Rovi puts its web in the clouds
Published: 13.30 UTC January 6, 2011 by Julian Clover

Rovi has unveiled a new suite of cloud-based web services including advertising, metadata, recommendations, search, media recognition, and user and device management capabilities. The Rovi Media Cloud allows developers to create cross-platform entertainment products, services and applications through flexible APIs and accompanying metadata.

“Over the last 18 months we’ve seen a number of our customers bring in increasing numbers of devices that are IP enabled, Charles Dawes, Rovi product development director, EMEA told Broadband TV News. “We’ve found the assets we have in Rovi across the metadata, music recognition technology, advertising, and search and recommendation was being requested for a multitude of different devices. What we needed to do was to bring them together under a single set of APIs to use the services and innovate on top of them.”

Whereas in the past the provider of a TV guide might receive a large ftp file of data once or twice a week, and then take on the task of sorting it all out, the Rovi Media Cloud allows any IP enabled device to make a simple API request for a particular piece of data. “What we’re trying to create is a platform for others to innovate on and quickly build new services. The real innovation is not necessarily coming from ourselves all of the time, there’s plenty of people out there who are very innovative, and giving them this platform and being able to use the huge stores of metadata we’ve built up and making it very easy will see lots of applications going from the whole spectrum of Android, iPad, iPhone right through to connected TVs and websites as well.”

One application is Rovi What’s on TV, an iPad application that on selection of the postcode and operator, shows listings for channels available in a particular area. Rovi is running the service independent of operators, and will make it available through the Apple App Store, though initially for the US market. Rovi says applications such as What’s on TV would provide both the link with the TV and access to its metadata.

The Rovi Media Cloud includes access to Rovi Management Services, a set of user profile, device and event management APIs, and reporting and analytics capabilities, which can be paired with the other Web services to support user personalisation and a seamless consumer experience.