itcher at SWSX (South by Southwest) – Texas 2017

itcher's Head of Marketing and SEO master, Patri Hernandez, flew to Austin, Texas for the South by Southwest Festival. In this post, she shares the atmosphere of the event and how it benefitted itcher.

SXSW was incredibly very fast-paced and I packed a lot into the few days I was there. First on the list was tracking down people in similar businesses and sectors to us to start some conversations about partnerships. I managed to secure meetings for Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday. All of which were very succesful!

Austin was... amazing.

As a former Londoner, the best way I can describe Austin is that it's like Camden Town meets Portobello meets Soho. Eclectic but pulsing with energy. Bright ideas and curious minds everywhere you looked. 

Austin was eclectic but pulsing with energy. Bright ideas and curious minds everywhere you looked

Music is very prominent in both Austin and the festival itself. The atmosphere was laid back, friendly and unquestionably cool. It managed to be jam-packed but still have an air of nonchalance. You'd run to a meeting but then just kick back with your acquaintance in a hotel lobby.

The city was packed! Whether you were walking around or inside the hotel, there are people everywhere.  Overall it was a very techie atmosphere. I heard Austin being referred to as Silicon Valley 2.

I heard Austin being referred to as Silicon Valley 2

It was fantastic to contact others in the industry and discuss potential partnerships. There was a lot of interest in itcher, particularly with regard to the possibility of improving the recommendation systems of VoD platforms. The feedback was incredibly helpful in helping us plan our next steps.

Now to turn that feedback into action...

itcher Alexa Skill – Now Available on Amazon Echo!

It's here! The itcher Alexa skill is ready to recommend your next favourite movie and book.

Alexa is a Voice Service that allows users with an Alexa product (such as the Amazon Echo or the Amazon Echo Dot) to play music, discover news stories, find out sports scores, ask for the weather and more.

And now, Alexa can help you find your next recommendation, thanks to it's integration with itcher.

And now, Alexa can help you find your next recommendation, thanks to it's integration with itcher.


How to Use itcher with Your Alexa Product

1. Launch the Alexa App and select the ‘Skills’ option from the menu

2. Search for ‘itcher’ and select the the skill from the results

3. Tap ‘Enable skill’

4. Log in with your itcher account (or join if you don’t have one) and authorise linking the account with Alexa

5. Done! You can now use itcher via Alexa


Just Ask

If you are a movie buff, you can start by saying Alexa, ask itcher to recommend me a movie’.

If you would like something to read, ‘tell itcher to suggest a book for me.

If you are already an itcher user, you will get your recommendations straight away.

Otherwise, itcher will ask you to tell 2 or 3 titles you loved, in order to generate your personalised recommendations. Remember, when talking to itcher you can always ask for guidance about possible options by saying ‘help me’.

We're so excited to share this news with you

We're so excited to share this news with you, as we continue to bring itcher to voice-enabled devices. We can't wait for you to try it!


itcher at 4YFN (4 Years From Now) and MWC (Mobile World Congress) – Barcelona 2017

We're thrilled that itcher was one of the 24 start-ups selected to pitch at 4YFN (4 Years From Now), an international event held in Barcelona which happened to have the biggest turnout ever this year.

We had a fantastic time meeting potential and existing partners (more news on that soon!) and it was a great opportunity to network, get press coverage and generate new ideas.

Here's what happened...


Day 1: Setting Up Camp

Everything kicked off with a fantastic opening ceremony where they promised us we’ll end up exhausted if we make the most of it. We took them up on that challenge!

From then onwards we attended a few talks, along with doing a local radio interview. We then pitched to the press (which was a kind of speed-dating event), before finishing off the day with some networking.


Day 2: Networking

A busy day of meetings where we met and chatted to potential partners, along with potential investors. 

The talent and innovation in the other start-ups were inspiring and we had a fantastic time networking before interviewing for VIA Empresa and Radio Nacional de España.

After all the press excitement, it was back to watching keynotes!


Day 3: The Pitch

This was the day we presented itcher to all visitors at our booth (in Catalan, Spanish, English and even Italian).

Here's our Co-Founder and CEO, Daniel Rovira, pitching to over 200 people!

We then had an interview for Catalunya Radio and for the University of Barcelona, where we told them all about who we are and what we do.


Day 4: The Last Conversations

With 4YFN over, it was onto Mobile World Congress!

This last day we spend scouting the bigger venue, which was fantastically designed. We watched more keynotes and wrapped things up with a lunch with Google.


Our Overall Thoughts

4YFN and MWC allowed us to gain valuable insights on the customer’s side as well as on the business side.

We found the best way to refine our pitch was by practicing with dozens of people. We really feel this was the key to a strong pitch! We also managed to step forward with our relationship with press and enjoy the undeniably fun environment for networking.

Our team (L-R) Daniel Rovira (Co-Founder and CEO), Ona Estapé (Marketing and Communications) and Patri Hernández (Head of Marketing)

4YFN has been a step forward in itcher’s presentation in society: we’ve touched ground with costumers, partners, press and pitched on stage! Overall, it’s been as fun as rewarding

- Ona Estapé, itcher Marketing and Communications

4YFN was full of fresh energy. MWC felt more corporate. Overall, a great experience. We've learned we are only as big as our ideas and yes, we ended up exhausted.


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.