New Attributes Needed In Search For TV Shows

It’s not enough to find TV shows when you are looking for “action adventure,” “courtroom drama” or “comedy” in your favorite electronic program guide.

Nielsen’s Gracenote, which provides deep metadata for electronic program guides for pay TV providers, is going one step further.

Gracenote’s new video descriptors will affix descriptions of TV shows, such as: “rise to stardom” or “more conflict situations.” Other shows will have more granular types/categories concerning moods, themes, scenarios and characters.

Some of these terms might include: “greed” or “betrayal” for a show's theme; “power struggle” and “manipulation” for show scenarios; and “dark” and “gripping” for mood elements. This seems important, especially when trying to get consumers -- already overloaded on choices -- to sample and watch. 

“Major streaming providers average around 40,000 TV episodes and movies in their catalogs, but put the onus on their viewers to sort through and find relevant programming,” stated Simon Adams, chief product officer, Gracenote.



A recent study from Hub Entertainment Research says with so many TV shows, consumers find it harder to know where to start. Some 49% are saying that, up from 47% in 2014.

If you have Netflix, you might already have a feel for this -- as it offers up descriptions such as “emotional dramas,” “irreverent sitcoms,” and “Family Movie Night.” There are also behavioral associations, such as “because you watched Mamma Mia.”

All this helps. But what seems to be lacking is a universal and deeper effort around TV and movie discovery.

Maybe we need to drill down into specifics. For example: “Where can I watch “Big Bang Theory” Season Five, with no advertising, covering episodes where Sheldon gets into difficult emotional situations with Leonard?”

Or, “I want to binge a new drama, no more than nine episodes -- one with light wit, and actors doing what Ben Affleck and Christine Baranski would bring to the table."

Should be no problem in the land of big media data. I’ll be ready to scroll with my remote.

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