There’s a war being waged to answer the question, “What will TV look like in a Web-dominated world?” Seemingly endless entrepreneurial hours and investment dollars are being poured into new content creation and distribution platforms. What’s missing, in most cases, is a solution that provides the “lean-back” experience of turning on cable or satellite TV and letting it play for hours in the background while life goes on around it.
One-year-old startup Redux provides arguably the leading native video discovery and personalization app for connected TVs, Blu-ray players, and other devices that enable this longer form traditional consumption experience. Today, the company is announcing several significant device integration and content partnerships that will only further cement this position at the top of the market.
The Redux platform is now being pre-installed on all SONY Google TV devices and Samsung Smart TV devices. The app is tied even more deeply to LG devices with a friction-reducing OS level integration through what the company calls “deep, private API access.” Collectively, these integrations make Redux the default video discovery experience for 40 million devices worldwide — a number expected to double by year’s end.
At the same time as its bolstering its device footprint, Redux is growing its content library with curated channel partnerships that add the full TV-quality premium video catalogs of Hearst (including brands Esquire, Popular Mechanic, Road and Track, Car and Driver) and POPSUGAR. Existing partnerships of this nature include Thrillist and Green Street Films division Jetpack Media.
The goal is to supplement paid premium services like Netflix and Hulu Plus with wealth of unpaid, ad-supported TV-quality content released across the Web. Rather than searching sites like Vimeo, YouTube, and ESPN, users turn to Redux for personalized curation. The company is seeing average session times of over one hour, indicating that they are in fact in lean-back mode.
In a blog post published today, Redux wrote, “The desktop web is a lean-forward environment, so short virally-engineered content that you’re either searching for or sharing with friends works best. But in a TV experience, users are looking for a longer-form, TV-calibre, lean-back experience, and thus we’re partnering with companies producing incredible TV-quality content that are now looking to build a TV audience.
The company generates revenue in two ways, both of which scale with usage. First, the company participates in ad revenue generated alongside its content by online video add networks like Umee and Videology. Secondly, Redux supports paid content releases like the comedy of Louis CK and Aziz Ansari or the political commentary of Glenn Beck.
Founder and CEO David McIntosh points to the decision to start on connected TV devices as the reason the company has come so far, so fast. The majority of Redux’s competitors have focused on mobile device second screen experiences, but haven’t received the same levels of manufacturer support.
Redux has raised a total of $7.1 million since its launch as a facial recognition and personalization service in 2007. The company pivoted to its current business a little over a year and a half ago, applying its existing personalization technology to a sector with more opportunity.
In the next 18 months 200 million connected TV devices expected to ship, joining in the market the 100 million plus Xbox, PS3, Wii, Apple TV, and Roku devices already in living rooms. Over the last year, manufacturers have seen 10 fold increase in daily active users on connected TV platforms.
What this adds up to is an enormous opportunity to define the way television viewing evolves in the coming era. Redux is positioning itself as part of the infrastructure, underlying this rapidly exploding space.