Media Distillery and NLZIET Partner to Transform Content Discovery

  • Dutch streaming service NLZIET and video understanding experts Media Distillery are joining forces to collaboratively explore how viewer engagement and customer experience can be improved via the AI-fuelled solutions by Media Distillery 
  • A beta-test between Media Distillery and NLZIET has demonstrated a strong support for topic-based content discovery among the NLZIET users

Amsterdam – November 10, 2022 – Media Distillery, leading AI technology provider in video UX optimization, and Dutch streaming service NLZIET announce their partnership to improve customer experience through topic-based content discovery.

“Media Distillery is the natural partner for NLZIET,” comments NLZIET CTO, Sander Kouwenhoven. “We both believe that innovation is the key factor for taking the quality of video entertainment to the next level.”
“We’ve only just begun to grasp the myriad ways AI can provide consumers with more personalised, user-friendly experiences, and we're excited to discover more,” said Roland Sars, Media Distillery CEO.

NLZIET is a fast growing Dutch OTT streaming service owned and operated by the country’s three major broadcasting groups (NPO, RTL and Talpa), offering the biggest online collection of content from Dutch broadcasters. It provides live TV, catch-up (replay) and on-demand content.

NLZIET is leveraging the latest Media Distillery’s solution Topic Distillery to give viewers faster access to relevant content. With the metadata generated by Media Distillery automatically and in real-time from NLZIET broadcast streams, NLZIET can add such game-changing features as:

  • The ability to find content that could not be found previously, based on the topics detected in the content.
  • The ability to quickly jump to particular parts of a show, by means of automatically generated chapter markers and chapter titles.
  • The ability to quickly decide whether a programme is of interest, by seeing what topics are present in a show.

One of the challenges NLZIET faces is that, especially for non-scripted live programmes like news, talk shows, actuality shows and sports programming, there is a lack of descriptions of the actual topics inside a programme. Due to the nature of these shows, the programme description provided in a TV guide / EPG is typically very limited and superficial and offers little informative value.

An example would be the news: the EPG descriptions typically state that a news programme contains news of the latest internal and foreign affairs and the weather, instead of the more specific topics such as: the war in Ukraine, the Eurovision Song Contest, Will Smith or the Champions League Final. With Topic Distillery, these topics are detected and added to the metadata.

This way, whenever a user searches for a specific theme, relevant content from the non-scripted shows can be discovered, accessed and watched. This generates a far richer array of content of different types and sources.

In addition, Topic Distillery detects the start and end of a segment, and assigns automatic chapter markers and titles, which are added to the NLZIET player interface. This allows viewers to quickly jump to topics of their interest, skipping the parts of less interest.

Topic Distillery is enabling NLZIET to differentiate from competitors, create a sticky and engaging video environment and to nurture viewer loyalty that prevents churn. Moreover, it is giving subscribers high-utility tools that meet the needs of today’s way of watching TV.

“With Topic Distillery, users no longer need to watch a whole programme to find their desired content, and the content consumption is much easier. This solution could really transform non-scripted live TV watching experience. By making more content easily discoverable, Topic Distillery prolongs the lifetime value of the content”, Kouwenhoven added.

Preliminary results suggest strong demand

The first project in the joint Media Distillery-NLZIET agenda is aimed at improving and expanding the range of search recommendations. “We’re improving content discovery by developing and adding more context to programming,” explains NLZIET’s Kouwenhoven.

During the first beta test in NLZIET apps, participants were asked to evaluate their viewing experience based on the following features:

  • Expanded and more meaningful title descriptions: talk shows, sports, actuality shows, etc. 
  • Topic-based upgrade of the search in the catalogue 
  • Possibility of watching short segments alongside the long-form content

According to the survey, users see significant value in what the solution enables. For example, while 85% of respondents said they manually scroll through the video timeline to find interesting parts, 90% would be interested in jumping straight to the segment of choice.

Furthermore, chaptering has been found to provide users with more control over the desired topics (72% of responses) and give a better idea about what the content is about (74%). A staggering 92% of respondents said they would use the solution when it becomes available.

The partners are currently testing several additional new features. New forms of chapterisation are in development as well as improving the search functionality by means of topics detected by Media Distillery. This would allow viewers to quickly navigate in the playbar to specific topics without needing to search for it and to watch items in a novel way that suits them: as bite-sized snacks.

The partnership has already had a promising start. In addition to a successful beta test, NLZIET and Media Distillery have also been nominated for three VideoTech Innovation Awards 2022 for improving viewing experiences.

The collaboration has been partially supported via the STADIEM (Startup Driven innovation in European Media) Incubation and accelerator programme, the grant from which has been received by Media Distillery.


NLZIET is a Dutch OTT streaming service owned and operated by the country’s three major broadcasting groups (NPO, RTL and Talpa), offering the biggest online collection of content from Dutch broadcasters with more than 200,000 movies and TV shows. It provides live TV, catch-up (replay) and on-demand content. With the streaming tv-service NLZIET, viewers can watch a broad range of content from the three largest Dutch broadcasters in one place, but also regional tv and Insight TV. By using the apps for web, mobile, Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV and smart TV the content of the broadcasters is streamed live, catch-up and on-demand, in high quality, mostly ad-free. The service is accessible through a monthly subscription.

November 9, 2022