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ColorTV adds search to its OTT services with purchase of Guidebox
The acquisition means that ColorTV now can use search results to focus its program recommendations or content promotion for online TV services.
Founded in 2012, Guidebox provides search for more than 50 TV services on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire and other platforms. In other words, if you go into Roku and search for a given program, you’re using Guidebox. The search service can also be used to find content across apps and platforms. Here’s a sample screen:
The newly integrated service, Guidebox by ColorTV, will continue to provide the same kind of search. But the search results will now be used by ColorTV to better determine what kinds of content viewers of that service are looking for, both at an aggregate level and for an anonymized household profile.
In addition to recommendations, ColorTV offers content promotion and viewer analytics, all of which can now be informed by actual searches for content. ColorTV’s sense of viewer preferences is also informed by AI-powered machine vision and audio recognition, which understands some attributes of what you watch — like whether it has lots of action scenes — so similar programming can be suggested to you.
ColorTV provides its analytics, recs, content promotion, and now search, via a single software development kit (SDK) that is currently integrated into more than 300 TV programming apps, on OTT boxes like Roku and on the web or mobile devices.
CEO and co-founder Giancarlo Maniaci told me that online programming service Tivo — now under new management — is “our closest competitor.” Although one of the originators of time-shifting set-top boxes, Tivo now is now focused on providing software for TV program providers.
However, he said, Tivo requires separate SDKs for its different functions, while ColorTV’s are integrated into one SDK. And Tivo doesn’t offer automated content promotion, he noted, adding that OTT programs are just now beginning to cross-promote their content between programs.