Showyou Updates Video Discovery App to Lure TV Viewers to the Tablet

BetaKit covered Showyou, a video discovery app available for both iPad and iPhone, in April when it launched its new HTML5-based complementary web experience, and today the company announced an updated version of its iPad app to provide a more streamlined video aggregation and discovery experience. The platform aggregates 11 million videos a day based on what its users and their social networks share through a number of networks, and has indexed over 100 million videos for its users to search and watch.

Peak hours of usage for Showyou are 9pm to 12pm, which is indicative of what CEO Mark Hall described as their focus on changing the typical habits of people who want to consume content during primetime hours, namely watching TV, using on-demand streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, and discovering and consuming content online.

“It’s 9 o’clock, you’re tired, and you just want to chill out and relax but instead of watching a movie or TV, you watch the internet. You sit down with your tablet or maybe your mobile phone and you tune into content,” said CEO Mark Hall. “What we’ve been trying to do all along is make an app that makes that as easy to do as turning on your television.”

With over 72 hours of video uploaded on YouTube every minute, Showyou wants to take out the guesswork, discovery, and weeding out of content so that its users see what they are most likely to enjoy. It does so by aggregating content from what users’ friends share on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and directly from channels users follow on YouTube, Vimeo, TED, and a host of other sources.

One of the new features the company announced for its iPad app include a Smart Feed, a feature already available on the iPhone, that uses up to 18 different criteria to tailor content to Showyou users in order to cut down the time spent on video discovery and browsing. Another feature is a player that lets users swipe to the next video, in addition to being able to set it on auto-play and simulate a TV-like experience. With the design also optimized for the iPad mini, Hall believes Showyou is poised to take advantage of the second screen trend.

With its users averaging over 40 minutes on its iPad app and roughly 20 minutes on its iPhone app, the company is confident it has plenty of opportunity to monetize its users on the platform. It has already tested some pre-roll ads with brands like Levi’s, and is also thinking of a ‘promoted video’ model akin to a promoted post on Facebook for content creators.

When asked about the space becoming increasingly crowded with competitors like Shelby.Tv (expected to relaunch in 2013), Fliqq, and Chill among others, Hall said that Showyou’s data-driven approach to personalizing content is a key differentiator (though other video aggregators also take preferences and social networks into account). With the additional rise of social video networks like Klip, which recently launched a new version, Viddy, and SocialCam (bought by AutoDesk), there is little doubt that services like Showyou will have even more content to curate for its users.

Although the company has an HTML5 powered web version, Hall said Showyou will be looking to add apps for the Android platform in the near future, in addition to working with programming partners to showcase the platform’s revenue potential. With rumors of Apple designing and releasing its own TV, Hall feels his company would be well positioned if it does happen given the company’s emphasis on the iOS platform. However, it will have to continue making its app as easy as turning on a TV if it hopes to carve out a niche in online content consumption.


Humayun Khan

Humayun Khan is a Senior Writer and Analyst at BetaKit. A marketing graduate with honors, Humayun's work experience spans the fields of consumer behaviour with noted contributions in an academic paper published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology and market research consulting having coordinated projects for a major financial services client at Decode Inc. More recently he was involved in business strategy as a Business Analyst for an equipment rental outlet and prior in the National Marketing Department at Ernst & Young LLP. He is passionate about emerging and disrupting technology and its ability to transform and create entirely new industries.

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