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iDubba: Watch TV, then share socially

Last updated on: November 25, 2011 14:19 IST

iDubba: Watch TV, then share socially

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M Saraswathy in Mumbai

iDubba claims to be India's first (and only) television programme-recommendation and social-sharing platform. Adding 444 channels in the last five years, the platform aims to connect TV audiences by recommending relevant programmes.

"By integrating social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter, iDubba is trying to bring more power into the hands of users. They can track shows, tune-in, leave real-time reactions, subscribe for reminders and get personalised recommendations through SMSs or emails," said Rabi Gupa, co-founder of the start-up.

Digital TV guides recommend shows only on the basis of their popularity, without a robust algorithm. iDubba recommends TV programmes by focusing on technologies like collaborative filtering, social behaviour analysis and intelligent algorithms to make recommendations.

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"We also intend to sell recommendation technology application programming interfaces to various stakeholders of the television industry. It would try to create value for the TV industry through useful capturing of TV viewing behaviour," said Gupta.

Industry experts feel portals like iDubba would contribute additional inputs to the existing content. Jehil Thakkar, head (media and entertainment), KPMG, said, "I think it is a good initiative, which helps users to express interest or involvement and provides for qualitative inputs. The quantitative data provided by agencies like TAM would remain at the core. But other portals can add flavour to it."

iDubba also provides key insights and detailed reports on TV viewing habits, responses and needs of the Indian audience. Industry folks can use this relevant and contextual data in making high-impact decisions.

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While the platform is free for users, it is trying to acquire users for the website. "We are also developing a dashboard for television channels, which would help these better understand viewer behaviour and real-time user reactions for particular shows. We have spoken to several channels, and some have agreed to take part in the dashboard's pilot test," said Gupta.

Having built a social network around television, Gupta claims features like 'Tune in' and public profiles shows what users watch on TV at any point in time.

"We are creating a platform that TV broadcasters can utilise effectively to listen to their audience. On the other hand, viewers can benefit by sharing their TV-viewing interests with friends, and making TV watching more structured and a lot more fun," he said.

Gupta said the site would see 100,000 users in the next four months. "We are not competing with TAM...TAM gives quantitative analysis, iDubba aims to give qualitative analysis. So, if TAM wants to include social behaviour data in its report for a particular demographic, it might want to check iDubba reports," he said.



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