“We’re building the next generation of pay-TV services, so we need next-generation tools” -says ZoneTV CEO.
In an attempt to bridge the gap between the online and traditional TV worlds, ZoneTV is partnering with Ooyala and Microsoft to create a customizable suite of linear TV channels, which is expected to launch this fall.
The company will utilize media logistics tools from Ooyala, a global provider of video monetization technology and services, and Video Indexer, part of Microsoft Cognitive Services, to automate the curation of content.
“We’re building the next generation of pay-TV services, so we need next-generation tools,” explained Jeff Weber, CEO, ZoneTV. “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.”
ZoneTV has licensed digital-first content that it will curate into specialized channels delivered to pay-TV subscribers. The channels will initially appear like any traditional linear channel, but ZoneTV’s service will allow consumers to combine linear, on-demand, and customized choices into a new offering called ZoneTV Dynamic Channels. ZoneTV will use its ZoneTV Programming Studio, which is integrated with Ooyala’s Flex CMS, and Video Indexer, to present the content in a consumer-friendly format.
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.
According to Sudheer Sirivara, general manager, enterprise video at Microsoft Corp., “by integrating [ZoneTV’s] content with Microsoft Azure, [it] can leverage Azure Media Analytics and Ooyala Flex for automated content indexing potentially driving more value for ZoneTV affiliates and subscribers.”
ZoneTV, which is available on Comcast, DIRECTV, CenturyLink, Telus, Bell Canada and Frontier Communications, isn’t the only company merging the two landscapes. Today Nielsen announced its own attempt at syncing up the digital and linear worlds by incorporating cross platform measurements from YouTube TV and Hulu’s live service. Nielsen will now be able to count “eligible” viewing of Hulu’s or Google’s YouTube’s live-streaming services and make it count as part of the industry’s commercial-ratings standards.