IHS: Video/TV Content Recommendation Technology Still Wanting

Over-the-top video platforms and pay-TV operators have long sought to incorporate content recommendation technology to enhance their subscribers’ viewing experience. Now, new data from IHS Markit suggests just 7% of all survey respondents across five markets surveyed – the U.S., U.K., Japan, Brazil and Germany – rely primarily on content recommendations by their TV or video providers.

Not surprisingly, respondents who chose not to use content recommendations viewed the technology less favorably compared to those who used it. For example, among respondents who rated the user experience at least one video service as “very poor,” 18% still prefer to find content by clicking through channels. Just 12% of those who rated a user experience as “very good” use the same method.

IHS said the finding underscore the importance of encouraging users to utilize newer forms of content discovery on video platforms, in order to improve overall satisfaction video services.

Content recommendation satisfaction varies greatly by distribution format. Just 25% of TV viewers of Fox, ABC and NBC rated these networks as “very good” for finding content to watch. Another 25% rated the overall user experience as “very good.”

By comparison, Netflix’s ongoing appeal globally is amplified by the fact 52% of its subs rated the service “very good” for finding content they want to watch and 55% also rated their user experience “very good.” Not only does this finding highlight the value of the Netflix content recommendation software, it also underscores the connection between content discovery and an easy-to-navigate user experience.

IHS said video providers trying to match Netflix on content discovery must also contend with big discrepancies among various consumer age groups. About 23% of consumers age 17 to 34 prefer to discover content using their search functionality provided by their video services; however, this number falls to just 10% for consumers age 55 and older, 49% of whom preferred using a TV guide. 

Content recommendations from friends and social media is another key area to better understand and leverage competitive differences among TV and video providers. This type of content recommendation fell from a peak of 10% in 17- to 24- year-olds to a low of 3% among consumers age 65 and older.

IHS said the finding reveals that targeting key groups in the lower age range can potentially help proliferate knowledge of content availability.


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