Just glancing at YouTube’s growth numbers, it doesn’t take a genius like me to figure out that people are spending more time watching video on the web — and that online video is going to increasingly eat away at the amount of time they spend watching cable. But while the web has plenty of benefits (like on-demand content), good old-fashioned television has some nice perks too, like the fact that you can sit down and watch and endless stream of content with almost no effort involved.
Shelby.tv is a startup that thinks you can have the best of both worlds — it creates a no-hassle stream of video content based on the links your friends have shared on Facebook and Twitter, resulting in content that’s both effortless and (probably) relevant to what you’re interested in.
The company was a member of the first TechStars NYC class and has just raised a $1.5 million funding round led by Avalon Ventures, with Avalon’s Rich Levandov and Brady Bohrmann joining the board. In addition to Avalon, the round included the following angel investors: Tim Draper [DFJ], Mike Lazerow [Buddy Media], Dave Morgan [Simulmedia/Tacoda], Jerry Colonna [formerly with Flatiron Partners], Mike Yavonditte [Hashable/Quigo], Charles Smith [extension.fm], Bobby Yazdani [Saba], George Kliavkoff [Manilla/Hearst], Allen Morgan [formerly with Mayfield].
CEO Reece Pacheco says that the service is still in a private alpha so the company doesn’t have much product news at this point, but we’ll let you know once it does (he adds that the company is hiring with the new funding).
Shelby.tv will have plenty of competition, as there are a number of startups looking to offer personalized streams of online video, including Deja, Frequency, and Plitzy. And YouTube itself also has products like YouTube LeanBack — and integration with Google TV — that aim to make the viewing experience more like television. But just as the audience for television is massive, the audience for web-based video services will eventually be very large as well, which means that’s room for multiple winners.