TV is changing and ReTV is providing data and innovative technology for media companies to adapt.
2019 marks the second year for ReTV, a European collaborative research project funded by the Horizon 2020 scheme. Since the beginning, ReTV’s slogan has been: re-inventing TV for the interactive age. So, how much has TV been re-invented? As we know, TV is constantly changing – viewers shift to on-demand content via IP, watching through their Smart TVs, computers or mobile devices. Broadcast schedules have become less important than having content visible on users’ social network feed, available in YouTube or recommended to them via a chatbot in their usual messaging app. Consumers have become used to websites and apps personalising their content, and they begin to expect the same from TV content providers.
Rather than lose their audience to the new digital TV services, ReTV is providing tools and technologies for media companies to leverage more fully the available data and integrate new innovations into their content workflows: track topics and predict future topic popularity among their audience; summarize their video for greater impact; suggest the optimal time to publish on each digital channel. All of these innovations are brought together into ReTV’s Content Wizard, an online tool for media content selection, repurposing and publication, all optimised for achieving the maximal audience reach and impact.
After establishing all of the base technologies and approaches in the first year, 2019 was a critical year for ReTV in terms of service integration, deployment of a flexible platform infrastructure (we call it the Trans-Vector Platform or TVP) to deliver the integrated functionalities to applications, and the delivery of first working versions of applications for both media organisations and content consumers. A Topics Compass provides comprehensive data analytics and visualisations of the online public discourse about TV content, identifying the key topics on each channel and the primary associations being made with them. Tracking how the discourse changes over time was complemented in 2019 with a new innovation: predictive analytics now allows us to also predict which topics will be popular at a future time, enabling media organisations to adapt their future communication to maximise audience attention to their content.
To validate the audience reaction to ReTV’s innovative topic prediction and content publication workflows, we chose in the consumer scenario 4U2 to develop a chatbot available via standard messaging applications, in line with trends in online consumer behaviour. Using the stated preferences of the user, personalised content (video summaries) is provided from either German broadcaster RBB or Dutch media archive Sound and Vision. In 2019, we had the first opportunities to share these applications with media industry stakeholders and get their feedback to guide our ongoing development, in order to ensure final project outcomes meet real industry requirements. Anyone is welcome to join our Stakeholder Board – find out here the benefits for you in 2020.
The third and final year of ReTV promises to be an exciting one. We are keen to find out how our innovative tools for media organisations can best help them change their content publication workflows, using predictive analytics and content summarization to increase their reach and impact on digital channels. For consumers, it promises to change how TV content is found and consumed in line with overall trends in online media consumption. European TV is as relevant and important today as it has always been, but we hope through ReTV to help it adapt and compete in the modern digital media ecosystem.
So our slogan still counts: “re-inventing TV for the interactive age”. In 2020, we will see how. Sign up for our newsletter and don’t miss a detail!