providers and will receive up to £10,000 in support of your trial. IC tomorrow, developed by the UK Technology Strategy Board, enables content owners and application developers – any business with a new service, new business model or new way of deploying hardware or software technology – to trial their ideas with UK consumers.
Why should digital application and service providers apply for the £200,000 IC tomorrow contest?
- £10,000 towards trialling your digital innovation.
- Not time-intensive, simple form and two minute video online
- IP is protected and retained.
- Work with leading digital content providers.
- Network with other digital innovators.
"This is the opportunity to talk to these premium rights owners to experiment with them in a way that you know just would not be possible in the full commercial world," said Paul Brindley from IC tomorrow.
Applications close at 12 noon on Friday 11 March 2011 - but you can still apply here - so there's little time left - however - unlike you might think - this is government innovation funding but it's not typical government red tape. A simple, quick online form and two minute video are enough to get you in the contest.
Who is involved?
Faber & Faber, John Wiley & Sons, IPC Media, Haymarket Media Group, British Library, The Bookseller, Contagious Magazine, DN Capital, Lionsgate, Endemol, FremantleMedia, Bridgeman Art LIbrary, Beggars Group, EMI, Universal Music UK, Sony Music UK, Warner Music UK, PRS For Music, Getty Images, The Orchard, Crytek UK, Collections Trust. These content providers and more will be on the final panels evaluating your application and supporting the consumer trials.
Watch and listen to Endemol's UK Commercial Director Alasdair Roberts, Scott Cohen from The Orchard, and Paul Brindley from ICTommorrow Explain.
"We're tremendously excited to be involved in the IC tomorrow program and we're really hopeful that we are going to see some fantastic surprises," stated Alastair Roberts - Commercial Director, Endemol UK
Dr Nick Appleyard, Head of Digital at the Technology Strategy Board, comments:
"IC tomorrow offers an unrivalled opportunity to trial consumer applications and business models and we're now looking for the brightest digital entrepreneurs and organisations to submit their applications. By breaking down the challenges associated with delivering content rich applications to the market, IC tomorrow hopes to ensure the UK continues to be a leader in technology innovation."
"If a company comes to us and has an idea, IC tomorrow is the perfect place to go ahead and test that idea, " notes Scott Cohen - Co-Founder, The Orchard
Finalist pitch their apps at the D-Media event at BAFTA - 30 March 2011Add a comment