Metataste helps you discover your next movie [Recommendation engine built in Dharamsala]

Content discovery has become a catchphrase so loosely applied to stuff that it has started to lose its essence. Yet nothing can devalue a recommendation engine that actually works. Founded by Ayush Ghai, Metataste is a movie discovery platform for the buffs.


There is always that haunting feeling after watching a movie, when a user wants more of that particular genre yet doesn’t know whom to approach. Metataste takes the unknown out of the equation and offers recommendations customized to the users’ movie watching palette.

How Metataste works
On logging up for the first time, the user is greeted with the first three movie which they liked. The extensive (not so extensive for Bollywood content though) database then pulls up those movies and adds its own recommendations for the user to watch. We began with three movies of the same genre and the result depending upon the combination tried, offered similar movies for us to watch.

The target demographic for Metataste are users in the age group of 15-35, tech savvy and open to world cinema. The content discovery is the core aspect of the service, where the discovery for new content is based on a number of smart insights about the users’ movie patterns. Metataste has a search functionality that offers classification on basis of time frame, genre/sub genre, language and availability ( Netflix and Amazon Prime for International users ).

But the truly clever feature is the experience aspect, which helps you to give scores as to why you liked a movie. For some, a movie holds significance because of the soundtrack for others it might be the direction. When information like this is crowdsourced, the quality of recommendations mined improves vastly. There upon, the user can now narrow down the search based on those emotional parameters and get truly curated lists.

Metataste: Revenue & Gamification
The self funded company Metataste is looking into channeling the following revenue verticals,
1. Commision based video market for the movies available on the platform.
2. Limited amount of targeted advertising by content creators for the consumers.
3. Marketplace & Virtual Currency

The credit system where-in users earn points for submitting reviews, rating a movie or recommending friends are in place. The points would be soon redeemable in the marketplace for a number of goodies from partner companies. Gamifying the system is something that would be worked upon, where is virtual badges would be in place to incentivize the power users and get the community running.

On Starting up in Dharamsala
This may seem almost unbelievable at first but Metataste is trying to build the global product from the scenic landscape of Dharamsala. A place better known for the Tibetan community than for its technological prowess. Ayush points out the fact that it does provide them with unique perspective in various aspects of building the product. Activities like hiring get special attention as a candidate genuinely interested in the startup would leave his city baggage and come work for them.

Metataste has a Chrome app in place and are currently working on a HTML5 app for mobile devices. After which the service would see a overhaul in terms of design and functionality. With a strong background in tech startups, Ayush is betting big on their knowledge discovery technology which would have other B2B and B2C applications.

In the entire testing of the product, it did work as promised, though the only problem seemed to be rough edges in the UI, things like pop up boxes which did not go away automatically to difficulty in signing up for the service. We can definitely see Metataste as a platform which we would personally use, when things like on-demand and localized content for the Indian users; and deep integration of the value added services takes place.

For sure, the startup has taken a different approach to movies and isn’t trying to become a IMDB clone (though it uses rating from IMDB).