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3 Tech Startups That May Disrupt the Way We Experience Entertainment

With the development of technology, we have been given the ability to view what we want, when we want it, placing instant entertainment at our fingertips. It’s great for us, but not so great for the advertisers who now struggle more than ever to get their pitch in front of an escaping clientele. That’s why big brands have turned to innovative startups that provide non-traditional yet highly effective ways to capture and connect with viewers.

Who are these companies and how will they change our entertainment experiences? Do they really have what it takes to thrive in this ever-changing environment? Let’s take a look at three examples.

Qloo

The key to entertainment seems to be personalization. Companies want to focus on providing users with faster, easier, and more options, to improve their individual experiences. That’s where Qloo (pronounced “clue”) comes in; it is a “discovery platform,” where personalization is the focus of the experience.

  • Backing: Kindler Capital
  • How much has it raised thus far? $1.4 million
  • What is its aim? This is not another Facebook. In fact, except for being able to sign in with your Facebook account, you won’t find the noise normally associated with collected social data. Qloo is focused on personalizing cultural recommendations.
  • Who is its audience? People who might be interested in discovering the connections between their personal tastes. A user’s choices in music and literature might indicate where he or she could enjoy a drink or meal.
  • Should you care? That’s the clincher—I’m not too sure. Other social networks, like Facebook, can also make recommendations for you, so it will be interesting if Qloo’s premise will stick.
  • Can it integrate with our lives, like Facebook? Yes and no. Qloo gets personal, but its scope seems to be specific—collecting data to shape the way you enjoy yourself. Facebook on the other hand, is about you as a whole, trying to integrate all your activities through a central hub. Personally, I find that annoying as hell. Qloo sounds interesting.

Request an invitation here.

Aereo, Inc.

There is finally technology that allows users to get over-the-air TV broadcasts on their devices. Based in New York and formerly known as Baboom Labs, Inc., the company changed its name to Aereo, Inc. in October 2011. Right now it’s only available in New York, but keep an eye out for Aereo where you live.

  • Backing: Barry Diller
  • How much has it raised thus far? $20.5 million
  • What is its aim? Providing live, over-the-air channels online with no cable subscription. Aereo works on your existing gadgets like iPads, Apple TVs, and Roku devices, and works with Firefox 11.0 and up, Chrome’s latest version, Safari 5.0 and up, Opera 12.0 or higher, and Internet Explorer 9 and up. You can watch TV and record to a remote DVR player, and everything is stored in the cloud. Buy a day pass or choose from a variety of memberships that include up to 40 hours of stored DVR space.
  • Who is its audience? New York residents interested in watching TV on their remote devices.
  • Should you care? Aereo could change the way we watch TV. If you’ve wished for real TV online, this could be the answer.
  • Can they integrate with our lives, like Facebook? Not really. This service is designed for your tablets and smartphones, not Facebook.

Aereo is currently only available to New York residents.

ZEFR

Originally called Moviclips, the company has now been rebranded as “ZEFR.” If you venture to movieclips.com, you’ll find a clever, unique experience that lets you share aspects of your favorite flicks with others. This is the king of all movie sharing sites, providing over 12,000 movie clips and tagged with a thousand pieces of data to help you find just what you want.

  • Backing: Shasta Ventures, First Round Capital, Aydin Senkut, Naval Ravikant, Jeff Kearl, Tom McInerney, SoftTech VC, MK Capital, U.S. Venture Partners, Richmond Park Partners
  • How much has it raised thus far? $28.5 million
  • What is its aim? To create the largest and most searchable collection of movie clips on the internet.
  • Who is the audience? Those who love a good movie and love to share their favorite scenes–pretty much everyone who’s ever seen a movie. Social networkers, especially Facebook users and bloggers, would be the strongest demographic.
  • Should you care? Only if you like watching and sharing clips from movies. How many times have you wanted to quote someone from the big screen but didn’t know where to find the source? Now you have it.
  • Can they integrate with our lives, like Facebook? No. This is specifically for sharing memories from the big screen, but it is a tool to enhance Facebook in a way that you’re not likely to find elsewhere.

Read more about Zefr and meet the staff here.

Which of these startup technologies would you consider using?

Emiah has always been intrigued by the cable TV industry. She is consistently questioning how certain shows become pop culture phenomenons while others unceremoniously fail. Emiah has a deep appreciation for Andy Cohen and The Real Housewives franchise.

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