In 2015, Netflix executives assured that its biggest enemies were not the other streaming plaftorms, but the challenge of keeping its clients awake while they choose content. We’ve all experienced the anxiety of selecting among the infinite catalog of the major companies. After a long hard working day with multiple decisions, now we have to face the responsibility of picking up content for our entertainment. Sometimes, this process ends with the right choice on the screen, but the result is often an open menu and potential viewers dozing off on the couch.
According to Nielsen, US streaming platforms had 646,152 different programs amongst their catalog. An enormous quantity of content is hard to offer in a simple and attractive interface for our users since if we offer many choices, our viewers could get stuck, but we will miss out on our archive’s opportunities by not showing too many options.
There is no doubt that content is king and that we are consuming more of it than ever, but the way we show them to our users is just as important as having the best shows. To address this problem, streaming and OTT platforms came up with content curation solutions.
Filter by collections
We can carry this process in different ways. One of them is selecting and packing the content in collections to showcase them on our user menu. A best practice example of this is Filmin. The Spanish streaming platform specializes in indie and classic cinema. It packs the films with topic collections by directors, production companies, iconic dates or based on recent events. Therefore, when it begins to look a lot like Christmas, you can find a collection with the main Christmas classics. Or if we are celebrating the anniversary of some famous director like Hitchcock, we can see its main titles packed in our menu.
The company took a step beyond with the creation of a recommendations menu. The system asks three simple questions to the user to identify how they feel and if they want to laugh, learn something or just keep their mind entertained. According to their answers, the system selects three contents for the viewers. It is not definitive, but we managed to narrow it down to just three options!
Another way of curating content is the creation of the classic “most-watched” or “most-popular” collections. We can easily find the hits of the moment in our menu, but we can miss the shot with this choice if our users do not enjoy mainstream content.
A custom curation for each viewer
We invite you to carry out a little experiment using your streaming platform: Open it and compare your home menu with the one from another user. You will surely notice that they are not showing the same content. This was the answer of the major companies to giving users a custom experience and avoiding the Morpheus temptation. The system creates a menu for you based on what you have watched, your age, geographic location, etc. And that is content curation.
Therefore, if we recently watched Back to the future, it is likely that the system will display more movies of this saga, more Sci-Fi content or titles directed by Robert Zemeckis or produced by Steven Spielberg. With every view, the platform adds data to make our choice easier.
Thanks to the unlimited user data available for the platform and the content metadata, this interface magic is possible. For that, it is essential to keep our media catalog well preserved and organized with specific metadata. This will help us to refine the results of our searches and it will be easier for our users to choose. Now, imagine we add a state-of-the-art media asset management system like VSNExplorer MAM to this process; we could count on the advantages of functionalities like Artificial Intelligence for our automatic content cataloging, for example.
With this technology, we can automatically extract the metadata from our content using facial, voice and expression recognition, plus other features like speech-to-text transcription. This data becomes part of our assets after a quick quality control test and complete our information about the content. This way, if a famous actress is in the spotlight, we can create a collection with her main movies just by introducing her name when searching in our catalog. Also, we can quickly create a promotion trailer establishing parameters like her smile or famous quotes in front of the camera.
Additionally, we can incorporate a traffic and media planning system like VSNCrea, which can make a difference in how we offer the content to the users of our non-linear platform. This system allows content and advertising management, as well as features to schedule its publication in our VoD, OTT and social media. All this while allowing remote and flexible workflows thanks to its integration with cloud environments and a SaaS subscription model offer.
The time of our users for pleasure and entertainment is limited. Therefore, it is wise to make their life easier with technology and simplify the way they choose the right content. it is better to save the moments of difficult decisions with multiple choices for ice-cream picking.
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