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Three ways AI is impacting video services

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While commercial deployments of AI in the media industry are still thin on the ground, there is plenty of activity. Three applications of the technology show how it may impact the industry.

Stop customers before they head out the door

It is one thing to realize a customer may be about to leave your service, and quite another to stop it from happening. Would a discount work or maybe new content coming to the service could change the customers mind? With so many possibilities and so many customers, it is just about impossible to know what to do. Paywizard’s Singula AI-driven subscriber intelligence platform is designed to help video providers with problems such as this.

According to Bhavesh Vaghela, Paywizard’s Chief Executive:

Bhavesh Vaghela Paywizard“The notion that you can harness data to predict how likely a subscriber is to churn or their propensity to purchase a package is great, but what makes Paywizard Singula™ so unique and powerful is that it allows operators to accurately identify the best action to take next in real time.”

The just-announced Singula cloud platform analyzes customer data, including billing, profile, demographic, and behavioral information. The “next-best-action-engine” receives this filtered data and uses AI to determine what the provider should do next. It even recommends the best way to reach the customer to execute the action. Finally, the system analyzes how well it did and uses this data to improve its future performance.

Paywizard Singula will be debut at IBC 2018 where video providers can get details about signing up for a free trial of the platform.

Optimize cover art to maximize views

Many video providers use A/B testing to determine the best cover art to use to maximize videos. However, the process is long, and when a catalog is very large, it is impossible to optimize everything. Accedo has launched a project with Amazon Web Services and ITV which it thinks will automate cover art selection.Accedo AI cover art

Based on a prototype built on AWS, Accedo will evaluate a group of ITV’s customers to determine their emotional reactions to a variety of thumbnail images. The data gathered will provide baseline data for the creation of a set of rules to preselect optimal cover art.

The prototype will combine Amazon Rekognition image learning technology with Accedo’s video experience platform (Accedo One,) content management solution (Accedo Publish,) and A/B testing platform (Accedo Optimize.)  Lee Marshall, ITV Hub’s Head of Product, has high hopes for the project:

“Improving User Engagement is extremely important to us, helping to ensure that we are delivering relevant and interesting content to all of our users. This project opens up huge potential to offer our viewers a much more personalized, and therefore engaging, experience.”

Accedo will be demonstrating the project at its booth at IBC 2018.

Using AI to program BBC Four

The BBC is turning over programming duties of its BBC Four channel to AI on the evenings of September 4th and 5th. The event, dubbed BBC 4.1, will unleash AI on the programming task in two ways.

The BBC used AI to learn what BBC Four audiences might like to watch based on previous schedules and attributes. It then applied this knowledge to sniff out hidden gems in the BBC archive. It analyzed program information for 250,000 shows dating back to 1953, something that would take hundreds of hours if attempted manually. Researchers and schedulers reviewed the results to pick a selection for broadcast during BBC 4.1.

The ability to process vast libraries of content is a key way AI can help media companies, according to George Wright, Head of Internet Research and Future Services at BBC R&D:

“It can find very specific pieces of content in large libraries of programs, which has massive benefits for BBC program makers and audiences.”

The BBC did not stop there. It used the same archive-scanning AI to co-create a show…about AI! The experimental TV show – called Made By Machine: When AI Met The Archive – features four segments of archive clips sourced and edited together by the AI. The show’s hosts will be Dr. Hannah Fry and a virtual co-presenter (Max Headroom, perhaps?)

Why it matters

While commercial deployments of AI in the media industry are still thin on the ground, there is plenty of activity.

Companies are bringing to market AI-based products to help with various aspects of a video business.

These include optimizing customer lifetime value and engagement and processing large libraries of video content to uncover hidden value.

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