Amazon wins an Emmy for its Prime Instant Video recommendations engine

August 2, 2013 04:28 PM Inc. will receive a 2013 Technology & Engineering Emmy award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for its personalized video recommendation engine, the e-retailer announced today. The engine allows shoppers using Amazon Instant Video to search for streaming TV shows or movies by genre, mood, topic, what other customers watched after watching the same videos and by their personal preferences, Amazon says.

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences did not immediately respond to a request for details on why it selected Amazon for the award.

“Our goal is to give customers the best possible movie and TV watching experience. That means both enabling customers to find exactly what they’re looking for and helping them discover new TV shows and movies in a personalized way,” says Bill Carr, vice president of music and video for Amazon. “We will continue to innovate on behalf of our customers to make it even easier and more enjoyable to explore all of the great movies and TV shows on Amazon.”

Amazon Instant Video lists more than 150,000 movies and TV shows available to stream or rent online, or purchase physically, as a web video saved in an Amazon account or as a download, the e-retailer says. Online rentals are either a streaming or downloadable video that a customer has 30 days to begin watching and then 24 hours to finish watching once he starts.

While Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2013 Top 500 Guide, won an Emmy for its technological feats, competitor Netflix Inc., No. 9, has racked up 14 Primetime Emmy nominations across three of its original TV series (final awards in the Primetime categories will be announced on Sept. 22). That marked the first time an Internet video service has earned the honor for its programming. So far, however, Netflix has not proven that its original content draws in significant numbers of new subscribers.

Amazon also has its own production house for creating original TV shows, though it has yet to release a full season of any program. The retailer has reported rave reviews from customers for the pilots it has released, but like Netflix it has not said that original content is driving more Instant Video customers or sign ups to its Prime membership program. Prime includes streaming of any Instant Video title at no extra cost along with free two-day shipping on all orders and other perks for $79 annually.

Meanwhile, Hulu LLC, No. 92 in the Top 500 Guide, has also been developing original streaming video series and it recently raised $750 million from its owners, it says. In May, Google Inc.’s online video subsidiary YouTube LLC began offering paid subscriptions to web-video channels with content provided by such companies as National Geographic Kids and iAmplify Yoga.








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