Media: Axel Springer buys second screen, social tv startup Tunedin

Axel Springer announced this morning that it bought Tunedin, a social tv and second screen app developed by Sebastian Bartz and Justin Scull. Tunedin already had a partnership with Springer.

The goal of the founders, as they told VentureVillage recently, was to reinvent the TG guide for the second screen age – similar to what Zeebox and Shazam are doing. The goal is to create not so much a rigid tv guide, but a “taste graph”, said Justin Scull:

We think the traditional TV guide system is broken. It wasn’t involved, it hasn’t adapted with the times. So what we’re doing is adding a social layer on top.

It’s not so much just what’s on and where to watch it, it’s also who else is watching, what’s trending, what are people talking about, and the idea of having a rated experience. Ultimately, where we’re headed is being able to say what show is most applicable based on your preferences, your taste graph.

Tunedin also developed functionality to allow television makers to gauge the reaction of the audience to contests – a second screen ‘applause meter’ for shows lilke ‘X Factor’ . In a statement, Bartz calls the acquisition ‘the next logical step’.

Recently, Carlos Diaz of Kwarter predicted that ‘second screen’ apps would not be able to disrupt the tv industry. I’m not quite certain whether this acquisition shows him right or wrong.  The price for the acquisition wasn’t made public.


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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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