San Francisco-based startup Flingo today launched a suite of white-label applications to integrate Web and television into an intelligent type of interactivity.
Flingo enables broadcasters, advertisers and creators to add additional elements to what the viewer sees on the television screen. It knows what the content is, so it make sure what its apps contribute is relevant to the viewer’s experience.
Broadcasters can deliver content enhancements or other options for increasing engagement, since Flingo enables them to build mobile and web applications that are aware of what television content the viewer is watching.
Flingo also makes interactive advertising into almost a native application. It can offer clickable adds directly into the browser or app the consumer is already using, making it possible for the consumer to interact without leaving the entertainment content. This also delivers a direct response opportunity for television advertisers.
“TV is essentially the last frontier. Until now, the Web hasn’t penetrated the TV viewing experience,” said Ashwin Navin, CEO and co-founder of Flingo. “Flingo’s goal is to build that bridge between Web and TV so that the TV experience is a better reflection of what the viewer cares about. We have taken careful steps to forge an ecosystem where businesses and viewers alike can participate and benefit from the tremendous potential of Internet-connected television.”
The company, which was launched in 2008 by BitTorrent alumni Navin and David Harrison, has been quietly building smart TV apps as it grew out its product line. It also has been making deals to be embedded in TV chipsets. To date it has been licensed by consumer electronics manufacturers like LG, Samsung, Vizio, Insignia, Sanyo and Western Digital, meaning 5.7 million screens in 117 countries are already Flingo-enabled.
Flingo enters into a nascent but promising market where among its competitors is Yahoo!’s Connected TV. DisplaySearch forecasts say connected TV shipments will exceed 138 million units annually, for a total of 500 million by 2015.
Flingo’s new suite of publishing tools uses an open API that is freely available for developers to download. These tools are in addition to Fling, the company’s Open Source project that lets people “fling” videos and music from the Web to a queue of programming on their television screen. Viewers drag a bookmarklet to the browser bookmarks bar, and then browse a Flingo-supported website such as YouTube or Vimeo from a laptop or tablet. The website automatically searches for and discovers the viewer’s smart TV.
DisplaySearch forecast: http://tinyurl.com/66tmrkr