Google TV Hopes To Click With Social Recommendations

Google TV's about to get a social discovery injection, courtesy of Redux—a website-based content discovery system—that could help transform it into a friendlier, customer-curated place.

Google TV

Redux, a website-based TV content discovery system that describes itself as supplying "friendsourced entertainment," is announcing today a partnership with GreeneStreet Films and Google to bring its system to Google TV. The idea is to add in a truly social-powered discovery system to Google TV that may have been lacking before, despite Google TV's description of itself as "a new experience that combines TV, the entire web, and apps—as well as a way to search across them all." Yup—Google TV just got friendlier.

Redux likes to say that it offers the feeling of "traditional veg-out TV" that we've "all come to love," and other reviewers have indeed labeled it as supplying "leanback TV" in a connected TV environment. The problem seems to be that with Google's connected TV experience, the offerings (and perhaps interface too) require too much hands-on, "lean-forward" interactivity from the viewer, including active navigation and search. Redux's system seems a little like Apple's Genius music recommendation service in iTunes in that it suggests content you'd like to experience—but unlike Genius, or YouTube's recommendations based on your viewing history, Redux blends in experiences from your friends, "interesting curators" and other "influencers."

ReduxThe goal is to "help you discover video you'll love," and it works almost like a traditional TV system with content spooling automatically. Instead of coming from the minds of channel programmers, however, it's based on algorithms—and if you don't like what you're watching, you can use the typical up/down remote controls to surf to something new. Over three million users arrive at Redux's website every month, so it's certainly offering something desirable.

To entice Google TV viewers to take part, films and videos from producers like Thrillist, Dangerous Minds, and GreeneStreet (the production company behind Crank) will be available, and they've also curated some of the content available to Google TV to try to pull together compelling viewing packages.

Will this help Google TV? It may, at least as far as existing Google TV owners are concerned, but it's also likely a tough, complex sell to potential new buyers. Google TV could probably do with the new tech injection, however, because hardware partner Logitech's sales figures are being widely taken as a sign Google TV is struggling.

[Image: Flickr user dailylifeofmojo]

Chat about this news with Kit Eaton on Twitter and Fast Company too.

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