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Zeebox Gets Personal with Digitalsmiths

Digitlasmiths Brings Video Discovery to the Zeebox TV Companion App 6/24/2013 3:59 AM Eastern

Comcast-backed zeebox is tacking on more personalization features to its TV companion app after selecting Digitalsmiths’s Seamless Discovery platform.

Zeebox has baked its partner’s technology into the latest release of its free app, which includes a “Recommended For You” feature and a “Similar Shows” element that presents current or upcoming shows that are related to what the user is watching.

“Our users tell us that program discovery is a key use for second screen applications," Anthony Rose, co-Founder and CTO of zeebox, said, in a statement. "People love the zeebox program guide, but scrolling through a list of 150 channels is not the future. What you want is a small set of program recommendations, just for you, that you can watch right now."

“With the amount of content choices and navigation options available, TV viewers increasingly expect more personalized experiences,” added Ben Weinberger, CEO and co-founder of Digitalsmiths.  “By leveraging key features of our Seamless Discovery platform, zeebox users receive even greater personalization and relevance to an already-compelling and immersive TV experience."

Zeebox’s free app for iOS, Android, Blackberry devices and PC browsers tells users what’s buzzing and trending on TV based on viewing activity of a range of data sources, including friends, celebrities and Twitter feeds.

Earlier this month, zeebox added a customization feature that lets users, networks and advertisers set up “rooms” around selected programs. Bravo, the first network to set up an “official” room, has built one up for its Real Housewives franchise.  Comcast, meanwhile, will integrate zeebox with “X2,” an upgraded, more personalized cloud-based user interface for IP-connected set-tops, tablets and smartphones that the MSO expects to start deploying this fall.

Founded in 2011, U.K.-based zeebox made its U.S. debut last September alongside financial backing from Comcast, NBCUniversal and HBO. Others in the TV companion app sector include Dijit, GetGlue, Shazam Entertainment, TV Guide Digital, IntoNow and ConnecTV. 

Digitalsmiths, which includes Cisco and Technicolor as backers and Time Warner Cable among its customers, competes with video discovery and recommendation vendors such as ThinkAnalytics and Jinni.

September