The world is changing. And changing fast. Traditionally, broadcasters relied on scheduling their content in a linear way to suit groups of consumers as they thought best. However, as online services become more popular, it becomes possible to personalize that offering. In order to do so, public broadcasters must address a new set of technological challenges – they must become more data-driven if they want to serve changing audience behaviour. 
Today, a set of public broadcasters joined us at the EBU Big Data Conference to discuss recommendation systems and, of course, the EBU’s RecSyS project. The project started three years ago with a focus on developing a single sign-on for public broadcasters. Since then it has grown in scope and now takes a closer look at recommendation systems and big data in a practical manner. The EBU was pleased to announce that an ETSI standard will be released in early April on the topic of single sign-on (cross-platform authentication). 
The session was a good way to gage how far EBU Members and industry are when it comes to being data-driven. It is clear that many public broadcasters already have audience measurement and performance tracking measures in place. Many also have multi-platform authentication between radio, TV and online, but more can be done. Discussions also showed that the role of the EBU, to foster collaboration between Members, is essential. Many EBU Members are at the same stage but they are not yet working and learning from each other. As Michael Barroco, EBU, pointed out, “it’s important not to compete on technology, but to help each other and then challenge ourselves on experience and content.”  
The topic of personalization – and how far broadcasters should go – is a key part of ongoing discussions in public broadcasters. As one participant put it, “Public broadcasters need to find a balance between having an editorial approach where we promote certain content for specific reasons with the content pushed through algorithms through personalization.”
It cannot be denied that audiences are becoming more social. No matter how far you think recommendations should go, it is clear that users want to be able to have the ability to get personalized content and share it with others. As Michael de Lucia, RTS, stated: “It’s all about proposing the right content, at the right time, to the right people on the right device!”
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