How New AI Technology Is Revolutionizing TV Viewing (Guest Blog)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Live TV, traditional cable channels, streaming services, YouTube, Instagram stories. Today’s consumers have a staggering number of ways to consume video content — and new services seem to hit the market in real time. What’s more, the types of content available are wildly diverse, ranging from reliable blockbuster dramas (“Game of Thrones,” anyone?) to quirky cake-decorating how-to videos.

Just this month, Disney revealed details about its new streaming service, which will debut a live-action “Star Wars” series. Another new service, Quibi, is a Hollywood-meets-Silicon Valley collaboration led by entertainment and digital veterans Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman that will offer quit-hit, big-budget content catering to mobile users. And consider that on Netflix alone, categories are no longer limited to familiar favorites like Comedy, Action and Horror; they now also include uber-niche genres like Understated Courtroom Movies.

Wherever — or however — viewers get their video content and whatever they choose to watch, one thing is clear: We’re at a pivotal moment in the industry.

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This sea change may bring some confusion for viewers, as they face an ever-growing avalanche of options. But as a veteran in the technology and media business, I see a host of exciting possibilities ahead — including the chance to shape video-entertainment viewing for the next generation of consumers.

The technologies that industry leaders will bring to bear, along with the business models we are evolving right now, will be essential to guiding viewers through an increasingly fragmented but rich media landscape. With the right tools, we can help consumers navigate an avalanche of content and find the TV, movies, and other videos they care about most, whenever they want them. To that end, Tivo is currently pioneering an interface that will aggregate live TV, linear cable content and streaming video in one guide.

As the overall paradigm for video viewing shifts and more platforms and content creators enter the market, data, media, social and technology companies are all jumping into the game. For example, AI is now being used to tailor recommendations to individual viewers. As one primary tool for helping consumers surface personalized content, AI helps refine the recommendation engine by using metadata to track customer preferences.

Also Read: How Artificial Intelligence Might Change the Way Hollywood Tells Stories

So, a viewer who faithfully watches “This Is Us” might see similar family dramas like “Parenthood” pop up in her queue. This rapidly evolving technology is only getting more refined, expanding from curation toward using information to determine the types of content creators should consider.

Would a “Law & Order” die-hard who also likes Bruce Willis movies want to see the actor in a cop or courtroom drama? Those are the types of questions AI can surface — and address. In a future scenario, AI might even provide the information to tailor the ending of certain shows to particular viewers. The content and viewing guide possibilities are mind-boggling. And they’re in the works.

Also Read: Taryn Southern on Being First to Use Artificial Intelligence to Make Album: ‘Sky Is the Limit’

While it’s thrilling to consider the new frontier of video viewing, several technological and business-model challenges remain. These include:

  • All of these great new content sources have disparate and at least seemingly incompatible business models. What is the incentive, for example, for Disney to offer its content over Amazon Prime or through a cable network?
  • Even if viewers can access Netflix over their cable service, for example, it’s still a subscription program. If a customer is not subscribed, they could perhaps see all the titles but not view the content.

Despite these obstacles, I believe that interface technology is a powerful force to change business models, especially when doing so unlocks amazing content — the way Google worked to transform the internet. Current and emerging technology is already revolutionizing the TV viewing experience, ushering in an exciting new era for the industry and consumers alike.

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Tivo Taps Enrique Rodriguez as New CEO

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Trailblazing TV-recording service Tivo (remember that?) announced on Monday its board of directors has unanimously tapped Enrique Rodriguez to be its next CEO. Rodriguez will also join the San Carlos, California-based company’s board.

Rodriguez is joining from AT&T, where he was an executive vice president and the company’s chief technical officer. He’s spent decades in the tech and media space, with stops at Sirius XM, Cisco and Microsoft, where he was VP of Xbox Partnerships.

“Enrique is an exceptional leader and strategist who has the energy and passion that will position TiVo for success,” said Jim Meyer, chairman of Tivo’s board, said in a statement. “He knows the company and our industry inside and out, and will be able to move quickly with implementing initiatives that we believe will position the company for future success and add value for our stockholders.”

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Rodriguez will start immediately, and will take over for Thomas Carson.

Tivo first launched its service in 1999, and quickly became synonymous with TV recording and delayed viewing.

But the company has felt the tides turning against it in recent years, with viewing habits becoming more fractured and the rise of streaming services like Netflix releasing entire seasons at a time.

Tivo’s stock is down about 20 percent in 2017, but is up 1.75 percent to $17.15 a share in early trading on Monday.

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Veteran tech exec Enrique Rodriguez is leaving AT&T’s Entertainment Group, where he’s served as CTO for a bit over two years, to join TiVo as president and CEO. Rodriguez takes over the job from Thomas Carson, who earlier this year announced plans to retire. Carson, previously CEO of Rovi, had taken over as TiVo’s chief […]

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TiVo Settles DVR Patent Infringement Suit Against Samsung

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The terms give Samsung the right to use TiVo patents in mobile, consumer electronics and set-top box products.
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