Industry Insights from itcher CEO and Co-Founder Daniel Rovira

Daniel Rovira knows the entertainment industry. As the CEO and Co-Founder of itcher, he's compiled his thoughts into a series of posts on his LinkedIn profile.

We've gathered the most intruiging posts on the entertainment landscape, including how it's changing and why soon we won't even recognise it.

We hope you enjoy this closer look into the world of entertainment.


1. 5 Key Ingredients For Better Entertainment Recommendations

The last thing you want to do after a long day at work is spend time searching

In this post, Daniel Rovira lays out the key ingredients for perfect entertainment recommendations.


2. The Large Content Distributors are Dying

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the need for the classic content aggregation business model is diminishing. Put simply, it no longer works

Daniel Rovira summarises his thoughts on large content distributors giving way to more niche, targeted content.


3. Why Netflix & Amazon Prime give you Miserable Recommendations

Just because you watched something, it does not mean you liked it

Many people rely on streaming services for recommendations. Daniel Rovira explains why this is missguided.


4. 8 Reasons Why The Shift from Linear TV to Video on Demand Is Happening Faster Than You Think

The future of entertainment is video on demand, and it seems as though after a slow start, there’s no stopping it now

In this post, Daniel Rovira explores the seemingly unstoppable force of Video on Demand - and what it means for Linear TV.


5. Too Much Choice - the Increasing Problem of Instant Video (and Why we Need Personalisation)

The challenge is in mastering discovery and personalisation

We are living in a world with millions of titles to choose from. Daniel Rovira explains why this is becoming an increasingly pressing problem - and what we can do it fix it.


We hope you found these posts insightful. For updates on entertainment discovery and personalisation, you can find Daniel on LinkedIn here and itcher's LinkedIn page here.

itcher Named Finalist in 4YFN Awards

Source: 4YFN Twitter

It's happening. We can't wait.

itcher has been named one of 24 finalists in the 4YFN Awards. The event will take place in Barcelona later this month and will showcase some of the best start-up talent from around the world. itcher will have the opportunity to pitch their business in front of investors and industry experts.

4YFN stands for 4 Years From Now and is the startup business platform of Mobile World Capital Barcelona. It aims to 'enable startups, investors and corporations to connect and launch new ventures together'.

itcher Co-Founder and CEO, Daniel Rovira, says the event will be a chance to connect with like-minded individuals.

"We're incredibly excited to be a finalist in the 4YFN awards. Not only will we have a chance to pitch itcher on stage but we'll have the chance to talk to some brightest minds in the industry. It's always great to meet with people of similar ambition and we can't wait to hear what people think of itcher."

It's always great to meet people of similar ambition and we can't wait to hear what people think of itcher.

itcher will be taking to the stage to pitch their start-up later this month. Read all about the awards and the other finalists here.

7 Ideas for Movie Lists to Create on itcher

Lists!

Who doesn't love them.

We like to collate and categorise all our different recommendations on the itcher app into easy-to-access lists.

Interested in trying this feature?

It's a great way to keep track of all your personalised entertainment recommendations. If you need an introduction to how lists work, you can check out our YouTube tutorial for more information.

Here are 7 list ideas for you to try. 

Keep track of your personalised recommendations using the Lists feature

1. Must Watch List

Your friend at work says 'you have to see this movie'.

They're so excited about it, you think their eyes may pop out of their head.

And you have to admit, it doesn't sound too terrible.

You make a mental note of the title (mistake) and a couple of hours later, you can't recall the name of the movie if your life depended on it. itcher's got you covered. Create a must-watch list and add everything that you want to see and never struggle to remember a title again.

Suggested title: 'Inception' (Christopher Nolan, 2010)


2. Classic Movies

This is your 'great movies from history' list.

If you want to be a movie buff, you've got to know about the great movies that came before you.

Yes, this list is your chance to keep track of all the classic movies you haven't quite got around to watching yet.  Check out the IMDb Top 250 for some ideas.

Suggested title: 'The Usual Suspects' (Bryan Singer, 1995)


3. Family Friendly Movies 

Whether they're your offspring or not, nobody wants to have a particularly violent or crass movie playing into the innocent eyes of a six-year-old.

With a family friendly list of movies on hand, you'll have age-appropriate movies for all occasions.

