A new startup in Los Angeles called IRIS.TV wants to give video publishers the tools to make streaming video more personalized and keep viewers hooked for longer. The company is coming to market with $1.7 million in seed funding from angels in the media and finance worlds.
IRIS.TV was founded by the folks behind Jukebox TV, which sought to provide a continuous stream of interesting videos to consumers. After a few years working on a consumer-facing product, the team decided to take all their learnings and technology and apply it to the B2B market instead.
The pitch to video providers is that IRIS.TV can build that same type of continuous experience, but do so in a way that keeps users tuned in to their video properties. The technology is mostly designed to string together short-form videos that create more of a lean-back experience for casual viewers. Rather than having to search for the next video to watch once the current one is over, consumers are offered something they will (hopefully) find relevant and enjoyable.
Of course, the idea of offering up that kind of continuous streaming isn’t new, and most video publishers these days have already implemented some sort of auto-play feature into their video players. For IRIS.TV, the difference comes in making that stream more personalized.
While most auto-play experiences now just offer up the next video in a queue or playlist, IRIS.TV seeks to offer up videos that will be relevant on a user level. To do so, IRIS.TV uses a proprietary algorithm to extract and process video metadata, which allows it to apply complex business rules. It then has an adaptive stream management system that inserts a series of videos into a player and updates that playlist based on user interactions.
It wraps that all up by providing detailed analytics of video performance, including locality and demographics data of the viewers who tuned in.
Since being founded officially in February, IRIS.TV has been busy building relationships with major media companies and their technology partners to make its technology work with their video players. The company has therefore partnered with online video platform providers like Brightcove, Kaltura, Unicorn Media, and Viddler.
It’s already gaining interest from some large major media corporations who are interested in deploying the technology on their web and mobile properties. While the company can’t name any of those customers yet, IRIS.TV co-founder and CEO Field Garthwaite says it will be integrated in a TV app and a mobile app soon. But it expects to be more broadly used in the field in Q1 or Q2 of next year.
IRIS.TV is based in L.A., because that’s where all the media companies are, and its founding team has experience at places like ABC, Deluxe, Yahoo, Hulu, Disney, Universal, Rubicon Project, and Rand Corp. That includes Garthwaite, CRO Robert Bardunias, COO Richie Hyden, and CTO Sunil Ingle.
The team has raised a total of $1.7 million from angels in the media and finance worlds. That includes folks like Bob Jacobs, who was Bill Cosby’s long-time agent and is considered the “godfather of television syndication”; Nick Rau, co-founder of Vizu (which recently sold to Nielsen); former Viacom exec Jimmy Barge; and entertainment attorney Jor Law.