Once television moved beyond the three major networks, there was a problem. With all the new channels and content, how could people find what to watch and when? That’s where services like TV Guide and eventually on-screen guides came in. There’s a similar problem right now on the web — only times a million. A new product being launched in closed beta today at TechCrunch Disrupt, Live Matrix, wants to be that TV Guide for the web.
Now, to be clear, there have been plenty of products that have attempted to be the TV Guide for the web as it relates to web video. But Live Matrix extends far beyond just video. It’s about anything taking place on the web. Audiocasts, auctions, chats, MMO games, etc. Live Matrix wants to organize it all. So far, they’re up to 80,000 scheduled events every week, and growing quickly.
The main page of Live Matrix is a site that shows you what live events are trending (and the ones that just ended and which ones are upcoming) as well as featured events. Again, these must be online events — anything taking place in the real world (without some kind of Internet stream) will not be included in Live Matrix.
The Live Matrix algorithm then looks over these events for things such as number of people who are concurrently watching to determine the popular ones. This, in turn, gives each event a rating, similar to a Nielsen rating for television.
And there’s a way to virtually “RSVP” for events through the service — sort of like a “check-in” for what you’re doing ont the web. These RSVPs are kept in a different area on the site that you can visit — Live Matrix thinks of this as a sort of “TiVo for the web.” Live Matrix isn’t recording anything, but they’ll send you to the archived event (assuming its archived) if you visit it after it’s over.
Naturally, there is search for all of this.
And there are also tools for publishers of content. This gives them access to special widgets, a solid way to promote your event on other sites — and a potential way to make money. Plus there are analytics that Live Matrix can provide.
Live Matrix is the brainchild of Sanjay Reddy and Nova Spivack. Reddy was working as the SVP of M&A at Gemstar TV Guide when it sold to Macrovision for $2.5 billion. Spivack, most recently, was the founder and CEO of Twine, the semantic search engine. In other words, the bring the best of both worlds for what’s needed here.
The company has gotten angel funding, but has been in stealth mode up until this point.
———-Q&A With The Judges—————-
Jason Calacanis, CEO & Founder, Mahalo
Brad Garlinghouse, President, Consumer Applications Group, AOL
Tolman Geffs, Co-President, JEGI
Megumi Ikeda, SVP, Peacock Equity Fund
Shervin Pishevar, Founder & Chairman, SGN
Q: I think the TiVo for the web is the really interesting thing. How do you get closer to that?
A: I think that’s more of a feature than what we’re going for. All of this content is invisible right now, we’re shining a light on it. On TV, if you know what you want to watch, you’ll go there — otherwise you go to your guide. Over time, we’re going to be more of a predictor of what the audience will be. That should help with audience.
A: We have an API too to do other things.
Q: You said you’re doing so many things — I don’t get it, what are you?
A: We expect people are going to come to us through partners — that’s the goal. We’re talking to media companies.
Q: The team background is incredible — I would have put that first. The presentation was frustrating, the idea is good, but the presentation failed. Too many analogies.
A: Erick’s fault. He changed our pitch.
Q: I think Gemstar would have been the better way to put it. You need to improve your UI. Clicker has a good UI, be like that.
A: We do have what you’re talking about.
Q: The widget is the most interesting part, I think. But don’t make it too confusing with the technical stuff.
Q: This as an iPad app would rock.