Why Metadata & AI Will Revolutionise The TV Viewing Experience

1950 --- 1950s Family Sitting In Easy Chairs Watching Television --- Image by © Camerique/ClassicStock/Corbis
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In this guest post, John Lee (pictured below), vice president, APAC Sales, TiVo, predicts new technologies – namely metadata and AI – will impact our TV viewing like nothing we’ve seen since the advent of “the box’ way back in the 50s… 

Watching television used to be a solitary activity. Today, that’s far from the truth as social media has opened up the floodgates for real-time discussion, allowing us to share our joy, shock, or dismay with fellow viewers all over the world as the plot to our favourite TV shows unfolds.

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When Viserion was taken down by the Night King in that episode of Game of Thrones, the internet pretty much exploded with reactions to the unexpected plot twist – even if you were watching the episode alone at home, you’ll easily feel like part of a bigger community with so many people to share your experience with once you log on to social media.

With Asia Pacific accounting for more than half of all social media users worldwide, the immense amount of data generated can be used to inform and predict entertainment preferences and add a whole new dimension to the modern consumers’ TV viewing experience.

But how can broadcasters and content producers leverage this phenomenon to further improve their offerings? The answer is enhanced metadata powered by Machine Learning that can analyze current events and trending topics on social media, and in turn relating that to entertainment content to anticipate what viewers may want next.

Taking entertainment to the next level with social media 

There are 3.1 billion active social media users and 2.8 billion active mobile social media users in Asia Pacific. The integration of social media content into ones’ viewing experience is propelling the industry to expand its current definition of metadata to include the behavioural element.

Through tagging of live social media updates during a show, broadcasters can push the viewing experience envelope by creating a social and entertainment hub that empowers consumers to be more than passive viewers, but active participants in a larger conversation.

For example, during the season premiere of Game of Thrones, HBO can run a live Twitter feed capturing tweets by the show’s cast members and other viewers who are using the hashtag #GameofThrones to share their reactions online. By analyzing the data generated by these real-time interactions, entertainment providers can efficiently track consumer habits to create an even more personalized entertainment experience for viewers that was not possible before the advent of social media and mobile devices.

On the other hand, studios, networks and broadcasters can now better monetize their cataloues because their discovery engines know when specific movies, TV shows or celebrities are trending and ensure that the information related to that content is current. Until now, these large untapped back catalogs have been buried by the content explosion and wild proliferation of distribution channels. With deep, real-time and regionalized metadata, powered by AI and machine learning, entertainment providers can make their entire catalogs more searchable and discoverable.

How metadata is shaping the future

So, what’s next for metadata and how can it continue to impact the future of the entertainment? The two key trends are conversational technologies and Virtual Reality (VR).

According to Grand View Research, the Asia Pacific market for voice recognition is anticipated to observe the fastest growth in the next eight years, with a predicted market revenue of close to USD30 Billion by 2024[4]. However, for voice capabilities to be delivered across households and become truly mainstream, the technologies will need to be backed by metadata in order to accurately reflect the mind of the consumer to deliver a natural and intuitive search experience. By providing interaction, accessibility and convenience to consumers, voice interfaces are shaping the future of user experiences and might just be the bait that reels viewers back to the square box that has been delivering entertainment for over 90 years.

In the past couple of years, we have seen VR technology grow in use, decrease in price and receive more investment. The experience provided by this technology is becoming increasingly sought after. However, as the delivery of VR is through an individual headset, people are isolated from one another and are therefore unable to enjoy the experience together. By incorporating the use of metadata through interaction to create an understanding of the user’s preferences and a method that allows them to discover the content they want quickly, either by moving their head, giving a voice command or even acknowledging the presence of another will lead to a more seamless integration of the technology and an overall enhanced entertainment and more personalized experience.

New innovative technologies will continuously emerge but it all boils down to the use of metadata, as this will be the key to finding and managing content in an efficient, fast and convenient manner that will change the way we consume entertainment in the future.

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John Lee TiVo

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