In a content-rich world, Discovery is critical to user experience

By Susmitha Vakkalanka on Jun 06 2016 at 5:45 AM
In a content-rich world, Discovery is critical to user experience

I stopped at an ice cream shop with my daughter last week, on our way to the park, and she said, “Mommy, there’re so many options to choose from, I don’t know what to get.”  

After some time, she added, “I am wasting all the time thinking instead of getting to the park sooner.”

Too many choices and not knowing what to select? Does this sound familiar? Especially when you are in front of the TV?  

We are usually in front of the TV with a bowl of ice cream or a glass of wine. Luckily we don’t have as many ice cream flavors – or as big a wine collection – to worry about what to select.

We get to the TV fast enough... but the real problem starts there.

There is lot of stuff to watch. In fact too much stuff. With Internet connected TVs and the ability to cast content from mobile devices, my content catalog has quadrupled.

At first, I am excited that I have access to so much content and I am getting my money’s worth from all the subscriptions. But it quickly gets frustrating to figure out what to watch. How soon we get to actually watching something depends on if I already have recommendations from friends or heard of reviews or just get lucky with browsing.

Sometimes, I wonder if my parents were happier with the one episode and one movie on the one and only channel they had available?

I can’t imagine myself being stuck with one channel but at the same time I don’t want to end up spending all my time just browsing for content and not watching anything. I want access to something I like quickly. I want the site I am on to know my tastes just like my friends do, and to recommend the best videos that I might like right.

As content catalogs are getting larger and larger, attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Many of us feel this pain every day. According to 2015 data from Ericsson, half of consumers watching linear TV say they can’t find anything to watch at least once a day.

In today’s content rich world, users only want to see stuff relevant to them, and readily available for them. Smart and personalized recommendations solve this problem, improving customer satisfaction and thereby improving user retention.

I am proud to be working on such a product, Ooyala Discovery, Ooyala’s recommendation engine that solves this problem for millions of users that watch content powered by Ooyala video solutions.  We put hours behind this product so users can spend more time watching and less time searching.

In this two part series, I would like to describe how smart and personalized recommendations and great user experience, can differentiate an OTT service and increase user stickiness.

 
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