Media Distillery starts conversations with TV operators for EPG Correction and Episodic Images solutions

Another of the virtual panels that were developed during the last Nextv Series Mexico’s virtual edition was called ‘Steps to an ultimate viewing experience on TV platforms’. In this case, Dataxis held a one-on-one session last December 2nd with Patu Antunes, Business Development Manager Latam at Media Distillery.

Regarding the functions developed by Media Distillery, the executive described the company as ‘a technology company that analyzes video content through a rather peculiar artificial intelligence solution, which is capable of understanding video content. We call this technology ‘Deep Content Understanding’, and what it does is extract state-of-the-art metadata in real time, on an unparalleled scale so far in the industry. With this metadata, we want to revolutionize the TV industry, help OTTs, TV operators and broadcasters to optimize their replay environments’. In addition, the executive stated that ‘what we do allows our clients (some of them are Telenet, Eutelsat, YouSee and Proximus) to face the challenges imposed by companies such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu in the online video market’, and stated that ‘we have a series of solutions based on our artificial intelligence technology, which allow us to greatly improve the user experience, either when replaying, when they want to decide what to watch, or when they want to discover or binge content. Our technology provides a fairly optimal video on demand experience. We are currently working on and improving that video user experience in more than 25 million homes in various countries’.

Regarding the reasons that led Media Distillery to develop such a solution, Antunes explained that ‘first of all, there is a lot of video content created and distributed on a daily basis, and we add the most value when we process the large amount of data. We currently process more than 20 thousand video hours a day’. As a second point, the executive assured that ‘most of the companies that need our solutions, especially the operators, have a limited understanding of the content they are distributing – for example, when a program begins or ends; when advertisements start; what topics are being talked about in the programs; who watches the programs; what brands are displayed on them; and others-. As personalization, recommendation and search are increasingly important, this metadata becomes something very valuable in the industry’.

Third, Antunes reported that ‘the industry is changing drastically with the OTT market ‘boom’. Operators really need to innovate, change the way content is watched and what they do with that content. With the change in viewers behavior, which went from consuming live TV to on demand content, it is essential that operators adapt themselves to new user experiences, and distribute that content according to the way users want to watch it. The central point of our solutions is the user experience. Many times, viewers are not sure what content is available on which channel, on what day, and at what time. Sometimes they are not entirely sure on what they want to watch, but they want to watch something that they feel like. It is not only about having content available, but about having the best experience, with good content, and we turn that experience into something much better than what is available today’, she added.

Regarding the advantages of the Deep Content Understanding technology for pay TV operators, Antunes explained that ‘the main challenges of our clients are to increase user engagement and improve the user experience, reducing the time users spend searching for content’. The executive explained that, according to a recent report, users currently spend an average of 24 minutes searching for content on VOD. We believe that the aim we must set is to improve that experience and reduce this time. Consumers are more loyal to a platform that joins three factors: the best experience, the most relevant content for the user, and the price, in the range that the user expects it to be’. This way, Antunes reported that ‘we can provide a very important advantage for operators, because viewers want to have personalized content (relevant search results, recommendations, or a personalized playlist, according to each user’s preferences). Users also expect content to be available in a user-friendly and enjoyable way, with a smooth experience and smart interface. Furthermore, operators also need to know what their content is about; understand what is embedded in the video. This in-depth understanding, with solutions that explore this data, is what Media Distillery offers’. 

‘During the pandemic, we have seen more attention for TV operators and OTTs, and that is translated directly into more interest in our solutions. This year we have started many conversations with operators and TV broadcasters, and especially about solutions that help to improve the watching experience, such as EPG Correction ™ and Episodic Images ™’, said the executive. Regarding EPG Correction, Antunes explained that ‘one of the most frustrating aspects of watching a TV program on replay is when the audience realizes that the first minutes of the program were not recorded or that the end of the program he wants to watch is not available. This may happen because the current beginning and end times of the programs do not coincide with the EPG (Electronic Program Guide). Our EPG Correction ™ solves this problem. Our technology makes real-time schedule adjustments for each program and channel, that is, it corrects the difference between scheduled and real broadcasting times of TV shows and advertisements. This allows the user a frictionless experience on replay. 94% of programs do not start at the time they are expected to. On average, we saved a total of almost 80 thousand minutes of our viewers time in one week with our solution’.

In relation to Episodic Images, the executive explained that ‘it offers the most relevant images of a program or episode. Our technology automatically creates relevant and attractive images that show the essential parts of the content, creating different images for each episode or program, but without creating spoilers. Having a different Episodic Images ™ for each time, which is created based on its specific content, will increase the likelihood that the user will watch the content, since they can access a small preview of what they will watch.