GetGlue Reinvents App As Full Second-Screen TV Guide


Social TV startup GetGlue has overhauled its check-in app to turn it into a full-blown, personalized guide for TV and over-the-top video aimed at letting users find content they're interested in based on their preferences and friends' recommendations.

GetGlue launched its original check-in app in 2010, which basically let users indicate which shows they were currently watching and chat about them with friends. To date the startup has 3 million fans that have collectively contributed 500 million check-ins, likes, and TV and movie reviews.

The updated GetGlue HD app, initially available for Apple's iPad, is centered on content discovery and recommendations. The guide's main screen lists programs currently on-air that match a user's profile, and fans can see what their friends are watching in real-time.

GetGlue HD

"We've completely redesigned the guide to make it more useful and interesting," GetGlue CEO Alex Iskold said in an interview. It's a better way to find TV content than traditional on-screen guides, he argued: "This grid of 1,000 choices hasn't changed since 1953."

DirecTV has a deal with GetGlue that lets the satellite operator's subscribers check in to shows and use the app as a remote control to change channels. According to Iskold, DirecTV will introduce support for GetGlue HD this fall as an enhanced second-screen guide for its service.

GetGlue HD currently is available on the iPad. Versions of the free app will be released later in the fall for the iPhone and Android devices, and on and a mobile website, the company said.

The startup has been working on GetGlue HD in earnest for the last six months, according to Iskold. The TV listings in the guide are provided by Tribune Media Services.

GetGlue plans to sell sponsorships in the new app to TV networks and other content providers, to let them target promotions to users based on their tastes, Iskold said.

In addition to recommendations about TV shows, GetGlue HD lets sports fans can see their favorite teams' schedules, stats and live scores right in the guide. On the weekends, the guide recommends new movies in theaters that match users' tastes, and it links to content available on streaming services including iTunes, Netflix and Amazon.

The app still lets users chat with friends and other fans while watching TV. In addition, GetGlue HD features programming-related content, including videos, images, tweets and reviews from multiple sources.

New York-based GetGlue investors include Rho Ventures, Time Warner Inc., RRE Ventures and Union Square Ventures.