Epoch is bringing the wisdom of mood rings to mobile entertainment.
The startup launched a mobile video app today that shows you videos based on your mood. It takes a Songza-like approach to videos by creating mood-based channels that get smarter and more personal with use. If you’re feeling “exotic,” you are presented with a curated selection of travel videos, whereas “delicious” will yield cooking-related content. The application is well-designed and easy to use — you swipe up/down to change channels and right/left to skip.
Online videos are exploding. In 2010, video comprised a majority of costumer Internet traffic for the first time, making up 53 percent of all uploads and downloads. Cisco predicted in its Visual Networking Index that video traffic would more than quadruple by 2015 and the Internet will be two-thirds made up of video. The proliferation of content can be overwhelming for someone who just wants to sit back, relax, and be entertained. Epoch’s goal is to organize high-quality videos into thoughtful categories to help people navigate the chaos.
“Consumers are increasingly ‘cutting the cord,’ and younger audiences are more likely to forego cable in favor of excellent online content, CEO John Root Stone told VentureBeat. “The problem is that it’s become an exhausting process to look for quality online content in endless YouTube videos. Epoch is the first company to truly combine the lean-back experience of watching TV with the quality content that exists on the web, all while learning what you like to watch. It’s like your television, only smarter.
Stone said consumers are ready for a new era of entertainment. Mobile and social technology have changed the way we discover new content. Rather than searching, we increasingly expect technology to anticipate our wants and present us with relevant information. We have already seen this happen with music through Pandora, Songza, Rdio, and Spotify. Epoch is applying this curated-meets-personalized approach to videos.
Competitors include startups like ShowYou, Squrl, and Socialcam, as well as the bigger players like YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix. Stone said we are at a tipping point in the evolution of television as well as online videos, and Epoch seeks to bring these together to make “entertainment effortless” through technology and design.
The company is based in Tel Aviv and San Francisco. It was founded in 2012 and currently has around 10 employees, including the 4 cofounders. Epoch is currently bootstrapped.
To learn more about how mobile technology can anticipate our needs, check out the “Digital lifestyle: Curating context in a connected world” track at VentureBeat’s MobileBeat conference, July 9-10.