Reinventing the TV Experience with Lukas Gysling

Executive Director Tilo Peters talks to Startup Entrepreneur and EPFL EMBA Alumnus Lukas Gysling about his startup project Neues TV.

I’m here with Lukas Gysling, founder of Neues.TV.

Hi Lukas, tell me a little about Neues.tv and how you believe it with change the TV viewing experience.

Hi Tilo, thank you for having me. TV was once the most user-friendly medium, but that changed a lot in the last few years. The content options have exploded, especially from the Internet. Studies show that consumers with many options spend 30 minutes on average to select their content. This is frustrating. At neues.tv we believe TV watching should be relaxing from the moment you switch on the device. We will achieve that by providing a TV concierge service. This concierge service will prepare an individual, tailor-made program by autonomously recording shows, but also by searching for your favorite movies and series on Netflix or worth-watching videos on YouTube.

How does your prior experience reinforce your role at Neues TV?

About 30 years ago, two different activities became important in my life and quickly evolved into my professional interest: Computers as a tool for communication on the one side and TV production as a powerful medium on the other side. At some point, to me, it was clear that these two technologies would merge eventually. The last 20 years I have been developing computer-assisted TV viewing experiences. So, this project really is my condensate professional experience.

Now, you’re not an engineer. In fact, you originally got your degree in Media Communication from UniZurich; how what did that bring you to here?

TV and computers are now a couple, they belong together. But in my experience, IT engineers very often have difficulties to understand the nuances of a traditional media experience. Watching TV is a very cultural activity. And the diversity, especially in Europe, when comparing one country to another is huge. I believe that you need the particular domain knowledge of television to develop such a TV concierge service. This is where my studies in media science fit in perfectly.

You completed your MBA just a few years ago through our EPFL EMBA program. What influence did that have on your choice to go forward with Neues TV?

It helps me on many levels. To know what the best practices are in so many different domains of entrepreneurship makes such a venture much less intimidating.

The most important concept I have learned about is design thinking. I always loved to observe people and try to understand their context, but this approach, design thinking gave me the methodological tools to translate my findings into products and services.

What are the key innovations behind Neues.TV?

I think our service boils down to the capacity of computers to understand what the content really is about. At neues.tv, we will generate our own metadata by letting computers watch TV. We will then feed the transcripts into our own TV ontology. Metadata is the description of the content. And an ontology – in information science – is a kind of knowledge system. In it, you put meaningful entities such as names, subjects, places and many more in relation to each other. This way, as an example, our system knows that Bayern Munich is a football club in Munich. Football is a sport and Munich is a major city in Germany. Bayern Munich participates in the Bundesliga but also in the Champions League. There are dozens of connections to be with Bayern Munich. Our concierge service will make better recommendations than any other TV recommendation service thanks to our TV ontology.

What is your go-to-market plan?

I decided to put this idea of a TV concierge service to the ultimate test of a crowdfunding campaign. My main goal is to see if the value proposition attracts enough backers in a pre-sale. My objective is at least 500 sales. If the campaign fails, the project ends there. If I reach the target, it will take about a year to develop the product and implement the service.

Who would be the model customer for Neues.TV?

My first target group consists of consumers of 35 to 55 years of age, consuming both TV broadcast and Internet streaming equally and having an affinity for new gadgets.

My first geographical focus will be the German-speaking countries, so Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

For more information and to participate in Neues.tv’s crowdfunding campaign, please visit:

https://wemakeit.com/projects/mioviu