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Nielsen’s Gracenote restructures video metadata products

The product group is aimed at unifying the search and discovery process across various streaming services.

The product group is aimed at unifying the search and discovery process across various streaming services.

The electronic program guide for Comcast and Charter's free, ad-supported streaming service Xumo Play. (Graphic by The Desk)
The electronic program guide for Comcast and Charter’s free, ad-supported streaming service Xumo Play. Gracenote helps provide metadata for programs streamed on various channels. (Graphic by The Desk)

Nielsen Media’s content metadata business Gracenote has reorganized its product offerings around making it easier for streamers to find the specific content they want to watch across different services.

The new product group, called Gracenote Program Availability Data, pair streaming-based video data for movies, television shows and live sports with standardized, or “normalized,” metadata as part of a broader effort to help bring universal search and discovery capabilities to traditional and streaming video platforms alike.

Gracenote said their products solve a critical problem: Connecting viewers with the stuff they want to watch. Nielsen’s own data highlights this particular issue, with one in five consumers saying they “abandon a viewing session when they can’t find something to watch.”

The problem is exacerbated by the notion that when a viewer does find something to watch, they might find it difficult to track down where a particular show or movie is because content tends to move around different services. A blockbuster film might be on Netflix one minute, only to move to another service like Prime Video the following month. In the television space, the problem is even worse, with seasons of popular shows split across different services at different times (“Yellowstone,” for instance, is exclusive to Paramount Network on cable when new episodes are airing; prior seasons of the show are available only on Comcast’s Peacock).

Gracenote claims to solve this problem by offering three different Availability solutions, split across free streaming, sports and general video.

In Gracenote’s Streaming Video catalog, the company offers “the most-comprehensive and up-to-date TV program and movie availability data,” which includes “viewing options, deep links and normalized data [that help] connect viewers to the entertainment content they want across different services.”

Translation? When a company incorporates Gracenote’s Streaming Video catalog into their platform, they’re able to point users toward different services when they search for a show or movie to watch.

The same is true for live sports, with Gracenote offering a comparable product called the Streaming Sports catalog, which boasts “highly accurate availability data, viewing options and deep links plus normalized metadata for live sporting events.”

Again, to translate: When platforms integrate the Streaming Sports catalog into their platforms, they’re able to show users which streaming services are carrying a particular game at any given moment. That can be helpful for streamers who move away from cable and satellite and are looking for a sports-inclusive service like YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, DirecTV Stream and Fubo, whose sports channels and packages tend to differ from each other.

Last, Gracenote says it offers a catalog specifically for free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels, which includes more than 2,000 linear content streams across different services. The catalog largely works the same as the first two, though it seems to be specifically aimed at helping FAST providers get new channels online quickly and provide relevant metadata to users about the shows and movies airing on those content streams.

“As the entertainment ecosystem continues to evolve, a massive opportunity exists to drive the next iteration of streaming,” Trent Wheeler, the Chief Product Officer at Gracenote, said in a statement. “For it to reach its full potential as a channel, streaming needs to deliver better user experiences enabled by search and discovery of all content – TV, movies and live sports – wherever it’s available.”

Gracenote said its streaming-based data catalogs are a natural extension of what it has offered traditional television platforms for a long time: Reliable metadata that can be incorporated into electronic program guides and other features targeted at fans of TV shows and movies.

“As the entertainment industry continues its evolution, Gracenote is transforming its offerings in step to ensure customers can effectively leverage programming to maximize engagement and monetization,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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