Jinni Founder Reveals The Power of Emotion Based TV Recommendations [Interview]

How would you like to search your TV Guide according to your mood? Users in Belgium now have this option with the latest investment by Belgacom, the largest telecommunications company in Belgium, with Jinni.com, a movie and TV search engine and recommendation site. This addition to Belgacom will enable viewers to search for Web TV content based on their mood and emotions. Jinni is an online search engine that calls itself ‘the Taste Engine’ and likens itself to ‘Pandora for Movies’ because users search for content according to mood, plots, titles, or whatever meets their fancy. Jinni has made some milestones this year such as becoming Google’s partner for Google TV and winning the award for “best product idea” at the CableLabs Winter Conference. I had a chance to talk with Jinni Founder and President, Yosi Glick, about the recent investment and what users love about Jinni.

An increasing amount of TV viewing is now being accessed via the web and television operators are scrambling to produce new Web TV additions to viewers. According to a recent Neilson Report ‘simultaneous use of the Internet while watching TV reached three and a half hours a month, up 35% from the previous year. Nearly 60% of TV viewers now use the Internet once a month while also watching TV.’. Operators are very interested in accessing the information that Jinni has acquired about audience’s entertainment preferences as well as supplying Jinni’s type of search functionality to their Web TV users. Yosi Glick offers more information about Jinni to Social Times in this interview:

Social Times: Why Did Belgacom Invest in Jinni?

Yosi Glick: TV operators are now going into the ‘3 screens’ solution for entertainment that includes TV, web and mobile offerings. Jinni enables a web addition to searching TV content guides according to users’ personality tastes and lets operators build their guides to increase satisfaction and decrease ‘churn’ (termination of subscriptions). Belgacom has 25% penetration in Belgium and they hope to increase this amount with the ‘user centric’ guide that Jinni has to Offer.

ST) What Makes Jinni So Unique?

YG) The user can find content in a semantic way. Jinni speaks the language of the user almost like talking to a clerk at Blockbuster. Jinni uses a huge range of semantic tags such as ‘love’, ‘clever’, ‘witty’, ‘violent’, other categories, names of movies, time periods, and virtually anything else. Jinni is the only semantic entertainment recommendation site on the market.

ST) How does Jinni facilitate a social online experience?

YG) Members can follow and be followed my other members. Jinni also recommends people with similar tastes in TV and movies to become ‘neighbors’. It’s very useful to get recommendations from neighbors because you can trust in their picks of entertainment as opposed to Facebook where you can’t really trust that that their interests in entertainment will be compatible with yours.

ST) What can a member do in the Jinni Site?

YG ) Members can rate TV and movies, post comments, browse genres and tags, make recommendations and write reviews, and see their compatibility rating with other members.

ST) What’s next for Jinni?

YG) We are working on an iPhone application that will probably be launched in about 4 – 6 months and producing a Jinni TV remote control.