Introducing machine-based video recommendations in BBC Sport
Executive Product Manager, BBC Sport
From this week we are adding a new feature to our short form video pages on the BBC Sport website.
On every video page in BBC Sport you’ll see a related links section. This is usually put together by our editorial colleagues, a routine task which can be time consuming. They have good knowledge about related content, but cannot know about everything, which means that the audience do not see some content that might be relevant.
Short Form Video & Datalab
With this in mind we have worked with Datalab (our in-house BBC machine learning specialists) to create an algorithm-based video recommendations engine which we hope will help our audience see more of the content they love whilst reducing the editorial overhead of creating a set of relevant links.
The engine works by combining content information about the clip with more information about user journeys from across the BBC. This combination of multiple sources should provide a more relevant list of videos for our audience to watch next. This is the first cross product engine supporting user journeys across News and Sport, which means that you may see news, sport or a combination of both in the module. This is the first version of the short form video recommender, there will be more improvements to come, as we continue to develop it.
Launching the new recommendations
The plan is to launch this new functionality on all American Football clips the week commencing 13 September to give the engine a trial with freshly published content and to give us the opportunity to measure its impact. Provided all is well, we will gradually release this feature across all BBC Sport videos. After that we will begin to roll out the same engine for BBC News. Beyond that we will continue to work with editorial colleagues to improve it over the coming months.
If you have any feedback on this new video experience, please leave your comments below.