This Week in TV Startups: SF Edition

With TechCrunch Disrupt drawing entrepreneurs and angels from afar by day, Yidio presented at two local video/connected TV events this week by night.  Starting with a demo of the new Yidio Alerts platform and our Facebook Connect integration at SFBeta we were in good company alongside YuMe, VidCaster and Squrl, among others, at 111 Minna. Then we offered a sneak peek of our upcoming mobile apps at the LeanBack Meetup by AdRise, as always an engaging crowd of video advertising, social TV and connected television entrepreneurs.   This week underscored that SF is home to some of the most exciting start-ups and game-changing ideas in disrupting the traditional television experience.

Whats New on Yidio for the Fall TV Season

With the launch of Yidio Alerts, we’ve been adding new social features, more popular content and creating services to help you customize your viewing experience online.    Make sure you signup then set up favorite TV shows and movies to take advantage of our advanced personalization and recommendations.  Here are a few new reasons to find your shows with Yidio:

See who likes your shows.

1. More social features like “Faces” for show pages, where you can see the friends that like the shows you are looking for on Yidio. You can also set up alerts for favorites directly from the show pages that will provide updates on show airing, episodes available on line and news stories in your Twitter, Facebook newsfeed or via email.

2. Tons of extra footage, interviews, trailers, sneak peeks for the Fall season and other clips for your favorite shows are being added daily.

3. Yidio News provides the latest breaking stories centered on actors, TV show celebrities and red carpet events.  For all the hottest entertainment stories check the Yidio homepage.

Make sure to login and visit the “MyYidio” section to see a personalized activity Feed that allows you to browse airing episodes, recent clips, and news customized by the shows you select as your favorites.  Now you can see only the most recent and most relevant TV content for you.

Check Us Out! Hot Video and Photo Startups September 13th @ SFBeta 6.0.0

Come out and to see us show off our latest platform updates including improvements to our recently released Yidio Alerts.  A great new TV guide alerts service to keep you up to the minute on all your favorite shows,  just in time for Fall TV lineup.  The SF Beta 6.0.0 demo theme features startups building creative and innovative approaches to video and photography, on September 13th at 111 Minna.

Sign up to attend now for what’s certain to be another sell-out event.

View Along the TV App Landscape: The Early Innovators

Anyone developing mobile apps for TV should check out George Winslow’s excellent piece at CableBroadcasting, View Along the App Landscape, surveying TV apps from interviews with 25 TV executives.  While networks have had early successes launching second-screen apps that accompany TV shows, like the ABC Grey’s Anatomy app and The Royal Wedding by NBC News App for iPad, iPhone and Android that surpassed 200,000 downloads, executives in digital and mobile admitted to still refining the business cases for companion apps.  TV Everywhere apps are now taking the stage for networks like ESPN, CNN, and Turner, all of which continues to emphasize the complexity of TV offerings that fans need to navigate to access content and watch their favorite shows.

Programming Discovery and Personalization at TV of Tomorrow

In this panel at the May TV of Tomorrow conference top innovators in TV programming discovery and technology talk about helping users navigate the fragmentation of rights, new devices, subscription services, and the impulsivity of TV anywhere.  Finding new shows to watch has been determined largely by recommendations by friends and trusted sources and yes, the onscreen programming guide.   Discovery is further complicated now to decide when and where to watch – on air, time shifted on DVR, catch-up streaming, premium on-demand viewing.

Moving forward, personalized recommendations, the personal TV guide, the personal “what to watch, now” will be how we find and watch. As we like to say “Bringing TV to You.”

Programming Discovery, Personalization, and the TV of Tomorrow from Tracy Swedlow on Vimeo.

Bringing TV to You, Yidio Alerts Launches

Just because TV is everywhere doesn’t mean you should have to look all over to find it. Yidio Alerts bring all your TV to you, leveraging the pre-eminent social channels to deliver a personalized, prioritized TV guide.

Yidio Alerts Splash Page

TV fans can now sign up to get push notifications for new episode broadcast airings, new online streaming episode availability, and new articles published on their favorite TV shows & movies.  The alerts can be delivered by email, Facebook, Twitter, or viewed on the Yidio website.

The public beta launch of Yidio Alerts services for Facebook, email and Twitter is a demonstration of the scalability and flexibility of the core Yidio API and program guide to aggregate, normalize and broadcast complex entertainment information.  Yidio Alerts makes it easy to find, watch and share TV and movies.

Try it today to get your personalized TV notifications.  Then let us know what you think!

Yidio Office Opening and 3rd Anniversary Celebration – Check out the Photos!

June 8th the new Yidio office in San Francisco was buzzing with activity and excitement in preparation for our grand opening party. Our entire team descended upon Mission Street from across the country and, with over 200 RSVPs, the crew was ready to introduce our new space to friends, family and our comrades in the industry.

