By Scott Meacham
Copyright © 2018, The Oklahoma Publishing Co.
At a time when cable and satellite carriers like AT&T, Comcast, Cox, Dish, and more are having challenges in their core businesses, Jeff Weber, CEO of zone·tv, sees a huge opportunity in cable and satellite TV.
“Consumers are leaving cable and satellite, cutting back on what they are spending, or picking up Netflix and Hulu,” Weber said. “Zone·tv helps solve that problem by bringing great digital first content to cable and satellite operators in a way that provides a unique and better viewing experience for their customers.”
Traditional TV programming is static. Click the programming guide for any channel on any given evening and you and every other subscriber in the neighborhood will see the same linear lineup of programming options.
With zone·tv, it is a much different, highly personalized entertainment experience. It’s the first to bring original digital first content packaged as traditional channels.
Viewers can enjoy expertly curated zone·tv-supplied content — more than 13 new and original channels in North America and Europe. It is a robust offering of carefully curated specialty channels (Styler, Brainiac, Foodies, Motor, and Playground to name a few) covering a broad range of diverse interests and featuring outstanding digital-first talent.
Or, if you are hooked on shows on the linear channels — maybe you like HGTV’s “Flip or Flop” and “Property Brothers,” but prefer to skip “Beach Front Bargains,” zone·tv’s Dynamic Channels (expected to be commercially available in the next few months) will allow viewers to reprogram a static, linear channel in real time to watch the lineup of programs that interests them most. Essentially zone·tv combines the intelligence of a cloud-based platform with the ease and simplicity of clicking a remote and watching TV.
From individual viewer behavior, zone·tv learns what programs a viewer likes to watch. The more a person watches, the more zone·tv learns. The “secret sauce” is a potent platform powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies. “We bring the capability of building a personalized channel from traditional programming by using artificial intelligence,” Weber said.
He likens the viewer experience to Pandora or Spotify, two personalized streaming radio platforms that, instead of relying on a set music genre, continually evolve “playlists” driven by each individual listener’s taste.
“Imagine how the viewing experience can change,” Weber said, “with high-quality digital content that’s packaged into an easy-to-use personalized viewing experience that consumers can access directly from the electronic program guide.”
Zone·tv is building a data science arm, zone·tv Analytics, from the ground up in Oklahoma.
“The MIS (Management of Information Systems) program at the University of Oklahoma is really strong,” Weber said. “When you combine that MIS talent with the Oklahoma work ethic, it’s a great way to build a company.”
I couldn’t agree more.