Can't decide what to watch on TV? A new app may help

Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:00am EST
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By Natasha Baker

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Channel surfers know that finding a great show to watch on television can be a daunting task, especially among the hundreds of channels available.

Peel, an app for iOS and Android, aims to solve the problem by providing personalized recommendations based on the television shows that users already like. The app is similar to how Pandora recommends music, or how Netflix suggests films.

"It stemmed from recognizing the complexity that the average user is faced with when selecting the right TV program," said Scott Ellis, the vice president of marketing for Peel.

"We wanted to move away from the channel grid that has become so pervasive and think about content at the core of the experience."

Released last year as a personalized TV guide, the app was relaunched last month to incorporate a social platform for sharing and discovering television shows with friends.

According to Ellis, the impetus for incorporating a social platform was to replicate the "water cooler" type of conversations that tend to be the way most people discover new content.

"It's about how to use an intelligent app to find the right show to watch based on the shows I like today and based on shows my friends are watching," he said.

Through the app users can share their favorite shows with friends, as well as their "guilty pleasures", which Ellis said usually consist of reality shows. Friends' favorite shows are also accounted for in the algorithm that makes content recommendations.   Continued...