Squrl Navigates Online Video For Users

Squrl Navigates Online Video For Users
-Generates Curated Lists of Content
-Includes Free, Ad-supported, and SVoD Content
-Linear TV Channel Streams, Too

The boom of online video has one big drawback: There’s
literally too much of content available online for consumers
to keep with. Squrl, an online video management app, offers a
navigation system for online content.

“We see Squrl as a place to go to discover content,” Michael
Hoydich, co-founder and COO of Squrl, told The Online
Reporter. “There’s a need for a new type of interface – that’s
different from traditional EPG – that can recommend content
based on your behavior, around your interests and around what
your friends are interested in.”

The Squrl app aggregates content across topics and from a
number of sources, and creates channel playlists according to
topics, from news, entertainment, music, health, sports from
the likes of CNN, Funny or Die, Ted, Tech Crunch, G4, Vimeo,
BBC, The Onion, YouTube, The Economist, Disney and Sesame
Street. It also includes longer-form content from Hulu and
Netflix, with Amazon Prime in the works. The “What’s Hot”
channel gives users an idea of popular, trending and viral
videos. Users can search across content sources for specific
videos or topics, and like, save or share videos. It also
facilitates video discovery by receiving feedback, both
personally from the user profile and through Squrl’s global,
contextual recommendation engine. The app generates
recommendations based on trending topics, viewing history and
friends’ likes. The app integrates social networks Twitter and
Facebook for video sharing, and a user community that tells
users what others are watching.

‘Live’ Content has Big Future on Internet
Squrl recently added a live channel that offers linear and
live content streams from news, shopping, sports and even
puppycams. Hoydich said live, linear content streams will play
an important role in online video. “It’s where everything is
going,” he said. “Look at the size of audience that’s
available to watch live sport events, or live content in
general. There’s going to be billions of folks with
smartphones and tablets that are going to be able to stream
that content.”

Hoydich said Squrl is currently working on integrating another
round of content providers into its live stream channel. “I
think that’s one area you’ll see us to continue to innovate
in,” he said.

Squrl’s live channel includes content from HuffPost live,
Bloomberg TV, Russia Today, NASA TV, Al Jazeera, Home Shopping
Network, Fashion TV Direct and France 24, among others. Squrl
also offers content around specific events, such as evening
streams of NBA games, or streams from live concerts. The live
streams will be curated around specific events such as the
Presidential election, or breaking news stories, such as
Hurricane Sandy, and in the future the app will include pay-
per-view events.

Global Opportunities for Content Distribution
Hoydich said the increase in content sources online has been
amplified by a parallel increase in connected devices.

“It’s pretty clear in 2012 that mobile will be an important
part of the video landscape,” Hoydich said. “More and more
consumers are getting their phones and tablets, and in some
ways adding to their current video consumption just by adding
these devices.”

Hoydich said that as connected devices in regions such as Asia
and South America become more and more widespread, more and
more consumers will be accessing online content in more
places. “That’s what’s really exciting – there are all these
people that will soon have the ability to stream content,
whether they are in Asia or Europe or in South America,” he
said. “From a partnering standpoint, we have a lot of folks
that have been approaching us about distribution of their
content. There’s a real opportunity to deliver content

About the Author

The Online Reporter is the weekly subscription-based strategy bulletin about the enabling technologies of broadband, Wi-Fi, HDR, home networks, UHD 4K TV & OTT services; identifying trends in the Digital Media space. Only a fraction of our material here is published here. To see 4 free copies, follow the links above or go to www.onlinereporter.com/trial-subscription/

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