Nearly one-third of connected TV users already watch online video through those devices, and daily usage rates have grown 10x in a very short period of time. But it’s not as easy as just flipping on the TV and switching channels: Instead, connected TV viewers are usually forced to try to navigate a series of apps and channel menus to hunt for something to watch. To solve this, video discovery startup Redux has been making a big bet on connected TV over the past year or so, creating apps and user interfaces that are designed to make streaming video as seamless as watching regular broadcast or cable TV.
Last year, Redux launched an app for Google TV, which made streaming video more of a TV-like viewing experience on devices with that OS. The app has been pretty popular so far, ranking as one of the top-downloaded apps on the Google TV marketplace. But customers still had to download it. Since then, it’s been working to partner with some big-time consumer electronics manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, and LG, and as a result, it will have its apps and technology preloaded into a ton of their smart TVs.
Redux already has an app on Samsung TV, and is one of the top 13 downloads on that operating system. On Google TV, it’s even higher up in the ranks, regularly in the top five downloads. But it’s going to get even more support by partnering with manufacturers, and will be pre-loaded on all Sony Google TV devices. It’s also getting deep integration with LG Smart TVs and Blu-ray Players. That integration will make Redux the default channel guide and TV experience the homepage of those LG devices. Altogether, Redux expects to be shipped on more than 40 million devices by the end of this year.
For manufacturers, that means consumers will likely spend more time engaged with video content on their devices. It’s got typical viewing time of an hour per session, as users are typically in lean-back mode while watching — that is, they’re not engaged in the typical search activity that comes with watching online video in a browser. Videos are also typically long-form, rather than the 3-4 minute videos watched on YouTube and other online sites. That’s key to Redux’s revenue model, which is based on time spent with content rather than just a straight licensing fee for its technology.
In addition to its consumer electronics partnerships, Redux is also striking deals with publishers, like Hearst and Popsugar, to get their content on connected TVs. As a result, it has premium content from brands like Popular Mechanic, Road and Track, Car and Driver, as well as Popsugar’s entire library of content.
Redux has raised about $6 million since being founded in 2007, according to CEO David McIntosh. Investors include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Alsop Louie Partners, and Peter Thiel. The company has 12 full-time employees and is based in San Francisco.