Suggested title: 'Marley and Me' (David Frankel, 2008)


4. Uplifting Movies

​Bad day at work?

Stub your toe getting out of the shower and you're experiencing pain like never before?

It's time to ​consult your list of uplifting movies. Here you'll be able to collate all of those feel-good titles that give you a refreshed outlook on life (and help to ease your throbbing toe).

Suggested title: 'Cool Runnings' (Jon Turteltaub, 1993)


5. Movies to Watch Again

When a movie is particularly complex, or maybe has a plot twist, a second viewing can be an entirely different experience.

For all those movies you finish and think 'I wonder what that would be like to watch again', you can add them to this list, ready for a rainy day.

Or a sunny day.

Whichever.

Suggested title: 'Shutter Island' (Martin Scorsese, 2010)


6. Movies for Friday Nights In

Funny. Mindless. Pizza-friendly.

We think the best Friday night movies are the ones that entertain you without making you cry all over your pizza. But that's not to say you can't load you Friday Nights In list with a host of horrors and gut-wrenching dramas.

This list is where you can add whatever titles you think you might like to watch on a Friday night. Even if they are all tear-jerkers.

(Just watch out for soggy pizza).

Suggested title: 'Superbad' (Greg Mottola, 2007)


7. Movies to Watch with Your Partner 

If you and your partner have different tastes in movies, this list will be gold.

For every movie you come across that you think your partner may also like, add it to this list. That way, next time you're trying to decide which movie to watch, you can open the itcher app and have a movie on in seconds.

Movie-debating crisis averted.

Suggested title: Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)


We hope you liked our list ideas and find them useful for your next movie watching session!

What lists have you created on the itcher app?

Get Noticed • itcher Magazine Self-Promotion Scheme

Calling all creators of movies, tv shows, books, music and games.

It's not easy getting noticed.

Whether you're in a band, have published a book or released a new movie or game, getting your work in front of people doesn't happen on its own.

At itcher, we like creators.

It's what our platform is built on. Every director has a first movie, and every musician a first single. Everyone starts somewhere and if you're determined enough, you can start with us.

The itcher Magazine Self-Promotion Scheme allows people like you - intelligent, passionate creators - to host an article about your area of expertise.

Are you an author of the next best horror novel? Write an article on the changing landscape in the horror genre. Think your band could be headlining festivals in a few years? Tell us which indie-rock bands have paved the way for you.

We want to hear your story.

If you have something to shout about, drop us an email via contact@itcher.com and we can talk about featuring your article along with links to your work.

Let's get you noticed.

P.S. Have some talented friends? Share this post and help them on their journey to the Glastonbury main stage or the Amazon Bestsellers list. You never know, they might remember when they've made their millions...

Suggested By You: TV Show Category Now Live on itcher!

When we asked what you would like to see on itcher app, you guys make it very clear what we had to do: create a TV show category.

Our magnificent tech team got to work and now we can finally have our pull-back-the-curtain moment...

And here it is! Our brand new TV Show category. It's ready to recommend you new shows and we can't wait to see you get rating. Download the itcher app now to get your personalised recommendations.

Thank you to everyone who suggested a TV Show category - you guys are helping to make itcher even better! Now, it's time to get down to business...

Which TV show should we rate first?​


Entertainment Recommendations Platform itcher Partners with the Google Assistant on Google Home

“Ok Google, Talk to itcher” - the Google Assistant action that helps Google Home users find their next favorite book or movie in less than 50 seconds.

How often do people struggle to find a great book or movie? We’ve all been there. Say goodbye to endless searches with the new Google Assistant action that can give perfect book or movie recommendations in an instant.

Unlike other services which use a simplistic and inaccurate selection process based on “similar titles”, itcher learns each user’s individual taste. This means they don’t have to waste time and money on something they don’t like and instead enjoy spot on recommendations every time.

In fact, discovering entertainment can now be a fun part of downtime. Let’s say someone just got home from a long day at work - the last thing they want is to spend time looking for a book or movie to help them unwind. Here’s where itcher steps in: it learns what they like and gives exciting, personalized titles in just seconds. It’s like talking to a friend who knows their exact taste.

itcher wants to bring the magic of discovery to everyone by using the power of its community to match users with like-minded people in order to generate personalized recommendations.

