Old Media, Meet New: European Publisher Axel Springer Acquires Second Screen App TunedIn

TunedIn Media, the German company behind the second screen “social TV’ app TunedIn, has been acquired by European publishing giant Axel Springer. The amount isn’t being disclosed, so it’s unlikely to be a home run for the burgeoning startup, while the two companies had already been working together through support from Axel Springer’s innovation department and the licensing of the publisher’s EPG, which is currently used to power TunedIn’s TV guide.

Launched as a public beta in December 2011, but given a wider launch the following April in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, TunedIn’s iPhone app aims to create a social TV viewing experience by combining a TV guide, recommendations, trending shows, and community and sharing features tied into Facebook.

At the heart of the app is TunedIn’s “Socially Curated TV Guide” developed in collaboration with Axel Springer’s TV Digital, which enables users to filter the channel lineup based on community ratings and top trending shows. It also links to shows on VOD and streaming services where available.

In addition, the app provides personalised recommendations based on user ratings and viewing behaviour to suggest new shows and movies they’ll like.

Twitter and Facebook are also harnessed to help show “what’s hot”; users can follow real-time Twitter feeds and receive social recommendations based on their friends’ “Likes”.

Interestingly, a U.S. launch for TunedIn was promised to co-incide with the presidential elections, though this never materialised. I’m now told that under the stewardship of Axel Springer, the company is to focus on Europe only.