FILE - In this March 1, 2019, file photo, Jon Jones poses during the ceremonial UFC 235 mixed martial arts weigh-in event in Las Vegas.  Jones defends his light heavyweight title against Thiago Santos, of Brazil, in the main event of UFC 239 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night, July 6, 2019. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, File)

Disney is using machine learning to help tailor the content recommendations on its streaming services based on the time of day and what users are doing at a particular moment, two executives from Disney Streaming Services, which powers platforms like ESPN Plus and Disney Plus, told Business Insider.
Disney is learning what people like to watch at different points in the day from ESPN Plus, and plans to use other cues, like whether someone is streaming from a TV or smartphone, to make recommendations.
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As Disney jumps into the streaming war against Netflix, it won’t just rely on its iconic franchises to propel subscriber growth, but also on its technology. The company’s ESPN Plus streaming service is already providing data to help Disney build a next-generation recommendation engine to keep subscribers happy and outmaneuver the competition.

Disney is using machine learning to train the recommendation engines behind ESPN Plus to understand how viewers’ tastes change throughout the day, two executives at Disney Streaming Services, the media company’s streaming-technology arm formerly known as BAMTech, told Business Insider.

In the mornings, sports fans may prefer to watch game highlights, for example. In the evenings, they may be looking to unwind with sports documentaries or some of ESPN Plus’s other originals.

“We are working right now in the ESPN Plus world with understanding user behavior, as the larger group, to see when they are engaging and what types of content they engage with,” Laura Evans, who joined Disney last year from The New York Times as senior vice president of data, said. “To really adjust [the algorithms] so that experience becomes very much a part of your day.”

ESPN Plus launched last year and has more than 2 million paying subscribers. Disney is launching a family-focused streaming service, Disney …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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