ZoneTV to use AI to personalize programming for viewers


ZoneTV will soon begin using artificial intelligence to create customized linear TV channels.

Launching in the fall, ZoneTV will partner with Ooyala and Microsoft’s cognitive services to offer its licensed digital-first content in specialized channels for pay-TV subscribers.

ZoneTV said that, by combining its Programming Studio with Ooyala’s and Microsoft’s capabilities, the curation process for the channels can use algorithms that characterize content. The platform extracts and analyzes metadata to identify video genre and content sentiment as well as pulls topics from speech and text, and translates captions into multiple languages and integrates subscriber analytics.

ZoneTV will also use Ooyala’s Flex product to automate transcoding, packaging and syndication.

“ZoneTV shows what Microsoft Cognitive Services can do for TV programming. By integrating their content with Microsoft Azure, they can leverage Azure Media Analytics and Ooyala Flex for automated content indexing potentially driving more value for ZoneTV affiliates and subscribers,” said Sudheer Sirivara, general manager of enterprise video at Microsoft, in a statement.

RELATED: ZoneTV broadens cable, satellite customer base by branching out from its Mediaroom roots

As ZoneTV experiments with delivery and customization options for its content, the company has also been busy building up more traditional distribution partners for its content.

“At the end of last year we signed DirecTV and Comcast, which obviously if you’re going move beyond Mediaroom are two good ones to start with,” ZoneTV CEO Jeff Weber told FierceOnlineVideo. “You’ll see much more from us in 2017 as our existing business continues to grow.”

ZoneTV has said its goal for 2017 is to further bridge the gap between pay TV and OTT features. It’s using a cloud-based platform embedded in set-top boxes to help deliver its OTT content within a more traditional TV setting.

ZoneTV is currently available on Comcast, DirecTV, CenturyLink, Telus, Bell Canada and Frontier Communications.