Now thanks to itcher’s integration with the Google Assistant on Google Home, anyone can get new entertainment recommendations in an instant.

Users can get started by saying:

  • “Ok Google, talk to itcher”


  • “Ok Google, tell itcher to recommend me a movie”


  • “Ok Google, I want to talk to itcher about books”

  • “Ok Google, ask itcher to suggest me a book”

  • “Ok Google, let me talk to itcher about movies”


It will come as no surprise that the itcher tech team have been very busy with the Google Assistant integration.

The first step in this collaboration was agent implementation; this stage involved developing the ability to ask for book and movie recommendations as well as requesting product-related information and reviews. itcher’s developers then worked on being able to rate recommended titles as well as receiving more information about recommended products via email.

It was then onto the movie and book search mechanism which involved allowing users to filter by director, actor and author. From there the team’s focus turned to allowing for matching user input against existing book and movie categories. Next, the integration of the recommendations suggestion algorithm before finally working on account linking to allow itcher to share user information and recommendations across different platforms (Google Assistant on Google Home and the itcher Android app, iOS app and website).

Bookworms and movie buffs will love what itcher can do. With the power of its community and the Google Assistant, itcher will bring the warmth of discovery right into people’s homes. Users can also download the itcher app which includes 3 extra categories: TV shows, music and games.


Movie Recommendation System: The Blueprint of itcher App

When looking for a movie recommendation system like itcher, there are 3 key things you expect.

Download the itcher app now! Click here to find out how.

1. Spot on recommendations you can't wait to watch
2. An easy to use interface (slick design, nothing overcomplicated)
3. A place for your movie watch lists and reviews you can read reviews

When you sign up to itcher, the movie recommendation system of your dreams, you'll get all 3 and more.

Let's take a look at them in a bit closer detail.


What to Expect: The Blueprint of itcher

itcher has everything a movie lover could want from a movie recommendation engine.

itcher has everything a movie lover could want from a movie recommendation engine.

Here are the core elements of itcher - we think you'll love them all.


Personalised Recommendations For You (And Only You)

Movie recommendations only work if they're tailored to your taste.

Movie recommendations only work if they're tailored to your taste.

Generic, obvious recommendations don't really work for anyone. itcher focuses on providing you with movie recommendations tailored to your taste. Here's how it works:

- Download the itcher app from Google Play or the App Store

- Create an account in just a few clicks

- Rate 5 movies you like (or don't) and you'll be given you first batch of recommendations

- Rate any of the recommendations you've already seen and watch itcher get to know your taste


Powered by You.... and Her... and Him...

You rate titles so itcher can get a better idea of what you like.

You rate titles so itcher can get a better idea of what you like.

But how can itcher predict what movie you're likely to enjoy next? itcher works by connecting you to like-minded people who have a similar taste to you - and recommending titles based on what you already like and what they've watched.


Easy Design, Drool Worthy Palettes

Okay so we don't like to boast too much, but the itcher design is a little bit drool-worthy.

...the itcher design is a little bit drool-worthy.

The colour palette looks good enough to eat - we can't wait for you to see how great it looks! Maybe it's just us, but there's something about those rich colours and dark background...


A Comprehensive Movie Experience

When you invest time into a app that recommends movies (although we do pride ourselves on being fast), you want it to be a comprehensive experience.

So what else do you need a movie recommendation engine to provide?

Shop: itcher makes getting your hands on a title easy by including a Shop tab to find out exactly where you can watch each movie. You can even filter by provider, such as Netflix or Amazon Video.

Lists: somewhere to make lists of movies you'd like to watch, perhaps a list of your all time favourites...

Reviews: want to know what other people think of a movie? Just check out the reviews to get other opinions.

We hope you enjoyed our breakdown of exactly what itcher can do for you. There's just one thing left on your agenda - download the app!

We can't wait to hear what you think.


5 Must-Know Facts For Absolutely Every Start-Up

by Daniel Rovira

As the co-founder of itcher, I know the first couple of years in a start-up can be up and down, but it is important to persevere if you really believe in your product.

We’ve grown itcher from a seed of an idea into something that hopefully changes the way people watch movies, read books, listen to music and play games.

