Peel CEO: “Social TV Companies Are Either Dead or Dying”

By Adam Flomenbaum 

unnamed (1)Last week the Samsung Galaxy S5 was released with a preloaded “Smart Remote” app, powered by Peel’s smartRemote technology. Peel turns smartphones and tablets into universal remotes and content recommenders. HTC’s preloaded “Sense TV” app is also powered by Peel’s technology.

When asked about the social-TV impact of Peel being preloaded on the new Galaxy, Thiru Arunachalam, CEO and co-founder of Peel, told Lost Remote:

“We don’t see ourselves as a social TV company. Twitter has won the battle and social TV companies are either dead or dying. We are a smart remote technology.  We believe we provide the best, most comprehensive smart remote experience of anyone in the market. We work with more devices, more MSOs and have aggregated more TV listings globally than any other company. That is why Samsung, HTC, ZTE and many more to be announced in the near future, have preloaded Peel on their IR-enabled phones and tablets.”

Perhaps Peel never viewed themselves as a social TV company, but the focus on being solely a smart remote technology company is a pivot from what the company was trying to accomplish in the social TV space just two years ago. In January 2012, the former chief experience officer for Peel, Greg Lindley, had this to say about new social features for the Peel iOS app:

“Adding the Peel social platform furthers our goal of creating the ultimate television second screen companion for our users. TV can be a very community-oriented experience, especially with shows that inspire viewer passion. Many shows spark conversation – whether it’s a competitive talent program or a dramatic season premier – Peel wants to encourage and foster these conversations within your social network to create an even more personalized and interactive viewing experience.”

Still, Peel’s focus on owning the smart remote space is savvy. Consumers will continue to look to their second screen devices to accomplish more TV-related tasks, and use of Peel’s smart remote technology will certainly increase by virtue of being preloaded on two of the most popular non-iOS devices.

According to Peel’s latest numbers, the company currently has more than 58 million activations across all devices and partners globally, handling 3 billion remote control commands every month.