HBO's Best Practices for OTT Personalization

Learn more about OTT personalization at Streaming Media East.

See complete videos and other highlights from Streaming Media West Connect on Streaming Media's YouTube channel.

Read the complete transcript of this video:

Sarah Lyons: We've done a lot of consumer research. And when you ask consumers, do they find recommendations helpful? And do you use that word "recommendations?" It's funny--nowadays, you actually see them kind of recoil. They have this bad taste in their mouth, and they say things like, "How could an algorithm or a robot purport to know who I am or what I like?"

They're definitely jaded. And they're aware that there are recommendation engines out there now, whereas about 10 years ago, or even seven years ago, if you ask them that question, they weren't nearly as aware that there were algorithms driving what content is shown to them. So you have to do it in a very balanced way that's helpful and that feels very personalized to them. Especially if you're creating a service that's meant for a large audience, it should feel like when each and every individual goes in there, that it's meant for me, without overtly shoving content down their throats that they may not like, or that seems very self-serving or very advertorial, if you will.

So that's one thing, that delicate balance. And then the other thing we truly believe in is having a human touch and human curation, and really making it feel to users like there are other humans behind this service that care just as much about content and are just as passionate as they are. You know, "We're users of these services too, and we understand and get you." And so having an element of hand curation a human teeing up content that may resonate and then use underlying data to personalize those editorial curation moments. That's where that sweet spot is, in my opinion.

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