Stevie – the Flipboard-like platform that turns Facebook, Twitter and YouTube posts and hashtags into TV channels, this week unveiled new versions of its Android and iOS apps with support for Google Chromecast.
“Since our inception, the TV screen was where we wanted Stevie,” Stevie co-founder and CEO Yael Givon tells Lost Remote. “We always imagined it as big, lean back TV viewing, and we were able to be loaded on a few platforms including Samsung and Android. But the ease of casting, the direct connection from phone to TV, is the perfect fit for Stevie - starting from your most personal device and beaming what is best for TV, is the Stevie philosophy – taking personal feeds and releasing the TV in them.”
While the majority of Chromecast apps to-date are either media players (like Netflix) or ‘slide projector’ apps, Stevie will turn personalized content from a user’s social social feeds into non-stop TV channels. Stevie’s internal research shows that session times when beaming via Chromecast or Apple TV are three to four times longer compared to mobile viewing.
Stevie’s next step is to forge partnerships directly with brands and content creators. Brands will be able to create their own TV channels that will be personalized, constantly updated, and feature brand-official content. For example, H&M could have a TV setup in its stores that pulls media from what fans tweet at them along with the hashtag #fashion; H&M-branded videos could then be interspersed throughout.
For more about the Chromecast update, Stevie’s approach to TV Everywhere, and what’s next for the company, we spoke with Givon.
Lost Remote: Why is the added Chromecast functionality such a big step for Stevie?
Yael Givon: Since our inception, the TV screen was where we wanted Stevie. We always imagined it as big, lean back TV viewing, and we were able to be loaded on a few platforms including Samsung and Android. But the ease of casting, the direct connection from phone to TV, is the perfect fit for Stevie - starting from your most personal device and beaming what is best for TV, is the Stevie philosophy – taking personal feeds and releasing the TV in them.
Also, the mobile phone ‘knows’ the user much better than the TV, however smart it may be. Social networks are already connected, it knows how busy the user is, whether he’s at home or not, and many other contextual factors. We will be seeing more and more mobile-to-TV apps that try to adapt the TV display to the user’s profile and needs.
LR: What other steps is Stevie taking to move viewing from mobile devices to the big screen?
Givon: Not necessarily moving them, we think it’s very different usage. Mobile viewing is almost purely on demand, you go to a service, pick a video to watch, maybe create a playlist if you have time, but you’re not watching a channel, it’s a totally different form of entertainment. Lean back, personal discovery and background viewing with Stevie can be either an alternative to other TV content, or background channels to accompany mobile usage through contextual casting.
LR: How does Stevie intend to work with brands moving forward?
Givon: Stevie can create dynamic, always on and always updated channels for brands, bands, and events. The channels are perfect for both unattended screens (at conferences, in shop, and exhibitions) and embedded in websites and on Facebook, and within mobile and TV apps. As our platform supports a range of TV, mobile and other platforms, brands get “TV Everywhere” out of the box, with social interaction, breaking news and gossip, fan content – and various monetization routes, including media, premium content and in app purchases.
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