Social TV and personalised recommendations for TV have come into focus lately, now leading US MSO Comcast is testing out these types of content discovery approaches with plans to expand the trial.
Speaking at the TVOT NYC Intensive conference, Comcast Search & Discovery Senior Director of Product Management Brian Curtis said that the cableco is dipping a toe into various personalisation waters, including Facebook integration and providing habit-based recommendations based on set-top-box data. Individual recommendations based on past viewing behaviour would be strictly opt-in/opt-out, he said. Notably, both AT&T and DirecTV have committed to implementing new functions to their user interfaces.
Comcast is leveraging Tunerfish, a Comcast company that developed apps for the iPhone and Android that let viewers check in when they're watching programs, and making that shareable via social networks. In the new personalisation trials, a Tunerfish Facebook app uses the "like" feature to share recommendations among friends.
Curtis also said that Comcast is working with its Tunerfish subsidiary to add a "MyTV" section to the electronic program guide, so subscribers can flag favorite actors, TV shows and channels within a special profile that Comcast will use to deliver suggested viewing options.
The new functionality is being built into the Project Xcalibur trials in Augusta, Ga., which blends traditional live TV and Web content for a hybrid TV approach.
"There are quite a few personalization initiatives that are live now in Augusta, Ga., and rolling out to a lot of places in the near future," Curtis said.