Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Will somebody please fix TiVo Suggestions?

Jason Kottke has some excellent ideas for TiVo, including this one on TiVo Suggestions:
    The current recommendations suck, especially if you consider the massive amounts of data that TiVo gathers on their users' viewing habits. They can do better than a list of 50 shows that are vaguely related to ones you may have watched before. Take a page from Amazon's book. When a user views a particular show's details, offer a short list of similar shows ("people who watched this show also watched..."). Break them down by category into recommendations for sports, for movies, for whatever. Along with the collaboratively filtered recommendations, TiVo should publish lists of new and notable shows, categorized appropriately.
Jason has a great point. Why doesn't Tivo have "people who watched X also watched Y"? And why are TiVo Suggestions so pitifully bad?

Seems like a bizarre business decision to me. Not only would excellent recommendations increase the value of TiVo and improve word of mouth for the service, but also it would raise switching costs when people consider moving to competing services. Why doesn't TiVo put more effort into their recommendations?

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