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Hulu Acquires Video Genome Project to Improve Recommendations

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Hulu says 75 percent of the viewing on its platform comes from recommendations. A recent investment should help it create even stronger suggestions.

Yesterday, Hulu announced it has purchased the Video Genome Project, a database for video content that analyzes metadata to create links between titles. Neither party announced the purchase price.

The goal, says Hulu, is to deliver the right content to the right user at the right time. The Genome Project's technology analyzes titles based on hundreds of contextual attributes, then assigns "genes" to them. In connecting these genes it creates unique relationships between titles and powers relevant recommendations.

With on-demand viewers gaining access to tens of thousands of premium movies and TV shows, surfacing content they'll like has become a defining challenge. Hulu hopes this acquisition will give it an edge.

“The future of television is not just going to be about where and how you watch; it’s going to be about how personal your viewing experience can be,” says Ben Smith, Hulu's head of experience. “With this strategic acquisition of the VGP’s technology, we’re gaining important data and personalization capabilities that will allow us to serve our users even better as we expand into live programming.”

Hulu will incorporate the Video Genome Project's data by the first quarter of 2017. 

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