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Video: The Value of Quality Metadata and UX in OTT
XUMO SVP Product Chris Hall discusses the importance of gathering quality metadata to drive audience in OTT in this clip from an OTT Leadership Summit panel at Streaming Media East 2019.

Learn more about personalization and OTT at Streaming Media's next event.

Watch the complete panel from OTT Leadership Summit, OTT102. Getting Over the Top--How to Build a Viable OTT Offer, in the Streaming Media Conference Video Portal.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Chris Hall: We really focus on quality content, so, 160 different partners that we have. But it's really important for us, in order to enable some of the experiences that Greg was highlighting to really focus on the content quality of the metadata that comes along with it. You can craft, I think, we can craft really good algorithms and really good, really focused experiences, contextually aware of what day, time, and whatever else, but it's--especially for our world, inside of XUMO--where we're aggregating a lot of discrete VOD content and trying to transform that into something that feels very traditional.

If the metadata doesn't match, I can't promote or create a Mother's Day playlist to feature and try to drive audience because I wouldn't know. So we have to work really closely with content partners to unlock that. So that's a really key component of how, if you've worked with different content partners in the past, the quality of the metadata, and I think some of the winners in the space are really centered around that. The quality of the information that comes along with the individual content.

Then, as you were mentioning, building a simple UI. It sounds very intuitive and easy. It's one of the hardest things to do, to try to put the right things in front of the users at any given time. Our partnership with LG allows us to do some things where we have access to lower level APIs on the actual television itself. We can use functions on the actual remote control to drive experiences, so we have off-platform, outside of our app experience, promotional units that we wouldn't have access to otherwise, stuff that's been created specifically for our service that's inside of the LG Smart TV.

So, working really closely with not only the manufacturer, in the case of our partnership with LG, but even more broadly speaking, just to really know what is the most important navigational UI element that can be surfaced for a user at the right time, to drive them into a place that they can then have some sort of habit. They know that when they go to this discovery section that it's generally going to welcome them in with something that's contextually aware and really useful for them at that time. And then, finally, the thing that is a monetization strategy.

Since we're an advertising-supported business, we've really leaned in to that and really adopted that as our main mantra. We've flirted with the ideas of going to transactional VOD, to thinking about SVOD, but we've doubled-down on completely ad-supported, completely free, easy to use.

More broadly speaking, I think just that commitment to your monetization strategy is incredibly important, as you think about building an OTT offering, because if you are swayed or you try to do too much, you really run the risk of complete market confusion. Your users don't know what tier they're on. Do I get ads, do I not get ads? How much premium stuff do I have access to? So I think it's a very distinct, fine distinction to make in order to stay successful.

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