Digitalsmiths Seamless Discovery is revolutionizing the way video service providers deliver content to viewers, and ultimately the way consumers find something they want to watch. Guided by the belief that consumers should not have to work to find relevant content—the content should find them—Digitalsmiths Seamless Discovery provides the industry’s most comprehensive personalized content discovery platform.
Seamless Discovery's multidimensional approach to personalized content discovery includes search and recommendations, favorite series and sports, editorial and dynamic carousel creation and management, and more. This content discovery functionality can be deployed in a cross-catalog format including linear, premium channels, VOD, DVR and OTT content, on any device at anytime. Key differentiators include:
Integration of Business Needs
Seamless Discovery's Console provides an additional layer of flexible customization to boost linear or revenue-generating content such as premium channels or VOD titles, execute offer management programs, and deliver targeted promotions to different subsets of viewers. Seamless Discovery not only improves the overall TV experience, but also incorporates the video service provider’s business goals, creating new possibilities to enhance and monetize each content discovery experience.
Digitalsmiths Market Expertise and Operational Excellence
- The Seamless Discovery platform processes more than 3 billion monthly transactions and over 55 unique deployments. Seamless Discovery proudly predicts with 95% accuracy what a viewer will want to watch, and supports the uptime required for high availability systems.
- Digitalsmiths marquee customers include AT&T U-verse, Bright House Networks, Charter Communications, The CW Network, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Disney, FOX Sports, Foxtel, Sharp, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon FIOS.
- Digitalsmiths Seamless Discovery won the 2014 Technology & Engineering Emmy® Award for Personalized Recommendation Engines for Video Discovery for MVPDs.
- Digitalsmiths has empirically-demonstrated superior technology, proven multiple times in rigorous customer lab environments against competitive solutions.
Data-Driven Decisions Through Reporting and Analytics
Digitalsmiths Seamless Insight™ delivers the metrics, KPI’s, and data-driven decisions necessary to empower video service providers to gain and increase viewers’ trust. Video service providers gain real-time insight into engagement and overall performance of cross-platform content discovery implementations with reports and analytics tracking API availability, video views, searches, and recommendations by devices, products, time of day, and more. Now, through Seamless Insight, informed decisions and adjustments affecting content discovery efforts can be based on real data and insights.
Digitalsmiths’ Unified Data Service creates a single index where multiple structured and unstructured video-related data sources are ingested, aggregated, reconciled, and stored providing a master collection of metadata. This capability offers Multichannel Video Programming Distributors, Consumer Electronics Manufacturers, Digital Publishers, and Second Screen Applications a deep video metadata library that increases the contextual data of each video asset.
Combine data from the Unified Data Service with viewer behavioral data, and Seamless Discovery's Data Management capabilities provide a robust dataset, powering numerous types of personalized content discovery functionality including search, recommendations, popularity discovery, mood discovery, sports discovery, voice discovery and more. The Unified Data Service has been architected to manage this ever-increasing set of big data pools including the following:
- Third-Party Mood Metadata
- Service Provider's Scheduling Data
- Service Provider’s VOD Catalog Data
- Service Provider’s Third-Party Data Sources
- Pre-Mapped Third-Party Data Sources
The Unified Data Service is pre-mapped to key third-party industry sources to speed up implementations, and spans a variety of functions including:
- Industry Leading Linear Schedule Data
- Industry Leading VOD Catalog Data
- Over-The-Top Data
- Sports Data
- Popularity Data
- Critic Ratings & Reviews
- Video Trailers
Powering results based on a viewer’s preferences and behaviors, Seamless Discovery takes search to a “personalized” level. Personalized Search supports a variety of options and a wide range of filtering and faceting functionality.
In real-time, Seamless Discovery monitors what the viewer types, and once the first characters of a word are present, a list of suggested titles is presented. Video service providers have the ability to limit results to pre-defined metadata fields or to boost suggestions based on specific fields and weightings, providing yet another method to incorporate strategic business goals and offer management programs.
Seamless Discovery can blend multiple video sources including Linear, Premium Channels, VOD, and OTT offerings with other data sources to deliver multiple types of Personalized Recommendations features including:
- Group Personalized Recommendations
In real-time, Seamless Discovery combines multiple individual profiles to deliver personalized recommendations for a couple, a family, or any group of viewers.
- Predictive Recommendations
Unlike Seamless Discovery Personalized Recommendations which are a blend of similar content and previous viewing habits, Predictive Recommendations surface content based on repetitive daily, weekly, and monthly viewing, and then only provide recommendations of first-run TV shows and favorite teams/sporting events. This functionality predicts what a viewer will want to watch, ensuring content is found in a single click, channel surfing is avoided, and programs the viewer regularly watches are never missed.
- Watch Now Recommendations
A smart blend of Predictive Recommendations and Personalized Recommendations, Watch Now Recommendations recognizes when there is new content available that might interest the viewer and presents it first. If there is not a clear behavior pattern for that time of day and day of week, then the viewer will be presented with recommendations that will help them find new content that they would be interested in by mixing unwatched series, movies, or live events. The smart blend incorporates content from all sources available for viewing at that time, whether it is being broadcast live, is available on demand, is from an OTT service, or is on the DVR.
