If you are a cord cutter or want to become one, we have some great news for you – it’s becoming easier and easier to do so. Every day more and more amazing TV shows and movies are becoming available online. According to Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, this is just the beginning of the content revolution. Hastings believes “there’s not nearly enough [television]” to keep up with consumer spending trends that he says are “… growing faster than disposable income”. Unfortunately, all this great content isn’t well organized. It actually isn’t that easy to find something new to watch that you actually like. Sometimes it’s even hard to find where to watch a show or movie when you know the name! If consumers are already drowning in content and finding where to watch something is hard now then what will the future hold? This is the reason you’ve recently heard a lot about universal search.
I suppose a definition of universal search is in order. I’ll admit ahead of time that I’m focused solely on entertainment for the purpose of this post even though universal search encompasses much more than just this singular category. That said, our working definition for universal search is the aggregation of TV show and movie content from all online providers in one searchable interface. As you can imagine, this is no small task. Even Apple has recently taken on the challenge of universal search, joining the ranks of Roku and Yidio.
A few weeks ago at WSJD, Tim Cook called the new Apple TV “the foundation of the future of TV”. With the new Apple TV, you can navigate a variety of different media applications to discover your favorite TV shows and movies. Unfortunately it only applies to content partners whom have agreed to enter the AppleTV ecosystem. Granted this list of partners will grow over time but some may never join. This could prove to be a major stumbling block for the universal search platform that Apple is building. In the end, the consumer might not find the search functionality on AppleTV to be truly universal…
Like Apple and Roku, Yidio is committed to universal search, but we have a different idea of what that means. For search to be truly universal, it can’t be bound by a particular software or hardware platform. We believe the best solution is the one that is best for the consumer. Rather than the consumer needing to bend behavior to the limitations of the platform, the technology needs to bend to meet the consumer’s needs regardless of platform, technology or software. As we continue to build the most consumer friendly universal search possible, we’d love to hear from you about what you’d like to see in order to make our applications even better.