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Reinventing TV

Television is changing. 

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Over the next 4-5 years, nearly 1 billion televisions will get connected to the Internet via game consoles, devices like the Roku, AppleTV and Chromecast, and smart TVs. And another billion screens – laptops, tablets, smartphones, all connected to broadband — are now being used as portable televisions. 

With this combination — the connection of the traditional TV to the Internet, and the addition of new portable broadband-connected screens that can function like a TV — people around the world now have new ways to watch and new things to watch. Netflix is the first company to build a significant, deep business around this change, but there will be others.

Including Showyou. Today we’re launching two related, and significant, products that we hope will change the way we watch television and what we watch:

A new self-service subscription platform that lets creators everywhere and anywhere build a subscription-supported video channel on Showyou; and

A channel store, where fans can directly support the creators on our new platform by buying a subscriptions to the channels they’ve launched.

 

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With the Showyou Channel Platform, creators and publishers around the world can now build ad-free subscription channels that are directly supported by their fans. Building a channel with our tools is as easy as setting up your Facebook page or Twitter profile. Fans can stream and watch these channels in  “lean-back” mode, just like a regular TV channel; or they can lean forward, and browse the channel to find just the film or video they want to watch.

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Channels built on our subscription platform will be available through our new Channel Store.  The Showyou Channel Store will be available via our iOS apps and our website to start, and we’ll bring it to our other apps over the coming months. Fans anywhere in the world can buy a subscription and directly support the channels they love. No messy bundles, no unwanted channels, no ads.

To give creators everywhere a sense of what’s possible, we’re extremely pleased to also announce our first two subscription channels, IndieFlix and Above Average.

profile-iphone-ipad IndieFlix, founded by filmmakers, offers more than 5,000 films selected from film festival award winners, experimental new features, classic and iconic indies, across genres and with a variety of lengths. IndieFlix connects viewers to movies that will transport us to new worlds, reach deep into our hearts, shock us, stay on our minds for days, or simply make us laugh until we cry.

aboveaverage-iphone-handAbove Average is the online comedy network from Broadway Video, the production company behind Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, Portlandia, and more.  Featuring hit series including “Sound Advice” with Vanessa Bayer, “7 Minutes in Heaven” with Mike O’Brien, and “The Idiot’s Guide to Smart People,” Above Average brings you some of the best comedy series and videos on the web. 

We’re proud to launch with IndieFlix and Above Average today. Not only do they each bring great, ad-free programming to their fans, they also allow us to imagine how our new platform could be used and where this might lead us. Whether you’re a publisher with a library of 10,000 films, or a YouTube creator, Showyou offers a new place to reach your fans; to offer them a beautiful, engaging way to watch your programming; and to make a living without having to rely (or solely rely) on advertising.

We’re excited to see what talented creators make on this new platform with us. 

Welcome.

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Showyou on the TV

This morning we’re announcing the release of Showyou on the FireTV.

firetv-8-user-menuThis is the first native TV app we’ve released, and joins our family of iOS, Android and web apps. We think the new Showyou FireTV app neatly illustrates how television should work in this new Internet-connected era. Like your current TV, you can just turn the Showyou app on, sit back, and watch. Unlike your current TV, the Showyou app for the FireTV is smartly personalized.

In addition to the new FireTV apps, we’ve released Showyou on the Kindle Fire. And, we have launched new versions of our iOS and Android apps with improved support for Chromecast, including improved second-screen support with the ability to browse your feed and the app while watching videos on your TV.

Stay tuned — there is more to come.

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Heartbleed

You may have heard over the past day or so about the Heartbleed bug — a software vulnerability that could potentially affect sites using OpenSSL (which is a means of encrypting information you send from an app or website to a server). This is a particularly nasty bug in that someone could hack into sites using OpenSSL and leave no trace.

We use OpenSSL to encrypt information sent from our app and web site to our servers — including your email address, username, and password. Was data on Showyou compromised in any way by this bug? Like every other site and service that uses OpenSSL, we have no idea. We don’t think so, but we just don’t know.

So, if you have set a password on our site, the safest route would be to change it now just in case (we upgraded our site and servers this morning with a fix for the Heartbleed exploit). You can do that here:

https://showyou.com/settings

You can also change your password within our app — just open up the settings panel and tap “edit profile.”

