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YouView looking to AI and voice to enhance discovery

YouView, the UK digital TV joint-venture platform used primarily by BT and TalkTalk TV customers, aims to tap artificial intelligence and voice-based navigation to identify who is watching and present content based on who is watching and factors such as the time of day, according to Sion Wynn Jones, product director, YouView.

Speaking at the OTT TV World Summit in London, Wynn Jones said that for viewers who do not know what they want to watch, the key is to delivering engagement is to provide great content discovery, and YouView will bring AI technology to bear on this problem.

“What we need to do is use technology to…infer who is in front of the TV”, he said.

YouView has now completed “the instrumentation of data on the platform”. Historic consumption data can be used to surface content that users want to watch while AI can also be brought to bear by analysing the way individual users search for content in particular contexts.

As part of this drive, YouView has been working with Amazon on the use of voice search. Wynn Jones said that analysing who is speaking, what is the time of day and who else is likely to be in the room will enable YouView to surface content that could appeal to whoever is watching at any given time.

While a number of on-demand apps on the YouView service have their own log-ins and search mechanisms, Wynn Jones said that YouView was working to simplify multiple log-in processes together with public broadcast partners. He said multiple log-ins for apps would “not prevent us from playing a role and our partners do see value in this”.

He said that YouView’s public service broadcaster partners were “comfortable that we will respect their position as PSBs”

Wynn Jones said that YouView’s main objective is to make “complexity simple” for its users. For users who know what they want to watch, the goal is “to get that content to them as quickly as possible”, through things like watch lists. Identifying who is likely to be in the room at a given time will also facilitate this, he said.

Wynn Jones said that 21% of YouView homes watch over nine and a half hours of TV a day, although the platform operator has yet to identify how actively the service is being used for all of that time within those homes.

Tags: BT, TalkTalk, UK, YouView