For those who don’t know yet, itcher is an entertainment recommendations app that allows users to rate different titles in order to get new and accurate recommendations based on individual’s personal taste.

Below you will find must-know facts we have learned over the last couple of years and will help you to get started with your own project.


1. You Have to Refine Your Core Idea… Many, Many, Many Times

The first milestone you should aim for is really refining your idea.

That means understanding who you are as a brand, what you believe in and what your aims are. A big milestone for itcher was getting a clear image in our heads of what we wanted it to be. We are always developing and tweaking, but working on that initial outline was important to get us started.

An idea is only that until it has been refined - then it is a pitchable start up.


2. Think You’ve Got Your Pitch? Think Again!

Pitching your idea for the first time is a turning point. You’ll learn what investors are looking for and where you need to research more (you’ll also find that telling someone about your project will make you hungrier for success).

Be sure to use your first pitch to learn; each of your many pitches works as an opportunity to improve the next one.

Use your first pitch to learn; each of your many pitches works as an opportunity to improve the next one

Pitching itcher for the first time reaffirmed the reasons why we wanted to update the entertainment landscape and we haven’t looked back since.


3. An Audience Might Not Come For Free

A brand is nothing without a following, particularly in a digital age.

Work on creating an online space for your followers and, if relevant, use it as an opportunity for SEO, but think about what is right for your brand. In our case, we created itcher Magazine.

Work on creating an online space for your followers

Hitting 250,000 new users per month was definitely a milestone for itcher. Knowing a quarter of a million people had used our site every month was not only satisfying, but also encouraging.

You’ll have to put in the effort and hour to build an audience, but it’s a price worth paying.


4. You Have To Launch Before That Next Tweak...

You can only plan for so long: sooner or later you need to get your product out there.

Your first version will rarely be perfect, and the feedback from your target market that will make it stronger for the next release. Since, we've since released v.2 of the itcher app.

We've improved vastly since those beginning days, but our very first version (v.1) taught us more about the mobile app world than we ever could have ever imagined.


5. Aim To Reach a Milestone Within Your First Month (No Matter What)

When creating a start-up you can see very clearly how people will benefit from your innovative ideas. It is important to strive for some kind of numerical milestone that can measure that success.

Work on creating an online space for your followers

Whether we are talking about number of units sold or number of downloads on the app store, do set a quantitative goal that you can track. In our case, we’re looking forward to when we reach the millions of downloads.


Get Your Start Up Moving

I hope you enjoyed these tips and find them useful for your business.

If you would like to stay up to date with itcher’s progress, you can find us on Twitter and Facebook or our Blog (add links).


References:

http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/08/how-to-refine-your-business-idea.html

http://www.peterjones.com/business-guide/pitch-your-idea-for-finance/

https://blog.kissmetrics.com/fan-base/

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/249477


Find People with Similar Interests App: Solve Your Boring Nights Once and for All!

What to have for dinner?

What to watch on telly?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get recommendations for both?


This Friday Night... In!

Finally you get the chance to relax and have some fun after a hard week at work.

But... wait! You still haven’t decided which movie to watch.

This is the time when you could really do with a few recommendations from your friends but they all happen to be out and about too busy to hear their mobiles ringing.

You could search online, but what to search for exactly? Remember you need to know what you are looking for in the first place...

And you really have no idea of where to start.


How to Find People with Similar Interests Right Here, Right Now

You need to find people similar to you, people who know what you like, who could solve your problem by telling you exactly what you need to watch tonight.

So; where to find people with similar interests right here, right now?

We have the solution for you. There's a new app in town called itcher and it does just that: provides you with great recommendations that match your interests!

“Itcher is like a version of asking around for ideas; you don’t even need to send messages to friends...”

For example, when you don't know where to start a search for a movie, you can start browsing and look for other users' recommendations. Itcher is like a version of asking around for ideas and you don't even need to send multiple messages to friends.

Now, if that’s not cool, I don’t know what is.


Browsing Through is Fun

As you browse through different titles, you can read what other like-minded people think of the movie which really simplifies making a choice. You might even come across a hidden gem that did not make it into the general cinema distribution but that itcher users think it's a must-see.

Watching that movie could also help you recommend it to your friends who may have never heard of it before...

