One of the most tiresome problems in finding something to watch today is figuring out which site or service has the show or movie you are looking for. Companies like Microsoft, Samsung and Roku are starting to provide cross-service search to ease that burden. Until now, however, options through a browser were limited. Today, Dijit Media announced it is working to change that with the introduction of NextGuide Web. Bringing together popular streaming and TV services in one app is a great help to users but why would pay-TV operators be interested in sitting side-by-side with competitive web services?
- Add it to a watch. The system emails you when a new episode is available on any of the covered services or just before a broadcast
- Set your DVR to record the show. Comcast and DirecTV DVR’s are supported today with, according to Dijit CEA Jeremy Toeman, more coming soon
- Watch the show immediately if it is available from one of the supported online on-demand services
Discovery with the guide is powered in two main ways. The first is leveraging the 1+M users of NextGuide on iOS or Android. Selecting the “Fans Like You” feature of the guide returns a list of people using the services that have liked at least 10 shows. At the top of the list is the user that most closely matches your favorites list. This means the more shows you indicate are favorites the better are the results returned to you by the system.
NextGuide Web uses a similar technique with Facebook friends. Once you give permission for the NextGuide to access your Facebook account, you can see what your friends have been watching recently. Again, this is ranked by those that most closely match your favorites list.
The convenience of being able to go to a single place to find a show or movie of interest is particularly useful. This type of set-and-forget feature means you can set a reminder on a movie the moment it is of interest. NextGuide Web will remind you when it becomes available. However, why are Comcast and DirecTV working with Dijit in NextGuide?
Pay-TV operators have a problem. Their best customers are also more likely to subscribe to additional services like Netflix and Hulu. What is clear from nScreenMedia's Second Screen TV App report is that online services are much more popular than TV-Everywhere clients with consumers. Netflix, for example, has been downloaded to connected devices 3 times as often as TV-E apps. When a consumer, who is probably a pay-TV subscriber, wants to find something to watch online she is far more likely to go straight to an online service like Netflix than to an operator provided app. This is a risky situation for operators marginalizing the value proposition of pay-TV.
Why it matters
Apps like NextGuide Web level the playing field for operators. If a consumer searches within this app he is just as likely to find shows from his pay-TV subscription as in Netflix or Hulu. This reinforces the value of the service they are likely paying 10 times as much for as online services.
Expect to see more operators partner with online services such as NextGuide.
You can see a short video of the interface at my web site on the nScreen TV page. Scroll down below the channel video feed. I recommend you simply signup and play with it yourself.