Fitting new pieces into the content discovery puzzle

Samantha Bookman, FierceOnlineVideoIf it seems like FierceOnlineVideo has dedicated a lot of space this year to talking about content discovery, including elements like search and recommendation, well, it's because we have. Figuring out how to help audiences find exactly the content they want to watch is an ongoing quest for online video providers, and this year it has taken on paramount importance.

Our latest feature looks at an increasingly significant aspect of the content discovery puzzle: personalization.

Kannuu CEO Todd Viegut called content personalization the "holy grail" for media providers -- both online video providers and traditional pay-TV operators. For more than a decade, vendors and providers like Netflix have been studying and implementing different ways to get the increasing volume of OTT video content in front of viewers in a way that catches their interest and gets them to watch.

Analytics plays a role in the process, of course. This year, studying engagement via social media has been a key part of content providers' strategy. For example, Yahoo included Twitter engagement stats in its evaluation of a recent integrated campaign with Honda. And Nielsen and comScore are among media measurement companies that include social media sites like Facebook in their reports on viewer numbers.

But there are more pieces to the content discovery puzzle, and getting them to fit has been something of a trial for the industry. One is "providing experiences which allow the consumer to create or drive their own experience a bit more," Viegut said. "What I mean by that is, in today's experience of finding content, you get recommended content, or you scroll through [a list]. The provider then uses that content [selection] to predict what the consumer is interested in, to provide a more targeted recommendation package.

"But in order to get truly personalized, you have to engage the consumer," he concluded.

In this new feature, we take a look at the challenges of content personalization, some of its recent history, and a couple of new entrants to the content discovery segment that are looking to shake up the current business models and the algorithms behind personalized content. Check it out here. --Sam