According to Json &Partners Consulting, by the beginning of 2017, the Smart TV market in Russia will reach 29 million installed devices, which will be 22% of the total number of TVs. According to the General Director of Zoom TV Mikhail Baklanov, the number of users of additional services of Smart TV will grow, and pay TV services sooner or later will connect all the device owners, the question is – how to do it. A lot of options. Satellite dish, set-top boxes from providers, a variety of applications.
The advantage of the latter is that they do not associate the device user with the provider signing the contract or additional equipment. Based on this connectivity model, the team from Tomsk have created the app Zoom TV, which helps the owners of “smart TVs” to find interesting programs. Task app Zoom TV to determine the tastes of the viewers on the basis of the preferred genre and simplify the selection among the many channels. According to the developers, 80% of viewers watch no more than ten of them. The app helps more than three times to speed up the search for interesting programs compared to the conventional method of switching of all channels in a row.
The idea of creating this application is related to the differences between conventional TV and digital TV. Due to buffering and caching digital content channel switching takes more time than simple frequency setting. At the same time, smart TV gives the opportunity to collect data about user activity, which are used for context-based Recommender systems to expedite the search for a suitable transmission. In contrast to personalized Recommender systems, Zoom TV works with the preferences of all users of the device, for example, a family of several people. The cost of attracting subscribers, according to Baklanov, almost zero.
Many devices and applications a little. At the same time there is not only a high influx of users, but high outflow — to uninstall the application is as easy as to install. If you compare the two applications with exactly the same content, same pricing and a set of “features”, but one has a recommendation system, but not in another, the difference in outflow would be about three times, although the number of installations will be the same. The current version of Zoom TV evolved from a B2B development, which is not fired. Baklanov explains this failure by the absence of the problem of churn from pay-TV providers that provide services for free connection only when used for twelve months.
According to the developer, most of the subscribers easier to connect something else “on top of” inappropriate service than to pay for its installation. In 2013, Zoom TV was able to attract investment, which has significantly improved some of the business indicators. At the end of October 2013, Zoom TV app appeared in the store Samsung Smart TV Apps. “Until the end of the year we had some way to a thousand units. At that time we were very busy almost round the clock since participated in the competition GenerationsS and prepared the final pitch, recalls Cormorants.
— Five days later we decided to check what is happening there. We noticed activity in the database and saw that in the logs something pours. It turned out that in five days we received seven and a half thousand plants. Then we realized that this is what we do”. In the first three months Zoom TV downloaded over 100 thousand times, and today more than 600 thousand.
A marked decrease in the growth rate of plants compared to the explosive start Cormorants connects with the algorithms picering in the digital stores. Over the past since the launch three years developers have been busy developing Recommender systems, research and improving the user experience, work with content providers. In addition, Cormorants notes the importance of stable service and quality technical support. Until this summer, the technical support was I myself. Called me at any time, wrote in “Vkontakte” and so on.
Imagine how much it calls. I very first learned about what we have a problem. The key metrics Zoom TV is a conversion (paid subscription package) and the outflow. During the operation of the application paid packages Zoom TV paid more than 60 thousand people. During the summer of 2016, the conversion rates have been tripled, thanks to an in-depth study of user preferences and the formation of proposals on the basis of.
The application task that comes to a conversion, Cormorants compares with a yellow marker, which can distinguish the desired transmission in a newspaper TV guide. This work is fully automatiseret thanks to machine learning. All the working software — operating system, office applications, and developer program Zoom TV received the support program for startups Microsoft BizSpark, which is used from the beginning of work on the product. In addition, the support package included the budget for the use of Microsoft Azure cloud platform.
This allowed the team to deploy virtual machines and less time on administration and infrastructure support. Almost all tasks Zoom TV are connected with machine learning, so one of the most popular products in the package was Azure Machine Learning Studio. We see how the person uses the TV and trying to understand what he likes what he tastes. Based on this we conclude that from what is in the air, would recommend. The weighing of the subscribers on this topic — a task that can be solved through machine learning using Azure Machine Learning Studio.
Anonymous data about what actions were carried out on the TV, going to a dedicated server, and from there sent to Azure Machine Learning Studio on the server machine learning. Based on the data obtained calculate the weight of preferences for each subscriber Zoom TV. On each subsequent request to the application, the weight of the preferences are matched with what is broadcasted to compile a weighted list of gear that is ordered in a recommendation for a subscriber. The whole cycle from data collection to the issuance of the recommendation is repeated every time the app is used. As part of the programme of joint acceleration FRII and Microsoft, Zoom TV gets cloud grant, which, in addition to reducing infrastructure costs and software, makes it possible to use premium support service.
It helps startups not to be distracted by technical issues. With such tasks Microsoft specialists understand themselves. Collaboration with Zoom TV Corporation does not end. Companies are engaging in promotion decisions, speak at conferences as experts, organize information booths and demo areas. Industry events are a good opportunity not only to exchange experience with other projects participating in the program to support start-UPS of Microsoft, but also a platform for partner search and for the latest information on trends and prospects of development of the technology.
In the Zoom TV plans for the near future — working with providers of premium content who are experiencing the problem of churn. Cormorants calls Advisory system a unique offer and believes that it can save a lot of money to market participants.