ZoneTV and Ooyala Join Forces with Microsoft to Bring Artificial Intelligence to TV Channels for the First Time

25 July 2017
New York City – July 25, 2017 -- ZoneTV, taking a quantum leap forward in the linear TV experience, will utilize media logistics tools from Ooyala, a global provider of video monetization technology and services, plus Video Indexer, part of Microsoft Cognitive Services, to automate the curation of content of a first-of-its-kind, customizable suite of linear TV channels which launches this fall.
 
ZoneTV has licensed digital-first content which it will curate into specialized channels delivered to pay-TV subscribers.  For consumers, these channels will initially appear like any traditional linear channel.  But ZoneTV’s unique service allows consumers to do more, combining linear, on-demand and customized choices into a new offering called ZoneTV Dynamic Channels.  The company’s ability to curate 6,000 hours of videos on the fly in these channels creates a unique and personalized experience for the consumer.
 
“We’re building the next generation of pay-TV services, so we need next-generation tools. With the combination of Ooyala’s platform and Microsoft Cognitive Services, the ZoneTV Programming Studio delivers an unmatched capability to enhance the TV ecosystem and translates into a one-of-a-kind viewer experience,” said Jeff Weber, CEO, ZoneTV.
 
The content in the specialized channels will be presented in a consumer-friendly, easily discoverable way to viewers. ZoneTV will achieve this using the ZoneTV Programming Studio, which is integrated with Ooyala Flex and with Video Indexer, part of Microsoft Cognitive Services, to curate fine-tuned specialized channels. 
 
The combination of these tools features advanced algorithms that characterize content; the platform automatically extracts and analyzes metadata to identify video genre and content sentiment, pulls topics from speech and text, translates captions into multiple languages and integrates subscriber analytics. This provides quick scalability for ZoneTV as it adds additional content, and reduces manual processes that can slow content curation and introduce errors in metadata translation and application.
 
“Ooyala puts a premium on collaboration, which is what our Integrated Video Platform solutions are all about. To be the bridge bringing Microsoft AI innovation to ZoneTV, an exciting North American programmer, is putting us at the center of reshaping TV for tomorrow,” said Jonathan Huberman, CEO, Ooyala.
 
In addition, ZoneTV will utilize Ooyala’s Flex Platform, the company’s versatile and customizable solution for video production and distribution workflows, for its end-to-end video workflow for both new specialized channels and its VOD assets. Flex runs on Microsoft Azure, leveraging Microsoft Azure Media Services and can transform assets into any format for distribution to any device with Ooyala’s video platform; and it automates transcoding, packaging and syndication, which gets content in front of audiences faster. Ooyala Flex is the only Media Logistics platform that is 100% virtualized so can be deployed 100% in the Cloud or on-premise.
 
The collaboration features a full-featured workflow solution with both operational dashboards as well as creative dashboards to allow efficient editing, content review and metadata entry.
 
“ZoneTV shows what Microsoft Cognitive Services can do for TV programming.  By integrating their content with Microsoft Azure, they can leverage Azure Media Analytics and Ooyala Flex for automated content indexing potentially driving more value for ZoneTV affiliates and subscribers,” said Sudheer Sirivara, general manager, enterprise video at Microsoft Corp.
 
About ZoneTV
 
ZoneTV is deployed on Comcast, DIRECTV, CenturyLink, Telus, Bell Canada and Frontier Communications. ZoneTV is bridging the gap between the online and traditional TV worlds, bringing the best digital-first interactive programming to TV audiences. The result is a new cable/satellite content category that offers a best-in-class personal user experience blending the convenience of linear viewing with the flexibility of on-demand programming in a highly personalized viewing experience. ZoneTV genres include kid’s programming, fitness, cooking, casual games, sports, and lifestyle, among other popular genres. The company has offices in Toronto and Santa Monica, CA. For more information, visit www.zone.tv.
 
About Ooyala:
 
A US-based subsidiary of global telecommunications and IT services company Telstra, Ooyala's comprehensive suite of offerings includes one of the world's largest premium video platforms, a leading ad serving and programmatic platform and media logistics solution that improves video production workflows. Built with superior analytics capabilities for advanced business intelligence, Ooyala's solutions help broadcasters, operators and media companies build more engaged and more profitable audiences, with personalized experiences across every screen. 
 
Vudu, Star India, Sky Sports (U.K.), ITV Studios (U.K.), RTL Group (Germany), M6 (France), TV4 (Sweden), Mediaset (Spain), America Television (Peru), and Media Prima (Malaysia): these are just a few of the hundreds of broadcasters and media companies who choose Ooyala.
 
Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Ooyala has offices in Chennai, Cologne, Dallas, Guadalajara, London, Madrid, New York, Paris, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, and sales operations in many other countries across the globe. For more information, visit www.ooyala.com.