Video discovery is becoming a big deal, as startups seek to help users sort through the millions of videos that are now available over the Internet. But until now, the vast majority of video discovery apps have been focused mostly on on-demand video libraries. What about the growing inventory of live video streams appearing in web browsers and on mobile devices? Squrl is trying to help its users find those videos, as well, with the latest update to its iPhone and iPad app.
The newest version of its apps has a “Live” channel that includes videos from a number of content providers. That includes live streams from Huffington Post Live, PressTV, This Week in Tech, Bloomberg TV, Russia Today, France 24, Home Shopping Network, NASA TV, The Young Turks Live Stream, Fashion TV Direct!, HMall Korea, and Al Jazeera, among others.
While some content providers — like This Week In Tech, for instance — run continuous live streams throughout the day, other live streams pop up when major news is breaking or during live events. Squrl will include these as well, highlighting the best coverage for trending or breaking stories. During its beta period, the app included live coverage from ABC, CBS, and the Wall Street Journal during the presidential election, as well as live streams during Hurricane Sandy.
While today, most of that content is ad-supported, Squrl sees plenty of other opportunities for live video providers to monetize: It plans to include live concerts, sports, and other events, which could be made available with a pay-per-view option.
In addition to the new live streams, Squrl has made changes to user profiles, allowing users to look in on others’ activities and likes. Of course, users can change their privacy settings to not share TOO much. They can also delete activity from their feed if there are particularly unsavory videos that they don’t want their friends and followers seeing.
In addition to free, ad-supported video services like YouTube, Vimeo, AOL, and Blip.tv, Squrl also lets users log in to navigate content from subscription services like Netflix and Hulu. The new Squrl features are available on the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, with videos viewable on Apple TV via Airplay. The company touts average viewing session times of more than an hour, and says users who come back for recommendations watch an average of 50 percent longer.