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Rovi reveals social lacks impact in video discovery

Last week Rovi Corp released volume 2 of the Insights Series. The report is packed with interesting information but I wanted to focus on one aspect of the data near and dear to the company’s heart: video discovery and search. Rovi surveyed individuals in the US and Western Europe to understand what features mattered to consumers in search and discovery tools on their mobile devices. A big surprise from the results was that preference and watching habits were not the most important features. As well, the influence of social media seems to matter whole lot less than Mark Zuckerberg would like!

Rovi fielded an online survey early this year in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The company asked survey participants “How important are the following features in a video search and discovery tool or mobile app?” Of particular interest was how tablet and smartphone owners viewed the following features:

·       Preference/Habits – “Recommends video based on your preferences and videos you’ve watched”

·       Cross service – “Links you directly to videos from a range of services (e.g., Netflix, cable provider, video websites)”

·       Social Recommends – “Recommends videos based on what your social network is watching.”

Tablet Search/Discovery Preferences

The first thing to notice is that searching across multiple services and providing links to the videos in those services is rated most important across all countries (except Spain) and between tablets and phones. In the US, UK and Germany the difference between cross service search and preference/habits was huge: in Germany, nearly 4 times as many people rated cross service search “must have” over preference/habits.The interest in cross service search speaks to the increasing number of services consumers are starting plumb for something to watch on TV. For the people in this survey, figuring out which service carries the show or movie they want is becoming a major headache. The good news for consumers is that guide vendors are beginning to invest in this feature, with products already available from companies like Xbox, Rovi and LG.

Phone Search/Discovery Preferences

Social recommendations do seem to fare a little better on the phone than the tablet. Perhaps this is because social interaction on the phone while watching TV is generally more important on smartphones than the tablet. Of the 38% of adult broadband users in the US that engaged in Social chat while watching the TV, The Diffusion Group found that 87% use a smartphone.It’s interesting to note that the Spanish seem to diverge from every other country in the study. For some reason preference/habits outweigh cross service search on both tablet and phone. This could be due to the dearth of premium online content available there and that most people still rely on a single service (over the air broadcast or cable) for their TV content.There are lots more data available in the Rovi Insights Series on topics such as video streaming and advertising. I strongly recommend that you give it some of your time

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