Qplay Joins The Chromecast CrewStartup Breaks Free Of Its Own Hardware Platform 6/17/2014 11:45 AM Eastern
Qplay says its own streaming hardware will live on, but support for the Google Chromecast should widen its user base
Qplay, the video streaming startup headed up by TiVo co-founders Mike Ramsay and Jim Barton, announced Tuesday that it has adapted its video app to work in tandem with the popular Google Chromecast.
The decision will give Qplay users a new way to view their personalized, curated streaming video “Qs,” rather than requiring them to do so using Qplay’s separate streaming device, which sells for $45.
Qplay introduced its adapter and streaming app in February, offering a way for users to curate a steady stream of personalized, free, short form OTT video, while eschewing integrations with premium-level and subscription- or authentication-based apps from sources such as Netflix, Hulu Plus and HBO Go. Qplay got off the ground using a small streaming adapter that, like the Chromecast, relies on a mobile app to handle the device’s remote control, search and navigation functions.
While the decision to shift attention to the Chromecast has led to speculation that the days of Qplay’s stand-alone streaming device might be numbered, the company said “Qplay will continue to support its current TV Adapter in addition to the Chromecast device.”
Adding support for the popular Chromecast will spur the company’s platform to move into the “mainstream market,” Qplay said in its announcement.
“Our goal is to bring this experience to a mass audience in both unique and familiar ways. That’s why integration with the TV we know and love is so important,” Mike Ramsay, Qplay’s executive chairman and co-founder, said in a statement.
On Tuesday, Qplay also launched two new features -- “Party Qs” and hashtags. Party Qs enables individuals in a group to independently add clips to a shared “Q,” while the hashtag component gives Qplay users a way to describe the contents of their Qs while also giving others an easier way to search and discovery them. A Q of soccer clips could use hashtags such as #RealFootball or #worldcup, the company noted.
Qplay, founded in 2012, said its initial funding comes from Redpoint Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.