Second Down, Ten Yards to Go for Matchmine

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reflected in the recommendations I am getting from FilmCrave,” explains Troiano.

To make it easier for new partners to get on board the MatchKey network, Matchmine has created both a Javascript “widget” that can be plugged into an existing content-oriented website, and its own simplified API that partners can tap into if they want more control over the look, feel, and behavior of the recommendations that the system provides.

Troiano says Matchmine will be announcing more new media partners soon, but he admits that all of them, for the time being, will be “middle-tier partners, companies that may not have 10 million unique visitors a week but have some interesting buzz and people who are smart about the space.” Once Matchmine has spent some time boostrapping itself with help from these medium-sized partners, Troiano says, it will then have the clout to approach the Netflixes and Amazons: “We have the formula now to get a whole bunch of those guys up and running in the MatchKey network, and having done that, we will have a very different value proposition for some of the tier-one guys, because now there will be a million MatchKeys floating around and a whole bunch of places where people can train their keys to be an accurate reflection of their tastes.”

But the partners who come in earlier, Troiano emphasizes, are getting a better deal. Matchmine’s business model is two-pronged: it takes a commission on sales generated as a result of recommendations made through its system, and its splits with partners the advertising revenue on any additional page views generated when users spend more time on a site exploring material recommended via their MatchKeys. Partners who sign up with Matchmine now will get to keep more of that money.

Of course, plenty of other companies are vying for consumers’ attention with other forms of recommendation technology: just this week, San Francisco-based personalized recommendation service RichRelevance, founded by veterans of Amazon and eBay, announced it has raised several million dollars in new venture funding. “There is a lot of competition in this space right now,” Troiano acknowledges. “But I feel like we’re showing that most of these guys are still doing first-generation media discovery,” with everyone’s preferences stuck in separate silos across dozens of sites. “We’re taking a different route.”

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Wade Roush is the producer and host of the podcast Soonish and a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @soonishpodcast

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