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Peel has been trying to reinvent the way we find and select TV content for years, but now the company may have finally discovered its key to success: Powering mobile TV remote control apps for device makers.
Peel announced today that its TV selection platform has reached 25 million people, which was mostly buoyed by a whopping 10 million folks the company grabbed in the second quarter alone. Peels’ apps help you find interesting video content, be it on live television or Netflix, and utilize infrared sensors on smartphones and tablets to act as remote controls for your TV and home theater devices.
The cause of the massive bump? Peel’s technology appeared in two of the hottest Android phones on the market, Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and HTC’s One.
When I asked for clarification on how Peel is counting its users, Bala Krishnan, the company’s founder and chief product officer, told me that Peel only counts those who completely set up their living rooms in its apps. It’s not just counting people who open up one one of Peel’s apps once and never return.
“It’s really about putting the content in peoples’ hands, regardless of where the content comes form,” Krishnan said, describing what he thinks makes Peel’s apps special. “In the context of your remote control, all you have to do is tap on it and you’ll be watching it.”
Peel now expects to reach 50 million users by the end of the year. Krishnan tells me the company is seeing 300 million tune-ins per month (these are people finding content and beaming it through the app), 1 million daily active users, and 1.1 billion content recommendations per month. As of last month, Peel was adding two new users every second.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company landed $16.7 million in a second round of funding last year from Lightspeed Venture Partners and Redpoint. While Peel’s rapid growth may seem like it’s ready for another round of funding soon, Krishnan mentioned that it’s actually bringing in significant revenues now, and the company expects to be profitable by November.
Peel currently makes money from advertisements on things like movie trailers, but it also offers movie studios and TV companies direct access to viewers who like specific genres and fit into specific demographics. Peel is basically sitting on a mountain of data about its users viewing habits, and while Krishnan stresses it won’t ever sell that data to other companies, it remains a useful way for the company to target ads and sponsored content from media producers.
The company has come a far way from the clunky, lemon-like living room gadget it used to rely on to control your TV and home theater gadgets. Now Peel is focusing on more partnerships with device makers, and it’s looking to bring its technology to new device categories, like televisions and potentially even game consoles.
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