Social TV continues global push with new startup TunedIn

By Cory Bergman Comment

The US and the UK have become competitive social TV markets with a growing list of second screen apps vying for attention. And now the social TV wave is spreading in Germany with the launch of and now with TunedIn, a Berlin-based startup that just rolled out the 2.0 version of its iPhone app. “TunedIn aspires to connect audiences by bringing viewers together in a collective viewing experience,” explains Justin Scull, co-founder and CEO. First in Europe, and then in the US as well.

The well-designed app combines a social program guide with a real-time community. To start, you authenticate with Facebook to create an account. You can filter channels based on community ratings and real-time popularity as well as see the top trending shows of the moment “based on the social activity of millions of TV viewers.” Users can recommend shows to others — via Facebook as well — and the app learns which shows to suggest along the way. You can chat with others in the app experience and browse real-time Twitter feeds. And you can set reminders for new episodes on streaming services.

In other words, TunedIn has covered the bases in features, fine tuning the experience since its public beta launch in December. The key now is gaining scale in relatively untapped international markets. The app has launched in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, but the company plans wider European distribution as well as a launch in the United States timed to the Presidential Elections. The “participant TV” product shown below will feature a real-time feedback component that will tie to the presidential debates.

“This cohesion of audience participation will ultimately shape future content and change the way we think about TV,” said Scull. Adds co-founder and COO Sebastian Bartz, “TunedIn is working to fundamentally change the relationship you have with your TV. Like the music industry before it, television is rapidly evolving due to the swift pace of innovation in digital and mobile technologies.”