Most of the major smart TV platforms, in the last couple of years, have emerged as serious plays in supplying data that can report on actual viewer behavior when it comes to shows, ads, games, anything that happens on the screen.

And now LG is levelling-up its own capabilities, by making an investment to take a majority stake in Alphonso.

But, in this video interview with Beet.TV, Alphonso’s Raghu Kodige says the tie-up is not just about unlocking ad data.

Improve the experience

“How do we benefit consumers?,” he asks. “Unless you provide consumers with benefits, you really can’t collect this kind of deep data about what consumers are watching and what they are looking for and things of that sort.

“For us it’s actually a sort of an onward journey of what we’ve been doing all along, which is building more and more consumer features powered by the data that we collect – whether it is recommendations of what content to watch, both on linear TV as well as OTT.

“That’s actually becoming more and more important. There’s so many streaming services available that it’s like TV used to be in the past, where you switch on TV that are hundreds of channels and you don’t know what exactly you should be watching.

“Solving that problem for consumers, making the availability of content much more easier (is important).”

Solving Local TV’s Ad ‘Blind Spot’: Alphonso’s Upadhyay

Solving fragmentation

Alphonso‘s offering brings the ability to retarget consumers with ads on digital devices based on what they are watching on TV.

It does that using audio content recognition build in to devices in its footprint, including smart TVs, mobile phones and set-top boxes, monitoring more than 200 cable networks.

Alphonso has also previously brought solutions like voice search to bear on a connected TV viewing experience that has become highly fragmented.

Kodige says that is the sort of tech LG wants to tap – but Alphonso will continue to serve other TV makers, too.

Wall Street Journal reports: “LG is investing almost $80 million for a nearly 60% stake in Alphonso, which had a pre-money valuation of about $125 million, according to people familiar with the matter.”

Accelerating 2021

He says Alphonso’s own roadmap will be “accelerated” by the LG investment.

The company added five European countries to its footprint last year and goes like in India this year.

The company started by using automated content recognition (ACR) to create data out of consumers’ viewing behavior.