ColorTV acquires Guidebox as searching across smart TV devices becomes more essential

With so many different options for watching TV that work so differently from each other, the couch potato has never been under more distress. The simplicity of flipping on your TV and picking a channel, has been replaced by Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and TV networks with apps that work differently across different devices. The ultimate issue ends up being how to find the content you want. To find the content you want, you need a simple Google-like search experience that actually works across apps.

ColorTV recently acquired Guidebox, a “technology that enables TV viewers to search for and discover TV programming on connected TV platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Google Home, iOS, and web,” according to their announcement. The company is currently showing off its new offering thi week at NAB.

Found Remote interviewed ColorTV CEO Giancarlo Maniaci about the acquisition and what it’s like powering technology for competing devices.

Found Remote: Why are you launching this service?
Giancarlo Maniaci: We launched ColorTV because publishing in general is a bad business these days. Users are flocking to Facebook and other platforms because content is personalized individually to them. In addition, the content is also finely matched with the right audience and appropriate monetization on Facebook, making it harder for content creators to make money. We thought we would help level the playing field for the content creators who “openly admit” that technology is not their strong point. Our technology helps content creators in: personalization > data (know the value of the user) > automation

1. Make content discoverable some users can easily find it.
2. Make content personalize so users can easily watch what they desire, stay engaged for longer and stay within the content creators platform.
3. Make content promotion “intelligent” so that users are promoted content that they (a) are a prime audience for and (b) make the promotion “actionable” so a user can either watch it “now” or “add to watch list” for later.
4. Make viewing analytics real-time, predictable and conversion driven to give content creators the insights on what content to produce or license.
5. Make monetization “stronger” by using Ai to understand video content, automatically tag video to that it can be monetized at its highest use.

FR: Why is search important for devices like Roku?
GM: We are purchasing Guidebox because of their search and discovery function. This, in its simplest of forms, enables any user to find the desired content they are looking for. It doesn’t sound like a big undertaking, but in fact it is. Having to take multiple feeds and ensure the correct data is in there (actor, scenes, description, images, etc) and then “normalize” them so they can “plug” into Roku or Apple or Amazon – its takes work – and the Content Creators simply do not have that muscle.

FR: Do streaming platforms that compete want all their content searched at the same time?
GM: Yes, everyone wants their content to be found. Think about Google. Doesn’t every business want their website to show up organically on search? Absolutely, that is the first entry point to getting a customer. We help the consumer connect with the TV Network or Content Creators content.

FR: What’s it like working with competing streaming boxes?
GM: Each box is very different. Without naming names, you can clearly see that some “streaming box” companies have certain agendas, so they are careful about the steps they take, as they may eventually or already compete with the Content Companies directly.

Natan Edelsburg

Executive Editor, Found Remote. EVP, Muck Rack & Shorty Awards. I watch every TV show.

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Natan Edelsburg

Executive Editor, Found Remote. EVP, Muck Rack & Shorty Awards. I watch every TV show.