HereIsTV.com, an advertising-based daily TV show and movie recommendation service, launched this week with integration agreements in place with Comcast, Dish Network and DirecTV that enable registered users to set DVR recordings directly from the startup’s Web-based application.
HereIsTV, led by former Dish exec Bruce Eisen, doesn’t rely on algorithms to make its daily, curated TV show recommendations but instead relies on a panel of people.
“These are humans who have their own particular tastes…who share what they think our [users] would find interesting,” said Eisen. However, the service does include premiere and finale episodes in its selections “pretty much by default,” he said.
HereIsTV delivers its picks to registered users via an emailed newsletter that builds in all of the service’s functionality, including the ability to set DVR recordings with a couple of clicks or finger-taps, without requiring them to jump to the company’s Web site. HereIsTV also runs a Facebook page and a Twitter feed (@HereIsTV). The company also offers HereIsVOD, a weekly newsletter-based guide to video-on-demand movies.
In addition to traditional TV, HereIsTV also features content from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Crackle and AOL, and comes equipped with a “Watch Now” function that lets users start to watch content from those providers without navigating away from the HereIsTV website.
“It’s all self-contained. It’s designed to be efficient,” Eisen said.
While HereIsTV is making its official launch this week, it’s been seeding its subscriber base. Eisen wouldn’t say precisely how many people are signed up other than that the number is in the “tens of thousands.”
Registered HereIsTV users have the option to set DVR recordings directly from its newsletter and Website, which is also optimized to run on browsers in iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, so long as they are customers with Comcast, DirecTV and Dish and have access to their pay-TV login credentials.
Eisen, the former VP of online content development & strategy at Dish, said he’s working on agreements that will expand HereIsTV's scope of MVPD partners.
His pitch? “We serve a great purpose to everyone in the ecosystem.” For MVPDs, he said, the service can help to drive TV viewing and reduce churn, while users get a curated view of some cool shows that are on TV that they might not know about. The ad-facing aspect of the service can also give programmers a way to promote their content.
The ads go beyond a standard display because it allows networks to tell a story a story to their potential audience and allow those viewers to take immediate action, Eisen said, noting that talks with programmers are underway.
HereIsTV is launching with ad package with Random Media, a multiplatform content company.
"As a distributor of content across multiple platforms, we use HereIsTV and HereIsVOD to communicate with a very desirable demographic,” said Random Media CEO and founder Eric Doctorow, in a statement. “Not having the name recognition of the major studio films, we have found that the more that people know about our films, the greater the viewing of our films. The HereIsTV platform allows us to provide that expanded information to a key user base.”
While HereIsTV would love to integrate itself into set-tops (a domain currently sought by video search specialists such as ThinkAnalytics, Digitalsmiths and Jinni, among others), Eisen acknowledges that travelling that path is “hugely more complicated.”
The two-year-old company, based in Pacific Palisades, Calif., has about 10 employees.