Sling TV leverages real-time data to create personalized content guide, new UI

By Jim O'Neill on Jan 06 2016 at 7:15 AM
Sling TV leverages real-time data to create personalized content guide, new UI

Navigating Sling TV just got a little easier – or, perhaps, just got a lot more like Netflix and Amazon Prime -- pushing the most popular shows to the top of its listings rather than siloing content in traditional channels.

The new UI leans heavily on real-time data collected from viewers to create personalized offerings, something that’s crucial for content owners looking to engage audiences in an increasingly crowded content space.

The $20/mo. OTT service from Dish Network launched the new UI at CES.

“TV is about being entertained, and for the first time, the new Sling TV experience will be able to tailor programming suggestions to your interests,” said Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV. “This is the beginning of a reimagined experience, one more personalized and relevant to each viewer.”

In an interview with Bloomberg, Lynch said, “We wanted something more like Spotify rather than Comcast.”

Sling TV said the new interface eventually will be able to recognize that a customer prefers watching news content in the morning or kid shows on the tablet, modifying what’s presented on each.

The new UI puts content in buckets that include:

  • “MY TV,” which collects viewers’ most watched channels and shows and that eventually will offer up recommended content based on customer preference, as well as “hot” content based on viewing behavior across the service and social trends.
  • “ON NOW,” will curate based on what is currently on TV and will be organized by content categories, with plans to have it also learn customer behaviors and reorder content ribbons to align with those behaviors. Sling TV also plans to use ON NOW as an upsell to content on its “Extras” channels, offering purchased and subscription options.
  • “SPORTS” will show live and upcoming sports events and can be manually filtered based on the viewer’s preference.
  • “TV SHOWS” will list all currently available episodes of viewers’ favorite shows in one view, with new category filters include featured content, trending shows and full collections.
  • “MOVIES” will put all movies into one place including live, linear and on-demand content.

Sling TV’s new iteration is designed to boost subscriptions to the year-old service, which are estimated at 500,000 by Macquarie Capital USA, and to better position it in a segment that is likely to see an influx of new services launching in 2016, including a mobile-first app from AT&T and an oft-delayed play from Apple TV, one that could reset the game.

OTT services that include linear content are hot right now as traditional pay-TV operators continue to see subscriber erosion via cord cutting, cord-shaving and remain slow to attract cord-never Millennials.

Stay tuned.

Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn

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