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According to consultancy service The Diffusion Group, US multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) will rapidly move to make recommendation-based programme guides the centrepiece of their updated TV interfaces. Within the next decade, the use of these recommendation-driven guides will flourish, ultimately driving 75 per cent of all TV viewing, according to TDG’s report, Recommendation Revolution – The Future of Recommendation-Driven Guides, 2016-2025.
“The old-school grid guide no longer works for today’s viewer,” notes Alan Wolk, TDG senior analyst and author of the new report. “By introducing a recommendation-based programme guide, MVPDs can bring their interfaces in line with those of SVoD services like Netflix.”
Wolk notes that the usefulness of the grid guide will be further diminished as TV Everywhere becomes more popular. “Close to half of all TV viewing now occurs on a time-shifted basis, rendering live network schedules increasingly immaterial. Operators must move beyond the grid and create an interface that reflects today’s viewing behaviour.”
Incorporating recommendation engines into MVPD programming interfaces is a win for networks and consumers, as well. “Recommendation-based guides will deliver a vastly improved and personalized customer experience, which in turn improves subscriber satisfaction and retention, allowing viewers to better navigate the flood of content now available from linear, VOo, DVR, and streaming to find the shows they want to watch.”
As well, paid recommendations will grow during this time, providing MPVDs with an additional revenue stream while giving the networks a new way to promote their programming. “This is a big plus for the networks,” notes Wolk, “as it allows them to place promotions for their shows in front of highly-targeted audiences at the exact moment of decision. That makes for a very effective tool.”