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Content Discovery Has Viewers in a Rage, So What's Being Done?

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As an editor, I hear vendors pitch solutions to three common problems every week, yet somehow they never get fixed.

Vendors say that can provide sub-second latency, yet somehow 30-second latency is still common. That's enough to spoil your Super Bowl tweeting.

Ad networks say they can provide personalized ads and won't spam people with the same spots in every break. Yet, I still see the same ads over and over. 

And many companies—big and small—say they offer smarter content discovery solutions. But recommendations aren't getting any better.

I'm not the only one who feels this way. A PwC report called "A New Video World Order" (which I covered in a news article) says those artificial intelligence (AI) video recommendation systems are falling short. 36% of viewers say finding something to watch needs to be easier and 30% say OTT services push the same movies and shows over and over.

From my couch it looks like recommendations are often based on just one show or movie—you watched A so you'll like B. Wouldn't a smart recommendation system consider more than one variable?

This should be a top priority for OTT companies, because viewers are frustrated and angry. PwC says 50% of viewers would cancel a service because it was overwhelming (offering too much content) or challenging (getting around the poor discovery system was difficult).

You've heard people joke about endless scrolling right? That by the time they've found something to watch, it's time for bed? That's not a good thing.

No one is doing content discovery well right now. When Netflix makes me click over and over to find the list of shows I've already indicated I want to watch, then something's screwed up. 

Content discovery on Hulu and Amazon Prime isn't any better. If they're going to thrive, OTT companies need to do a much better job at pairing viewers with content. And they need to get smart about how they present it. Viewers are fickle and there's a lot more competition on the way.

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