Upcoming Startup VUniverse Aims to Help Viewers With Content Discovery
The last six months have seen an onslaught of streaming services launching. With media companies and streaming giants unleashing the full weight of their content libraries in addition to launching new originals, the quest to find a new show or movie to watch can be a bit overwhelming.
This is where the startup VUniverse steps in. According to Deadline, VUniverse aims to be “a more approachable and comprehensive ‘channel guide for the streaming universe.’” The startup, which just completed a beta phase, moves away from the algorithmic selection that most streamers use. Instead, VUniverse “will use AI tools, [and also] rely on word-of-mouth and human recommendations, aiming to provide an independent voice” in the search process. The startup aims to do away with promo-filled suggestions.
VUniverse was founded by Evelyn Watters and her sister Monica Brady. The pair also serve as CEO and COO of the company respectively. Along for the ride are chief data strategist Julie Rieger, who was a former 20th Century Fox exec and chief product officer, and Ryan McManus, who was previously a product specialist at MoviePass before coming to VUniverse. McManus is also listed as co-founder of the startup.
“We created VUniverse because we were tired of hunting through endless titles of movie suggestions and toggling between services,” Brady told Deadline. “Finding what to watch has become a chore. VUniverse eases that pain and empowers users to get the full value of both their time and subscription fees.”
According to Deadline, VUniverse will first get its footing as an app available on Apple and Android devices, surfing through content on all the major streamers — Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO and Apple TV+. VUniverse also plans to launch on streaming devices such as Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.
The app will be free to consumers with the possibility of a premium version in the future and will organize programming under eccentric categories such as “Weird and Violent Crime Thrillers” or “Thought-Provoking Magic Realism.”