Fox Upgrades Video App to Add Personalized Show Recommendations

Fox Upgrades Video App

Broadcaster licenses technology from U.K.-based ThinkAnalytics for new Apple iOS app

Fox Broadcasting has released a new version of its Fox Now video app for Apple devices that suggests shows users might want to watch based on their preferences and viewing history — a feature designed to keep people watching more video.

The 2.0 release of the broadcaster’s iOS app, published last week, lets anyone watch recent episodes of series including “24: Live Another Day,” “Cosmos” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” the day after they air. The new user interface, aimed at letting users find and watch shows faster, is based on the iOS 7 design.

For the recommendations feature, Fox licensed technology from U.K.-based ThinkAnalytics, which heretofore has focused on pay-TV operators. Using the ThinkAnalytics engine, the Fox Now app determines that if you, say, have watched a lot of episodes of “The Simpsons,” you’re likely a big animation fan and it will then suggest recent eps of shows like “American Dad” or “Bob’s Burgers.”

“We’re personalizing multiple aspects of the experience,” said Neel Ketkar, Fox Broadcasting’s senior director of platform products.

Sony Pictures Television’s Crackle also employs the ThinkAnalytics recommendations system.

SEE ALSO: TV Everywhere Is Getting Better. But It Won’t Stop the Pay-TV Empire From Crumbling

With the upgrade, Fox is touting expanded “TV Everywhere” access available with Fox Now, providing even more current and past programming. In the past year, the number of subscribers able to access additional episodes and content via the service has more than doubled with the addition of Time Warner Cable, Cox, Cablevision and Bright House Networks; those are in addition to Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Suddenlink and several smaller operators.

DirecTV and Charter are the biggest providers still absent from Fox’s TVE lineup. Dish Network lets subs access Fox content on the web but not on the broadcaster’s mobile apps.

In addition, Fox Now 2.0 for iOS has added a continuous-playback feature, which starts the next episode in a series automatically after a user has watched the previous episode. The app also now allows third-party ad network integration, a capability requested by marketers that want to dynamically control their creative.

Fox has not disclosed how many users it has for Fox Now. In addition to iPad and iPhone, Fox Now is available on devices include Android phones and tablets, Roku set-tops, Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles and Samsung Smart TVs.

According to Fox, show preferences have vared greatly by platform. For example, over the past month, “24” and “Cosmos” were the most popular shows on mobile. But on Microsoft’s Xbox One, animated comedies “Family Guy” and “The Simpsons” held the top positions.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 1

Leave a Reply

1 Comment

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Suzanna says:

    I’m curious if you can opt out of this feature. One of my biggest irritants these days is constantly being prodded with popups and bombarded with ads and page suggestions on FB, etc. It’s bad enough that most of the time people don’t connect with each other and have real live conversations anymore because they’re always on their phones watching TV or checking their social media pages. I’ve had enough already.

More Digital News from Variety

Loading