 

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Exploits like Heartbleed are a reminder that the best practice is to have different — and strong — passwords for the sites and services you use on the Internet. Especially sites where you store important personal information. Here’s a good blog post on that from the folks at Google.

https://www.google.com/intl/en_US/goodtoknow/online-safety/passwords/

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know. Best ways to reach us are:

feedback@showyou.com

@showyouapp on Twitter

@showyouapp on Facebook

 

 

 

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Showyou 5 & the Expanding Showyou Platform

We’ve just released the latest version of Showyou for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, Showyou 5.0.

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It’s the simplest and best version of Showyou we’ve made. Get it here now.

We got started over two and a half years ago with our first version of Showyou for the iPad and iPhone, but our service has evolved into something much more than an app. It’s now an end-to-end video platform — indeed, one of the biggest on the Internet, with over 120 million videos indexed, organized into millions of channels made by our users organized by taste and interest using billions of social signals from our users and their friends.

Over the past six months we’ve launched:

- Showyou for Android phones

- The Showyou Channel Platform

- Showyou for Android Tablets

- Showyou for the web, for both desktop and mobile users

- And an experimental Mac desktop app

We’ve tried to make a service that makes it as easy to watch the best videos on the Internet as it is to turn on your TV, available anytime and on any device. We stayed focused on that goal in 2013, people seem to be tuning in:

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In November, people watched over 11.4 million minutes of video on Showyou: on our iOS and Android apps, and on the web. Almost triple the minutes watched in October. December isn’t over yet, but looks like we are on pace to equal or exceed November.

We recognize this is a drop in the bucket compared to the billions of minutes people spend on YouTube every month. But as we add more platforms, more great programming, and as more people tune in, there is no reason it won’t grow to 100s millions of minutes a month, and then billions. Onwards.

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Featured!

We launched a massive (and beautiful, we must say!) overhaul of Showyou.com earlier in the week, but we remain incredibly focused on our mobile apps.

Showyou has been featured many times before in the AppStore, but we were thrilled and honored to see the Showyou app featured in both the AppStore and GooglePlay store this week. It underscores this: that you can enjoy Showyou on all the screens that matter to you.

 

AppStore, SocialNetworking

AppStore

 

Google Play

GooglePlay

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The Most Interesting Video Collection on the Internet

Today we’ve launched a brand new version of Showyou on the web available now at Showyou.com. It’s sleek and probably the most beautiful place to watch video on a web browser.

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But it’s also this: the biggest collection of hand-picked videos on the Internet (and indeed, probably the second biggest video site after YouTube in scope and size).  Over 105 million videos, all on Showyou because millions of people — Showyou members and their friends and people they follow on Facebook and Twitter — thought they were worth sharing.

Because Showyou is made by people, we’re able to give you new ways to surf and watch. You can navigate through millions of channels with tens of millions of videos in our collection by taste, point-of-view and interest.

How do we determine “taste” and “point-of-view”? We don’t. Our members do that, with video channels they’ve made by sharing videos on or through Showyou.

And browsing by “interest”? We’ve built millions of topic channels with over 30 million videos.

Nic Cage PageInterested in tattoosBruce LeeGuinness World Recordsrobotshaute coutureBritish comedyducks (the new cats apparently), volcanoesdancea capellagreat white sharks, or the 1990s

We’ve been able to do something both interesting and new — that is, to combine data from a variety of sources with billions of social signals to create these new topically-organized video channels. We assign videos to topics based on the metadata we collect, but rank and filter those lists based on the social signals we observe. Put another way: our topic channels are made by people, with help from machines.

Happy surfing, and enjoy the millions of other interesting topic channels courtesy of our awesome community and some clever engineering (by developers at Showyou and at YouTube, Freebase and other services).

More thoughts on the importance of this launch on Mark’s personal blog.

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Showyou for Android Tablets

In addition to the launch today of a massively overhauled (and just plain massive new Showyou.com), we’re also announcing the launch of a new version of Showyou for Android devices, including support for Android tablets.

android-tabletWhen we (quietly!) launched a version of our Showyou service for Android in the spring, we initially targeted the Android smartphone. We had put a lot of work into building a native Android app, but we weren’t sure what kind of reaction we’d get.

We’ve been pleased by the reception so far — mostly 5-star reviews from users, and high praise from the critics — and we think the new version we’ve launched today is a significant step forward.

In addition to support for Android tablets, we’ve made the following improvements for our app for all Android devices:

  • Responsive design, with grid layout in landscape and feed layout in portrait view

  • Implementation of our “channel player” which we use on our iOS apps, with ability to swipe to next video in channel

  • Full screen video playback in landscape

  • Improved performance and usability

This new version of Showyou for Android will work with with devices running Android 4.03 and higher.

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