LAS VEGAS—As major media companies prepare to offer consumers more direct-streaming video choices, they should be thinking about improving content search and viewing recommendations, according to Turner’s David Beck. Success will hinge on “Who makes it easy, frictionless for people to get to the content they want to, consume it, share it and engage with it,” says the EVP of Corporate Strategy & Operations.

In this interview with Beet.TV at CES 2019, Beck talks about research Turner recently conducted to see what’s top of mind with viewers who face an ever-expanding roster of streaming choices, some of them without advertising.

“The research we did recently is very interesting,” says Beck. “People kept going back to trying to simply discover content has become more of a challenge because there’s so much out there. What can I watch and where can I watch it? And by the way, do I have to pay incremental for it?”

Among the research learnings was that people want more relevant viewing recommendations in a world of increased co-viewing wherein “typically you’re getting a recommendation based on a single profile when you have multiple people who are interested in what the content is,” Beck says. “Why can’t we have recommendations that are based on multiple profiles?”

But recommendations come with nuances, he adds, one example being not everyone who likes comedy programming likes dark comedic material. “The ability to go more granular in search to really get to what you’re looking for is going to be important.”

Another research finding that stood out is “there’s so much clutter in the experience today. When you open up any screen, there’s that infinite scrolling of content and how do you de-clutter that? So I think there’s going to be a lot of focus on UI, UX to make more personalized experiences for people,” says Beck.

Asked about reducing ad loads and other ways to improve viewing experiences, he notes that while Amazon, Netflix and others have done well without ads, Hulu has done well with an ad model.

“I think a lot of the services are going to have to consider is there an ad-supported model. Consumers may be very open to that, especially if the ads get better. By better I don’t just mean the quality of the content but not as interruptive or served at the times in which people are open to that.

“I definitely think that anybody that’s in this space is thinking hard about how can advertisers help fund the experience for consumers because we know consumers are going to want a free or ad-supported version.”

This video is part of Beet.TV coverage of CES 2019. The series is sponsored by NBCUniversal. For more coverage, please visit this page.