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Back to Building Things . . .

Thanks, Mark, for the kind introduction.

It’s been 7 years since Hulu launched and since Netflix started streaming, and 9 years since YouTube launched. On the internet, time spans that long are practically an eternity, so a casual observer might easily conclude that IP-delivered video is in a pretty mature state. But they’d be dead wrong.

These are still the early days.

We’re convinced that, when we look back ten or fifteen years from now, it will be clear that a ton of innovation and new services were still ahead of us . . . that many of what will then be the top brands that viewers love and respect had yet to make their mark in 2014.

In many ways, today is a golden age for entertainment lovers. Better content on cable and broadcast than ever. New shows and movies being created or commissioned by Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Crackle and others. Unbelievable amounts of creativity being unleashed on YouTube. New formats for expression like Vine. From all those and many other sources, great content options are available for a viewer on practically any device with a screen.

But there are counterpoints to all that goodness. Despite all that wealth of content, as a viewer it can still be really hard to find something that you want to watch right now. It’s still too common to spend twenty minutes on a service looking for something good, sampling a few things, and coming away feeling like you’ve wasted your time.

And as a content creator, although there are a wealth of options out there for distribution compared to a few years ago, there are still plenty of challenges. First of all, there is the one unalterable truth: it’s really, really hard to make something that is truly good. It takes real creativity and inspiration, followed by the many challenges of executing in a way that delivers on that inspiration. That’s really hard, and no amount of technology can change that. For creators who succeed in that quest, their reward is to then face the complex distribution landscape that confronts them today. That landscape is full of options, but the wealth of options doesn’t change another tough truth: It’s still very hard to make real money. Not impossible. Much better than it was 5 years ago. But still too hard.

Both the opportunities and the challenges of that landscape are incredibly intriguing to us, because we’re convinced that a far better future for both viewers and content creators will emerge in the next few years. More creativity will be unleashed, better services will emerge that connect viewers with content they love, and more creators will be able to earn a great return on their creativity.

That’s going to take a lot of innovation. I’ve spent a good bit of time since leaving Hulu looking for the best way to help drive that innovation, and I’m really excited to have found the perfect place to do it: Showyou. I’m joining a fantastic team with great creative talent and the determined desire to help build things that make user experiences better and better, relentlessly (rinse and repeat).

These are definitely still the early days. Just as the late seventies and eighties saw the birth of so many great cable channel brands and distributor brands which occupied a big chunk of consumers’ mindsets for the following couple of decades, we’re now living through the early innings of the IP-era for entertainment. And a new set of services and “channel” brands will be born, on new platforms and with new capabilities. A lot of great things lie ahead for everyone who loves great content, and the Showyou team and I look forward to being in the thick of it.

-Andy

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Welcome Andy!

Two months ago, we wrote:

Television is changing.

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.

We think there is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a new kind of media company and platform given those changes. Over the past three years, we’ve patiently laid the foundation for such a service, starting with our award-winning Showyou apps for the iPad and iPhone in 2011 and building out from there. With the launch of our Showyou Channel Platform in October, we now have a modern, end-to-end video service that can help viewers find programming they love, and help creators make money.

But we knew all along that to build a significant, enduring company that we needed help. So we set out on a quest to find someone with that rare combination of strategic vision, product savvy, operational excellence and deep knowledge of the entertainment industry; someone who could help us to build on the foundation we’ve laid and make Showyou an even more compelling service for both viewers and creators; someone who could help us to take a small startup and turn it into a great and enduring business.

With those requirements, we set the bar extremely high. We even wondered if there was anyone who could do all of these things, let alone do them all well. Luckily for us, we met and have gotten to know one person who exceeded our high expectations: Andy Forssell. We persuaded Andy to join our cause, and are thrilled to announce that he has joined Showyou as CEO.

Andy was one of a few key executives who guided Hulu throughout its meteoric rise. He started as SVP of Content and Distribution when it had just a handful of employees and spent more than 6 years building and growing the Hulu free service as well as the Hulu Plus subscription service. Andy served as acting CEO for most of 2013, a year in which Hulu generated more than a billion dollars in revenue with a team of more than 700 people. He is one of the most talented and creative executives we’ve ever met and knows as much about the television and online video space as anyone we know.

Welcome Andy – all of us on the Showyou team are honored to have a chance to work with you! And now over to you Andy

-Mark

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Reinventing TV

Television is changing. 

all-the-platforms

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.

Showyou5

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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