“You might even come across a hidden gem that did not make it into the general cinema distribution but that itcher users think it’s a must-see.”

What? Your friends only like to watch Hollywood blockbusters? Alright then, you can search for popular films and read recommendations from around the world. If you find yourself shouting at the screen after seeing bad recommendations and deciding you still want to watch that movie, you only have yourself to blame.

I told you so :)


itcher Connects Like-Minded People

How can you make the most of Itcher?

First of all, itcher connects like-minded people so the more you use it the better it gets. Start creating your profile by selecting movies you already like so itcher can start making recommendations for you.

  • Do you love romantic comedies? Then select “Love it”.
  • Not so keen on science fiction? Click on “Dislike it”.
  • Do you and your partner have different taste in movies and need to compromise? Click on “It's OK”.

Do you want to read the book that inspired the movie you want to see? You can check what other users think of it to see if they believe the movie did justice to the original script.

And if the night is still young and you fancy playing a game after you watched the movie, you can get recommendations on those too.

Itching for more?

Find people with similar interests - app itcher is a fantastic tool that will help you discover more of the things you love.


The 5 Essential Steps Before You Write Any Book

So you’ve decided to dip your toe in the literary waters.

Your inner Dickens is calling out and it is time to put pen to paper (or more likely - keyboard to screen).

So you’ve decided to dip your toe in the literary waters.

With so much going on between the first idea and the finished product, you’ll need some guidance along the way.


#1 THE TAGLINE

You should be able to describe the concept of your book in one sentence

Aiming to pitch your book idea in one line should help you narrow your concept.

If it takes three paragraphs to explain the premise of your book, it’s not focused enough.

If it takes three paragraphs to explain the premise of your book, it’s not focused enough.

Concentrate on coming up with a punchy line that explains your book idea to someone who doesn’t know you. This will help you to keep a clear vision in mind during the writing process.


#2 THE PURPOSE

You need to have a 100% clarity on why you’re writing your story

Are you writing this book because you want to make money? Are you writing because you enjoy it?

It’s important to know why you’re writing a book so you can remind yourself when things get tedious.

It’s important to know why you’re writing a book so you can remind yourself when things get tedious.

Very few authors make a substantial amount of money from book writing, so this perhaps isn’t the best overall aim when writing your first book.


#3 THE RESEARCH

It is imperative that you find the gap in the market!

It’s important to be aware of what’s already out there. You need to know where your book will sit among others and what your book will bring to the genre. Read widely. Read different areas within the genre and read as many different styles as you can.

Read widely. Read different areas within the genre and read as many different styles as you can.

If you’re not sure where to begin you can browse popular titles in your genre on Amazon, and perhaps use a recommendation app like itcher to find the lesser known titles.


#4 THE FORMAT

Being tight with your structure will help you see the end product in your mind

Are you writing a trilogy? An illustrated story? A collection of short stories?

Think about how your message is best delivered. 

Think about how your message is best delivered. You might think you can drag out a story for 50,000 words but upon closer inspection, it may be that it works better as a short story.


#5 THE PLAN

The right system will increase your chances of success

Some writers prefer to write and see what happens, but if you think you’ll find this difficult (and many would) it’s a good idea to have a structured plan for each chapter or each section of your book.

This doesn’t just have to be bullet pointing what’s going to happen or what’s going to be discussed – even answering questions such as ‘what will the reader feel after reading this chapter’ will help guide you throughout your writing.

Whether you decide to use Workflowy, Trello or good old fashioned pens and paper, the more organised your planning is the more you can declutter your brain and instead focus on the writing.

The more organised your planning is the more you can declutter your brain and instead focus on the writing.

It’s also crucial to designate writing hours in your day. A book is a very large project to take on.

Telling yourself that this year you are going to ‘write a book’ doesn’t mean you’ll have a book written by the end of the year. Instead, carve out a designated writing slot in your day and stick to it.


BONUS: Identify and connect with others like you

By networking with others who are taking on the task of writing a book, you’ll have a support system in place for when questions and queries arise.

Speaking to real people in a similar situation will help you along your way and also try searching Twitter and Facebook for new authors. You can always ask your friends if they know anyone writing a book.

What tips do you have for new writers who want to write their first book?