A new system to deliver personalized media recommendations, developed over the past year by the EBU with its Members BR (Germany) and RTS (Switzerland), went live on the RTS website earlier this month.

The need for such a system is based on the growing importance for broadcasters of non-linear content delivery via online channels. While "traditional" linear schedules continue to dominate for EBU Members, audiences – and younger audiences in particular – are increasingly accessing content on demand, through a variety of devices and platforms. The ability to offer accurate, personalized recommendations improves the user experience and allows public broadcasters to better serve their audiences.

The new recommendation system was developed by the PEACH team – Personalization for EACH – created on 1 October 2016 under the auspices of the EBU's RecSys group. The PEACH team is composed of frontend and backend developers as well as data scientists. It functions as a single Scrum team across organizations and borders, taking a highly collaborative approach. The development of a recommendation system is just one part of a wider EBU initiative on Big Data.

Deployed by RTS

The website of the Swiss public broadcaster RTS is now using the new system to deliver automated video and audio recommendations: "Vidéos/Audio recommandées pour moi". Site users are informed that the recommendations are generated by an algorithm that takes into account content previously accessed and that increased use will improve the recommendations further. 

It is hoped that the new tool will in time be widely used among EBU Members, with anonymized data exchange enabling increasingly accurate recommendations for viewers and listeners. While third party solutions are available, their integration is often complex. EBU Members can benefit by running a common, standardized system to provide automated and/or curated recommendations. 

Those who are interested in the topic of personalization or who want to find out more about the new solution are encouraged to join the RecSys group and participate in future meetings. See: tech.ebu.ch/recsys


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