Rovi shows supercharged discovery guide
Rovi keeps building on its dominating position in the guide business, announcing that nearly 20 new content providers, including Showtime, Rhapsody and Zillion TV, have signed on to provide content through its TotalGuide, due later in 2010.
The idea behind Rovi’s TotalGuide (until recently referred to as “Liquid”) is to provide recommendations and guidance to supplement navigation, which alone becomes less effective as choices proliferate into the hundreds and beyond. Furthermore, TotalGuide aims to help subscribers wade through not only available subscription TV choices, but also through content stored in home libraries and programming available via the Internet.
In addition to its own recommendation techniques, relying on one of the richest metadata repositories extant, Rovi is integrating TotalGuide with existing third-party social networking sites so that viewers will have access to recommendations from their contacts. The guide will be integrated with Flixster.
“They already have millions of users,” Rovi executive Richard Bullwinkle said. “Why do a new one?”
Viewers will also be able to rent movies directly through the guide through an expanded deal with Blockbuster, Bullwinkle said.
If the desired content is not available for immediate download/streaming, Bullwinkle said, viewers can order the film from Blockbuster via mail right through the screen guide. Anyone who doesn’t want to wait will be given the address of the nearest brick-and-mortar Blockbuster outpost.
Fifteen of the new supporters are in Europe. Content providers who have already announced support for TotalGuide include Blockbuster, CBS, YouTube, Flixster and Slacker.
Lastly, Rovi is announcing a new Media Management solution to alleviate consumer difficulty finding, managing and enjoying all of their entertainment content. Designed for manufacturers of PCs, set-top boxes, mobile handsets and network-attached storage (NAS) devices, the Media Management solution can identify, tag and organize digital music, videos and photos by attaching descriptive metadata to the asset for easier filing and searching by the consumer.
A guide appropriate for service provider use  is still being developed, Bullwinkle said.