The evening was filled with great conversation and good laughs, it was huge success. We also ventured out for a Giants game and, while they lost by a run, we had a blast! Check out a few photos from the event and of our team.

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– Brandon, Adam and the Yidio Team

Put Down the Remote! Yidio Office Opening & Anniversary June 8th

We’re officially opening our San Francisco office, and you’re invited to celebrate with us. We’ll be toasting to our third anniversary, warming up our new offices, and introducing our growing team for a fun happy hour and open house.

When: June 8, 6pm to whenever
Where: 650 Mission Street
What: Yidio Anniversary and Open House

Click here to RSVP.

See you there!

–          Brandon, Adam and the Yidio Team

5 Tips for Engaging TV Fans on Facebook

Last week, we reached a major milestone becoming the number one online TV guide and online aggregator with 500 thousand likes.  Yidio strives to go build a deeper relationship with our community, beyond the one-time social interaction, both on our website and on Facebook. We want to encourage engagement for TV fans so they keep coming back to find, watch and share information about their favorite shows, movies and actors. On Facebook, more than half of our fans are regularly active with over 12 million page views per month.  Our posts are current, engaging and original but we also understand our community.  At our core is a young, influential TV fan that pushes Vampire Diaries, Jersey Shore and Gossip Girl to the top of our trending show charts each week. What is the key to keeping this fickle demographic engaged?

Fans Contribute When You Ask Them

  1. Offer original content that people want to interact with and share with others: Our fans click through and comment most on pictures, video shorts, interviews, outtakes and music clips. Anything that stimulates the senses or extends their relationship with the TV show, actor or movie = cha-ching!  Facebook has become birthday central for your social graph and this is true for celebs too. One of our recent high volume posts was a simple happy birthday shout-out to Kristen Stewart of Twilight.
  2.  Get the timing right: Live posting during shows encourages fans to give their opinion and also stimulates tune-in. When posts are current and relevant there is a massive uptick in meaningful feedback. Engaging our fans is easy when we post thoughtful, thorough episode recaps promptly after a show airs. These recaps also help to drive viewers to episodes they may have missed and increasing catch-up streams.  Some of the more general rules of Facebook also apply, for example posting during off-hours and on weekends results in higher engagement. These are the times when TV fans are actually thinking about, or watching TV and movies — during their leisure time.
  3. Stir up some controversy: There’s nothing like a tidbit on Jersey Shore or a personal milestone in an actor’s life to help stir the pot. People either love it or they despise it and this draws out the emotions and comments.  Reality TV shows, and especially the competitive reality shows like American Idol draw a lot of interaction because people feel a connection with characters they can relate to. When you combine real time posting with a reality show comment or question fans will respond.
  4. Ask questions:  Fans want to have a voice when they are passionate about the entertainment they are consuming. A prime example would be the post that drew the most responses on Yidio’s Facebook page to date. We asked Yidio fans if and how they’d be watching the Royal Wedding and nearly three thousand viewers chimed in with their thoughts. People want to be heard, all you have to do is ask!
  5. Reward fans for their engagement: Rewards don’t have to be tangible but giving back is always a great way to encourage interaction. Yidio posted an article around Reese Witherspoon’s 35th Birthday this year. We prompted Reese fans to tell us on Facebook what they loved most about the actress. We took feedback from the fans and added it to the article, pulling the most thoughtful responses from hundreds of submissions. It was fun making the fans guest contributors!

Allie Basilica, Social Media Manager

Thank You For Making Yidio the Top TV Guide On Facebook!

It’s a very happy 3rd birthday for Yidio.  In May 2011, we not only topped 500,000 Facebook fan likes, but we also signed up our 1.5 millionth registered user.  Now more than 10 million visitors come to Yidio each month to find, watch and share over 300,000 episodes of TV and 30,000 movies.  One reason for our growth is Yidio Credits, our unique virtual currency platform where fans have earned more than 600 million credits to watch video on demand.

At 500,000 “likes,” Yidio is the most popular Online TV Guide on Facebook– even beating out one of our favorite partners, Hulu – and there is no stopping the rise of interactions around TV shows that our viewers love. On the Yidio website, social sharing and commenting has been going through the roof. On a monthly basis, the Top 25 shows on Yidio are generating over 150,000 social actions such as liking, sharing, or commenting.

Since we started tracking the shows generating the most buzz on our website, the most social interactions were generated about Jersey Shore, True Blood, Glee, Vampire Diaries, and Gossip Girl. This trend reflects Yidio’s unique, dynamic and young, 18-34 core demographic. The shows that appeal to the female demographic, Vampire Diaries, Glee, and Gossip Girl, generate more active social buzz with sharing and commenting.

Here are some cool stats on how Yidio users are finding, watching and sharing their favorite TV shows.

Yidio Reaches 1.5 Million Users, 500k Facebook Fans Infographic

Read more about us on our website here.