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Jinni Brings Content Discovery to Free App and Website

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TV and movie discovery company Jinni has announced that its discovery engine is now free to use in an iPad app and on the web. Jinni goes beyond the standard genres and lets viewers search for content based on their tastes, current mood, or favorite plot elements. The engine includes social networking abilities so that viewers can see how compatible their recommendations are with those of their friends. By specifying their cable, satellite, or IPTV provider, viewers can see when recommendations are on and get reminders.

The iPad app lets people create a wish list of programs, then get notifications when the titles are scheduled to play. They can also click through the app to view content on Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, Vudu, HBO Go, and Xfinity. The redesigned Jinni website lets viewers create an account or log in with their Facebook account to view personalized recommendations. At the moment, there are no advertisements on the site or in the app. The website describes the personalized recommendations as "totally rad!"

While Jinni recommendations are impressive, this move raises the question of why Jinni would make its discovery engine available for free. Before this, Jinni was focused on looking for content providers to license its discovery engine. According to Jinni CEO and founder Yosi Glick, Jinni is trying to build a user base to gain credibility. He doesn't see the free services as competition for the company's B2B business, saying that operators are comfortable having third-party services provide navigation for their content. Jinni has licensing deals with Comcast, Xbox, Vudu, a large IPTV operator that he can't name, and additional customers in Europe and Singapore, he notes.

"We think this is a very unique offering and that's the reason we're going directly to the consumer," Glick says.

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