CozmoTV, a subsidiary of Cozmo Media which has offices in San Francisco and Boston, recently launched an online video site that focuses on providing users with personalized video recommendations. Users can create custom channels for different types of content. Users can also rate individual videos to on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. These active inputs appear to be used to sculpt personalized video recommendations. According to the CozmoTV web site the idea spawned from the idea that:
“We both loved our TiVo®Boxes and thought that a great service would be to provide simplified search through a Website that would talk directly to your TiVo. (Sorry, TiVo, but we felt that your online scheduler kind of sucked.)”
I first learned of CozmoTV at the TechCrunch 8 Meetup in NYC when I talked with CozmoTV co-founder Alex Rowland. Since CozmoTV had not yet launched I was not able to see a product demo but he did compare CozmoTV to Pandora and TiVo. I now see the validity in those comparisons though I also think CozmoTV's active inputs personalization model mirrors that of StumbleUpon Video which also recently launched. CozmoTV pulls its videos from YouTube but in doing comparison searches it appears to be only a subset of YouTube videos but as the number of online videos increases I could see this product becoming helpful in sorting through and finding new videos.
CozmoTV created incentives to go check it out and start rating video by offering up 80 Nintendo Wii gaming systems as prizes to the first 80 users who have a user confidence rating of 80 or more. I took some time to see how difficult that might be and I have to admit it is not a walk in the park. I watched and rated hours worth of video and was only able to get my rating up to 10.1%. At this rate, I may be better off looking for a Wii elsewhere but, that aside, I enjoyed creating my own channels and viewing the personalized recommendations.