Reelgood acquires Guidebox to bring streaming TV data to more places

Reelgood, a startup aimed at helping cord cutters find shows and movies to watch on the services they subscribe to, has made an acquisition in the hopes of bringing Reelgood’s data to more places. The company has bought Guidebox, a streaming availability data provider which powers Roku, TVGuide, Metacritic and others.

Deal terms weren’t disclosed, but we understand the price was in the “multi millions.”

Guidebox began its life in 2012 as a consumer-facing website that brought together full show and episode data in one place, then pointed you where you could watch – very much like today’s Reelgood, in fact. But over the years, it shifted its focus to working with publishers and device manufacturers. For example, it’s been well known to be the service that powers Roku’s universal search feature.

It was most recently reported that Guidebox was sold to video data and recommendation startup ColorTV. However, Reelgood says that deal never actually happened – the announcement of the acquisition was premature. (ColorTV now appears to be shut down, as it turns out. We’ve attempted to reach them for confirmation.)

Reelgood says it decided to buy Guidebox because it aims to be more than just a guide for streaming TV.

“Imagine asking your Alexa, ‘Which of my shows has a new episode?’ or reading about a show online and, embedded within the article, seeing where you can watch it,” the company explains in its announcement about the deal. “For TV to ‘just work,’ we need to make it easier to get Reelgood’s data onto other products, too.”

The need for better organization of streaming services’ content is more critical than ever in today’s cord cutting era, as consumers increasingly ditch their cable and satellite TV subscriptions to build their own bundles of video services. The average U.S. household now uses four different streaming apps, says Reelgood, and this acquisition will allow it to expand its reach to over 50 million of those households.

The company says it will build on the existing Guidebox technology to make it even easier for companies to help their own users find streaming content. This data will be made available through an API.

That also means that Reelgood isn’t shutting down Guidebox or ending its existing business relationships – it aims to expand them, as well as pursue new business opportunities. It’s currently in the process of renegotiating some of Guidebox’s deals with larger TV and cable media-centric companies which provide service to some of the bigger networks, we understand.

Guidebox had been working with content providers like Lionsgate, the WWE and Fandor, Variety reported last year.

In terms of the Guidebox team, not all are joining long-term. The executive team is on an earn-out plan, and will help to integrate the technology with Reelgood and transition the client relationships. A few employees working on data  integrity and quality assurance have been hired by Reelgood to help as it expands the product and service.

“No one wants to spend time hunting through apps for the right show,” says David Sanderson, Reelgood founder and CEO, in a statement about the deal. “People expect their devices to help them decide what to watch and where to watch it. Whether it’s a search engine, website, streaming media player, or voice assistant, this is an opportunity for companies to get the experience right.”