You may already know about NextGuide’s iOS app, and today the social programming guide has debuted on the web in closed beta at NextGuide.tv. Created by Dijit Media, which also powers the Dijit Remote and recently acquired Miso, NextGuide is designed to help you find something compelling to watch. And not just discover it — but actually watch it.
After all, monetizing a social guide can be tricky if you can’t take credit for driving incremental viewership. NextGuide is moving in that direction by offering a Universal Watchlist to track new episodes of your favorite shows, email reminders that land in your inbox right before the show airs, and click-to-watch links to streaming services. For Comcast and DirecTV subscribers, you can click a record button to automatically program your DVR to record the show.
On the discovery side, NextGuide emphasizes integrated search: type in Arrested Development, and you’ll see results spanning IFC, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Apple. You can also search for actors and directors, and browse ratings powered by Rotten Tomatoes. To spark new ideas, you can see recommendations from your friends in a Pinterest-style layout, as well as check out their watchlists. NextGuide ties into Facebook, too.
In an increasingly fragmented world of programming, NextGuide brings simplicity to the discovery challenge. One of its biggest competitors, TV Guide, debuted multi-service Watchlists nearly two years ago, which have become quite popular (both for users and advertisers). And let’s not forget about GetGlue, Yap.tv, BuddyTV, Peel, Matcha.tv and several others playing in a similar space. Meanwhile, MVPDs are hard at work transforming their old-school, grid-style guides into slick social guides — both on-screen and on tablets and phones.
It’s as competitive as it gets, but the potential upside is tremendous, especially as social guides become more connected with the act of watching itself.