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Swisscom to use ThinkAnalytics search, recommendation

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 12:18pm
Mike Robuck

ThinkAnalytics has landed a deal with Swisscom to power search and recommendation features on its new TV 2.0 service, which includes video on demand (VOD), linear TV, and replay TV services on set top boxes as well as web-based and mobile products.

ThinkAnalytics’ recommendations engine, which also makes multi-language recommendations, is integrated into the Swisscom EPG, making it easier for subscribers to discover new content.

"We turned to ThinkAnalytics because we wanted a partner with proven experience in live, linear TV deployments, and VOD," said Volker Dietzel, head of TV services at Swisscom. "We now have a personalized recommendations/search solution that incorporates advanced analytics and business rules and gives us flexibility and scalability, allowing us to add new features, support for additional devices, and additional services down the line."

The deployment also supports Swisscom's catch-up service, Replay, which lets subscribers watch programs up to seven days after they were broadcast, and the Teleclub on-demand service, which features over 6,400 films in German, French and Italian and about 5,000 live sports events per year.

"Swisscom's subscribers are now benefiting from full multi-language recommendations and search in German, French, Italian and English. With advanced recommendations baked into the EPG and supporting live TV as well as catch-up and on-demand, subscribers can easily find new, appealing content to consume," said Peter Docherty, founder and CTO, ThinkAnalytics.

ThinkAnalytics has a customer base of over 50 video service providers including Fox, Cox Communications, Liberty Global, BSkyB, Swisscom, Unitymedia in Germany, and Zon in Portugal. The platform is available as a cloud-based, on-premise or hosted solution.

Swisscom began using discovery tools from Jinni two years ago. At the time, Jinni said, Swisscom "will offer its customers an intuitive, user-centric guide to seamlessly integrate discovery, content recommendations and viewing."

Swisscom's relationship with Jinni is ongoing, according to Jinni, but Swisscom had not "tested our discovery features for liveTV/Linear TV, nor our personalised recommendations," according to Roi Ophir, Jinni's VP, product & marketing. Ophir noted that  Jinni provides a full range of discovery and recommendation tools for linear TV and VOD, and that Belgacom is among those using them.

According a Swisscom spokesman: "Swisscom collaborates with different suppliers on different subjects. JINNI is our partner for Swisscom TV 1.0, regarding the item-to-item recommendation for Video on Demand (VoD) on the web and mobile. Our contractor on the product Swisscom TV 2.0 is ThinkAnalytics. They support us regarding VOD, linear TV content for personal recommendations, item-to-item recommendations, and the search. This applies to all devices (setup [sic] box, web and mobile)."

It remains unclear if Swisscom is running the two discovery capabilities in parallel for VOD on the web and for mobile.

In addition to Jinni, ThinkAnalytics also competes with TiVo-owned Digitalsmiths in the search and recommendation sector. 

[This article has been updated to reflect that fact the Jinni still has a contract to provide services to Swisscom, and that Jinni's products are not limited to VOD. A Jinni spokesman declined to say if or when the company's contract with Swisscom expires.]

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