APRICO launches first solution to provide truly personalised TV channels

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Philips and Axel Springer showcase personal TV experience for broadcasters, MSOs and device manufacturers

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands (IBC 2008) — APRICO, a technology venture of Philips (AEX: PHI, NYSE: PHG), and Axel Springer Digital TV Guide (Frankfurt: SPR), pioneers of consumer technology and entertainment, are today announcing the launch of the personal TV experience. APRICO technology enables broadcasters, MSOs and device manufacturers to provide viewers with genuine personalised TV channels that can be easily integrated into their existing product offerings.

For the first time, personal TV will be demonstrated at the APRICO and Axel Springer booth at IBC (Stand 2.C58). The service will initially launch on the PC platform with plans to roll out across other consumer entertainment devices.

The personal TV experience – My Personal TV Digital – combines APRICO recommendation software, and Axel Springer’s TV DIGITAL Personal EPG data and editorial service. APRICO technology builds personalised TV channels for viewers based on conventional TV programs, Internet offerings and Video on Demand libraries.

Jeroen Cappendijk, General Manager of APRICO says: “The explosion in content over the last few years means that audiences are crying out for an increasingly personal touch when it comes to TV, with consumers wanting content that matches their interests and tastes at the touch of a button. APRICO allows service providers to offer their subscribers a simple, compelling and cost-effective route to truly personalised TV.”

APRICO technology creates viewer-specific personal channels next to an existing line-up. Using program metadata and recommendation technology to filter and manage content, genuinely individual channel profiles are created simply and automatically.

With APRICO, channels are created either by using a seed program – for example a nature documentary; explicit input – the name of an actor or director; or by downloading an existing APRICO channel profile.

The APRICO technology automatically adapts and refines the channel profiles by learning what content the viewer enjoys through control inputs. APRICO also analyses user behaviour – such as skipping and fast-forwarding programs or explicitly voting up or down – to continuously improve the profile and to recommend new programs. The result is that users enjoy highly bespoke and automatically generated TV channels without noticing or learning anything new. Extensive trials of the technology show that within just 17 days of use, APRICO generates highly accurate personalised channel profiles for the individual user.

The combination of APRICO and Axel Springer Digital TV Guide also offers a powerful platform for targeted advertisement based on the relevant channel profile. Adverts provided by the personal TV experience become more cost effective for advertisers – thanks to the pay-per-view scheme for advertisers where they only pay for the viewed ads.

Ned Wiley, Managing Director of Axel Springer Digital TV Guide comments, “We are delighted to launch the Personal TV service together with our partners at APRICO. The combination of APRICO’s recommendation technology with our advanced program metadata and advertising delivery platform create an outstanding new service for television viewers and advertisers alike. Our new platform realises the next generation of advertising messages: contextually relevant, personalised, and permission-based, representing a significant step forward in commercial communication.”