TV Apps

Dijit Slurps Up Miso Social TV Apps

Startup Plans to Weave Social Enhancements Into Video Guide App 2/01/2013 9:01 AM Eastern

Dijit Media, a startup developing personalized TV and video guide apps, announced Friday that it is in the process of acquiring social TV apps pioneer GoMiso.

Terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

Dijit said it will continue to support the Miso app, a TV “check-in” service that lets users share what they’re watching and keeps them updated on their favorite shows, as well as SideShow, a publishing tool to let anyone create interactive content tied to a TV show. However, Dijit intends to shut down the Quips app and service, which let users write their own caption for a scene from a TV show and share it.

Somrat Niyogi, co-founder and CEO of GoMiso, will join Dijit as an advisor. Dijit CEO Jeremy Toeman said he is still talking with some of GoMiso’s developers about potentially joining Dijit but that “we’re not hiring their whole team.” Both companies are based in San Francisco; Dijit currently has nine employees and GoMiso has eight.

As of September 2012, the Miso app had been downloaded about 350,000 times.

“Miso actually invented social TV. They spent three years thinking about the problem and building a lot of technology,” Toeman said. The acquisition “will give us more tools to give our users a guide experience that redefines how people discover content."

GoMiso, founded in 2010, had raised $6 million from Google Ventures, Hearst Interactive Media, Khosla Ventures and angel investors. Dijit Media’s investors include venture-capital firms Menlo Ventures and Alsop Louie Partners.

"We began the journey of inventing social TV over three years ago, and think Dijit's the right home for our users and the platforms we've built," Niyogi said in a statement. "There's a lot we've learned about consumers and the ever-changing nature of TV, and believe that the NextGuide platform is poised for huge growth ahead."

Dijit Media's flagship app is NextGuide (pictured, left), a "hyper-personalized" guide that combines listings from pay-TV services, supplied by Tribune Media Services, with results from Amazon Instant Video, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, iTunes and Netflix. Launched last fall, the app -- currently available only for the iPad -- provides recommendations and content discovery, combined with social features and a mosaic-like interface.

“We are going to spend the next couple of months on how to integrate our communities, then we’ll start to assess what goes where,” said Toeman, who declined to disclose the number of NextGuide downloads to date.

Dijit expects to generate revenue through advertising and TV network sponsorships. However, Toeman said, “We really need to get our user base active and engaged before we start making money. We have people literally wanting to write us checks. I don’t think anyone has figured out that perfect user experience… but we think are getting quite close to that level.”

Dijit's first app, launched in 2011, was the Dijit Remote, which acts as a universal remote in conjunction with Griffin Technology's Beacon hardware attachment to control set-tops, TVs, home-entertainment systems and other consumer electronics.

Dijit's acquisition of GoMiso comes after second-screen TV app startup Viggle failed to consummate its takeover of GetGlue in January. Viggle’s bid for GetGlue was contingent on Viggle raising convertible debt financing equal of at least $60 million.

September