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South Korean IPTV industry leverages ai for personalized viewing experiences

In response to a downward trend in traditional TV viewership, South Korea’s IPTV industry is shifting towards highly personalized Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven services. One particularly notable strategy involves integrating content and shopping, allowing viewers to immediately purchase products featured on-screen.

SK Broadband has transformed its existing B tv into AI B tv. The key features include automatically recognizing viewers in front of the TV, finely analyzing their preferences to recommend content, and providing immediate purchasing options for products like clothing and accessories featured on shows.

A significant advantage of the AI B tv transition is that it doesn’t require a new set-top box. This is due to the development and application of Video Cloud Streaming (VCS) technology in the user interface and experience (UI/UX).

VCS technology allows high-level computational tasks and service operations required by IPTV to be handled by powerful cloud servers, rather than set-top boxes. SK Broadband anticipates that all B tv set-top box users will have access to AI B tv services by next year.

AI B tv relies on linking users’ smartphones and TVs, and requires customer consent to use their information. SK ICT affiliated companies report that 60% of their customers have consented to the use of their data, indicating significant growth potential in the related market.

KT’s IPTV service, GenieTV, previously known as Olleh tv, has also put AI curation at the forefront after rebranding. GenieTV emphasizes a new UI that conveniently allows access to a wide range of content, including online video streaming services (OTT), YouTube, live TV channels, Video on Demand (VOD), kids’ programs, and music, all on a single platform.

AI is used to automatically display tailored channels based on frequently watched content and even recommend reminders for upcoming episodes.

KT noted that recommending individual content matching the user’s preferred genre led to a doubling of VOD users compared to households that did not receive recommendations. The company also plans to prominently feature a ‘Shopping+’ menu in the live channel section.

GenieTV operates a video streaming exclusive section and offers an integrated search feature that covers channels, VOD, video streaming, YouTube, applications, and Genie Music.

Meanwhile, LG Uplus TV is garnering attention for developing AI content search technology that analyzes customer emotions. LG Uplus, in collaboration with the AI company Upstage, is working on a service that analyzes content and reviews provided by U+tv, classifying and recommending content based on various emotional keywords.

Utilizing Upstage’s AI deep learning algorithms, LG Uplus aims to categorize content based on emotions experienced by customers, moving beyond simple genre classification to more nuanced categories like ‘eerie thrillers’ or ‘heartwarming romance films.’

While emotion-based content categorization has been partially adopted in competitor media services, it often involves manual classification. Therefore, both companies plan to focus on building AI model training data and developing models for extracting emotional tags and similar emotion-based search engines.

“AI technology that recommends personalized content has become a key element in strengthening the competitiveness of media services. AI-powered IPTV is expected to be a breakthrough in the current stagnation of the industry,” noted an IPTV industry spokesperson from one of the top three telecommunications companies in a statement on December 24. Korea Bizwire

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