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Callaghan Innovation and Auckland tech start-up unite on Big Data project

24 Sep 2014

Auckland-based technology firm Movio says working with the Big Data specialists at Callaghan Innovation has enabled it to boost the value of its innovative global cinema marketing software by millions of dollars a year.

The Data Science Team at Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand’s high tech HQ for business, has helped Movio develop a personalised film recommendation system based on customer loyalty data.

With more than 14,000 cinema screens globally using Movio’s cloud-based cinema campaign management solution, the film recommendation system development is expected to be worth up to $2m a year in Annual Recurring Revenue once rolled out.

Movio is the global leader in marketing data analysis and campaign management for cinema exhibitors and distributors. The company is set to be the largest aggregator of customer film data in the world, providing the entire film industry with in-depth understanding of the filmgoer.

Callaghan Innovation’s Data Science Team Leader Bryan Smith says Movio was interested in talking to researchers in the area of data analytics, to see if new thinking could complement their in-house R&D capability.

“We have applied data analytics capability, so the collaboration with Movio to develop and test the algorithms needed for a recommender system was the perfect project for us," Smith adds.

"It’s mutually beneficial - we get to put our skills to use and gain valuable experience working with a leading tech company like Movio, and they now have an algorithm that has been developed and tested and is near market-ready.”

Callaghan Innovation’s National Technology Network Manager for ICT Jonathan Miller says that as well as having technical in-house capability, Callaghan Innovation is working to connect businesses with data science researchers all around the country.

“There is a depth of data science and analytics capability in New Zealand’s universities which is in demand, so our in-house team is intent on forming close partnerships with those teams to provide solutions for industry," Miller.

Movio CEO and co-founder William Palmer says the partnership with Callaghan Innovation proved invaluable for their business.

“Callaghan Innovation’s support has meant we have been able to pioneer technologies faster, allowing Movio to get this innovation to market quickly," Palmer.

"Collaborating in this manner has accelerated our development process significantly, and we hope to add the recommender system to our product offering early next year.”

Movio’s film recommender system aims to identify and weight the factors that influence people’s movie choices, whether that’s genre, style or the director and actors involved.

Its software algorithm identifies these patterns across global audiences and enables cinemas to recommend films to their loyal customers with confidence.

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