Neptuny to Launch Content Recommendation Engine for IPTV at IBC

Neptuny will be launching ContentWise 2.0, the second release of the Content Recommendation Engine for IPTV, Interactive-Cable TV and WebTV at the next IBC 2008 conference to be held in Amsterdam from 12-16 September 2008.

While the broadband connections and technology breakthroughs are finally making IPTV and WebTV real, operators are still facing new challenges to provide users with an easy way to access the available content. Indeed, poor customer retention caused by users' frustration from trying to find appropriate content is known as a major issue for operators in the sector. To enable operators to satisfy increasingly complex customer requests and increase customer use of the provided services, Neptuny developed ContentWise, a Content Recommendation Engine that allows operators to provide their users with content tailored to their individual preferences based on user ratings and content metadata. Furthermore the system provides unique opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling. Examples include the possibility to recommend soundtracks and ringtones after a VOD view or to propose the sequel of a movie available on the VOD catalogue for people that just watched one episode on the Live TV.

How ContentWise Works

ContentWise uses two different mechanisms for providing its recommendations. The first mechanism is called Collaborative Filtering: all users' ratings and experiences are used to recommend contents that have been chosen by users having similar tastes. The second mechanism (called Content-Based Filtering) uses content meta-data (e.g. the movie actors or director) to suggest recommendations based on the (discovered) users preferences. Finally, business rules can also be added by the operator to promote specific content according to its strategic marketing or revenue objectives. Recommendations can also be based on explicit user preferences, providing each user with an enriched tailored experience.

Key Features:
User Recommendations: ContentWise is able to provide each user with personalized content recommendations, that makes it easier for users to find the content they are looking for and discover new contents that correspond to their tastes and preferences ; ContentWise supports customers with multiple users (i.e. accounts) used at the same location, so that each final user is provided with its own specific recommendations;
Rating Process: ContentWise is able to collect feedback from the final user, either directly from the rating given by the user after watching a movie or automatically, by observing the user behavior (e.g. whether the user has seen the whole movie ); this information is then used to recommend other movies to the same user or to other users who have similar taste; this rating process can also be used by the operator to decide how to buy contents that are likely to best satisfy customer tastes;
Advanced "Business Rules": ContentWise enables operators to add additional business rules to the recommendations generated for each user; these rules can include parental control filters to stop adult content from being viewed as well as advertising rules that present users messages that are tailored to their profile;
Business Reporting: ContentWise comes with a reporting engine that produces online and offline marketing reports. Examples of standard reports include top recommended items, most popular items and views/purchases trends. Based on single operator's needs, custom reports can also be produced;
Implementation options and SaaS version: ContentWise is easy to integrate into pre-existing environments by using a rich set of Web-Service API. It can be deployed based on three options:
a) Dedicated servers in the operator infrastructure;
b) Server appliance pre-installed by Neptuny;
c) Integrated on the internet using the ContentWise SaaS Edition, managed by Neptuny, enabling even smaller operators to benefit from advanced content recommendations, lowering the total cost of ownership of the solution.

ContentWise 2.0 enhancements:
Live-TV real-time top viewed programs: ContentWise 2.0 now provides the ability for users to receive real-time recommendations on live-TV shows on the basis of what others users are watching, thus offering them a quick way to find interesting contents; this new feature offers an important added value to customers and is a key differentiator with respect to traditional broadcast TV since it exploits the power of the feedback channel available in IP based television;
Content and product up/cross-selling support: ContentWise 2.0 now enables operators to up-sell and cross-sell (physical) products and additional programs that are recommended by the system according to the current user experience; for example, while watching a movie a message could be displayed to advertise the mp3, CD or ringtone of the movie soundtrack; this feature provides high value for 3G/4G Telco operators, when used in combination with the mobile infrastructure (the purchased ringtone can be sent directly via MMS to the user's mobile phone, thus delivering a higher value also to the customer);
Enhanced Reporting and APIs: ContentWise 2.0 includes also new predefined reports, e.g. reports showing accurate TV share meter on live TV and customer purchase likelihood estimation based on recommendations.

ContentWise 2.0 also provides enhanced APIs that enable seamless integration to messaging infrastructures (email, SMS, MMS) and support advanced convergent services; for example, e-mails could be sent to users with the recommended TV program guide or VOD suggestions for the current day/week, or explicit preferences could be set by sending an SMS to anticipate the desire to watch live, recorded or VOD contents later at home.

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