- Personalized Browsing
The average Pay-TV subscriber only watches between 8-10 channels of their TV package, leading to dissatisfaction and disengagement with their service. Personalized Browsing solves this by exposing the service provider’s linear programming content but surfacing it based on relevance to the viewer, as opposed to the un-navigable EPG paradigm of time and channel. By combining this presentation of linear content with premium content, VOD and OTT content, Personalized Browsing delivers a powerful cross-platform content discovery experience.
- Viewer Favorites
Seamless Discovery will learn and store a viewer’s favorite series, sporting event(s), or team(s) based on how frequently they are watched. This feature ensures a viewer will never miss a TV series or sporting event once a new program or new season becomes available.
- More Like This
Seamless Discovery provides “similar title” recommendations to a particular video asset. More Like This leverages asset-level metadata and viewer behavioral data to deliver the most relevant personalized recommendations.
When titles are grouped into carousels by viewer’s favorite shows, genres, interests, or even actors/directors, not only do consumers find something to watch faster, but video consumption is three times higher than non-personalized carousels. Digitalsmiths Seamless Discovery provides a simple way to populate an entire screen of personalized carousels, whether editorially or dynamically created. Editors may create dozens of possible carousels, but only those most relevant to the viewer will be surfaced and videos in each carousel will be ordered to the viewer’s preference. For example:
- A mother may receive TV dramas as her top carousel, while her daughter receives a carousel of animated cartoons.
- A father is offered a carousel of movies from the director Martin Scorsese, while mom is presented with Steven Spielberg movies.
A viewer’s mood often dictates the type of TV shows and/or movies they want to watch. Therefore, Mood Discovery provides yet another method to discover content by isolating titles based on what the viewer is in the mood for at that particular time. Mood Discovery is powered by hundreds of unique content classifications, which results in hundreds of thousands of potential combinations and preferences based on specific moods, settings, themes, eras, locations, and many other characteristics.
The overall popularity of a TV show or movie plays an extremely important role in consumers’ entertainment decisions. Popularity Discovery uses real-time view data to surface the most buzzed-about content. This form of recommendations can be surfaced in a number of different time parameters, such as what was hot a week ago, what is hot on live TV now, or what upcoming content is trending. Popularity Discovery gives video service providers a backup mechanism to personalization when cold-starting a new viewer.
With more and more channels airing sports content, many of which are not on the networks commonly searched by viewers, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find one’s favorite team or exciting games. Sports Discovery surfaces a viewer’s favorite teams and/or sporting events that were once hidden, reducing the time spent channel surfing.
Viewers can navigate the screen and search for programs to watch by simply speaking as they naturally would. Seamless Discovery learns to respond based on a viewer’s interactions with it, and personalizes the results shown. For example, ask what’s on tonight, ask what channel a program is on or ask to switch right to it, ask to record a show airing that day.
Seamless Discovery's Console provides the ability to incorporate a video service provider’s specific business goals and requirements into its content discovery solution. The Console is managed through an intuitive, graphical user interface, which allows non-technical users to strategically control the results of each personalized content discovery application delivered to viewers. This additional layer of customization also provides the necessary flexibility to boost revenue-generating content such as VOD titles, execute offer management programs, and deliver targeted promotions to different subsets of viewers, creating new possibilities for enhancing and monetizing each personalized content discovery experience. Features of the Console include:
- Business Rules Manager
Business Rules can boost or promote once-buried, revenue-generating content based on viewer preferences, subscription/entitlement levels, previous view events, geography, time of day/year, and countless other predefined or custom criteria. By adjusting the output of various content discovery applications, this functionality enables the execution of offer management programs and many other types of targeted promotions. Business Rules can filter across all video content types including: linear programming, premium channels, VOD, and OTT content.
- Editorial Carousel Manager
Video service providers can create editorially curated lists of content or playlists, which in turn can be used to power carousels promoting content based on business needs. These carousels can then be filtered, boosted, and sorted based on personalization. With the Editorial Carousel Manager, providers can:
- Create lists to promote seasonal content, special events such as The Oscars, or live events such as presidential debates, news, etc.
- Increase VOD purchases by creating a list of $2.99 movies or new releases
- Appeal to parents and kids by developing a list of popular or new kids movies
- Dynamic Carousel Manager
Providing an automated method of creating carousels, the Dynamic Carousel Manager allows video service providers to set parameters based on any number of content characteristics such as genre, keywords, author, release date, and many other factors. Once these parameters are set, the carousel updates automatically when any content is added or removed from the catalog and meets the defined criteria. Thus, carousels need to be created only once, reducing time spent managing and updating content. With the Dynamic Carousel Manager, providers can create lists based on:
- Genres, such as action movies or romantic comedies
- Actors or directors, such as movies featuring Tom Hanks or movies directed by Alfred Hitchcock
- Holidays, such as Christmas movies or Halloween horror films
- Discovery Simulator
The Discovery Simulator is an easy-to-use feature that provides the ability to simulate all Business Rules and actions set within the Console. This preview capability ensures any previously set business goals or requirements will be achieved prior to exposing an action in a production environment.
Personalizing the Pay-TV experience for new viewers is a key requirement for any video service provider; therefore, Seamless Discovery offers a number of methods to engage new viewers. For example, in order to quickly build a profile, video service providers can explicitly offer intelligently varied content choices for viewers to rate. Alternatively, through Business Rules, Seamless Discovery can blend other sources of data to provide suggestions while a viewer’s profile is built through less explicit actions. Seamless Discovery continues to update this “new” profile in real-time as future implicit and explicit viewer events are captured, ensuring the most accurate personalized recommendations on an ongoing basis.