OTT Platform Quickplay to Bow Generative AI Tool at NAB 2024 That Helps Viewers Find Content

Quickplay, the OTT platform for Sportsnet, The Weather Channel, and MSG+, on April 10 announced the launch of its Curator Assistant in partnership with Google Cloud.

The company says its new generative AI tool ensures the most relevant content is in front of viewers by personalizing content carousels based on individual taste preferences, providing a natural language interface for assisted discovery, and determining natural content breakpoints.  

Building on Quickplay’s unveiling of its AI-powered Media Companion at IBC 2023, the company says Curator Assistant’s search capabilities allow for the creation of storefront rails that contain more titles that engage consumer interest and can be programmed faster.

“OTT providers’ programming teams are the unsung heroes of content search,” said Paul Pastor, CBO and co-founder of Quickplay. “Curator Assistant gives them increased power to put the greatest assortment of relevant titles front and center before viewers.  Programmers will no longer be limited by their own or licensed metadata — they can literally leverage the entire internet, with conversational search, to program their service and drive more discovery opportunities that are personalized to the user or cohort.”

With Curator Assistant integrated into the Quickplay CMS, programming teams can conversationally engage with the tool to set up rails aligned with topical or seasonal content or passion verticals that address viewers’ personal interests. Google Vertex AI leverages Large Language Models (LLMs) to return results that tap into a much broader database than traditional metadata tagging. Query results are matched in the Quickplay CMS against available content rights and user profiles. These innovations are enabled by a modular, cloud based, open-AI platform architecture that plugs into AI marketplaces.

AT&T Sells Quickplay Video Platform

AT&T has sold its Quickplay over-the-top video distribution platform to a former executive with the telecom with the backing of an investor group.

Firstlight Media, a Toronto-based software company focused on using artificial intelligence to drive user engagement and monetization for OTT video, acquired Quickplay for an undisclosed amount.

Founder/CEO André Christensen, whose previous positions include Quickplay’s chief operating officer and AT&T’s head of product development, will spearhead the combined businesses operating under the Firstlight name.

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The company said it aims to partner with companies ranging from TV providers and media companies to premium cable networks, sports leagues, independent studios and niche players offering OTT video delivery process — including collection, management, distribution, video consumption and user engagement.

“The ever-evolving content landscape is creating strong and increasing consumer demand for streaming video content — and content providers need to deliver a seamless viewing experience to keep their audiences engaged,” Christensen said in a statement.

Ryan McCarthy, co-founder of Highview, the investment group financing the transaction, said the deal would help Firstlight “meaningfully” grow its customer base.

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AT&T acquired Quickplay in 2018 to help deliver over-the-top (OTT) video and TV Everywhere services to AT&T’s pay-TV portfolio, which includes AT&T U-verse and DirecTV.

With the telecom focusing much of its strategy on the pending HBO Max and online TV platforms (i.e. AT&T TV), pay-TV-based Quickplay apparently was no longer a strategic asset.