Monday, 10 March 2014

Virgin Tivo wasting its recommendation slots

The Virgin Media Tivo box includes four promotional spots at the top of the screen. They constitute a significant piece of real estate that could be used for all sorts of interesting recommendations and alerts about new or changed services. But we're not very impressed with what they're suggesting for us! Let's take a look.

The first slot is The Haunting In Conneticut 2, which is a horror movie. We've watched dozens of films on Virgin - and I doubt a single one has been horror. So this is hardly a personalized recommendation.

Even if we were horror fans, this particular film has a 19% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Surely there are some better films showing on Virgin Movies! (Actually yes, there are tons of better films available, and you can find them all easily using Tank Top Movies.)

Slots two and four recommend Grimm and The Tomorrow People - shows we have already recorded. You can see them right there on the same screenshot. So why recommend them? Isn't there something we don't obviously already know about?

And the third slot offers France24. I don't really have any complaints here - if it's a new service, this is a perfectly reasonable way of pointing it out for us. Though I imagine there are a lot of other options they could have offered us with a more likelihood that we'd be interested.

Virgin Media offers a great service in many respects, and there is tons of absolutely brilliant content available. But in 2014 we think customers deserve better tools for finding their way round that content.

If you're a Virgin user, we'd love to know what you think of the recommendations it gives you. Have you ever clicked on one of those promotional slots?