Mobile

Smart remote app 'Peel' promises to boost viewership for TV shows (exclusive)

Peel app
Image Credit: Peel/Twitter

Smart remote app Peel is getting a bit smarter today — especially for TV programmers.

Peel’s app for Android lets you set the channel guide to your local TV provider’s channel lineup, and lets you track only the channels you care about. (It’s really quite useful if you still watch a lot of traditional linear TV content.) And for those with a Samsung Galaxy device (or really anything with a built-in IR functionality), the app acts as a universal remote, too. And now that “remote” functionality is getting enhanced for the other side of the screen, so to speak.

Today at VentureBeat’s MobileBeat 2014 event, Peel is announcing its new Peel.in platform that will let TV networks and programmers track and increase viewer engagement via unique URLs that point to where people can watch a particular show.

Peel’s app for Android lets you set the channel guide to your local TV provider’s channel lineup and track only the channels you care about. (It’s really quite useful if you still watch a lot of traditional linear TV content.) And for those with a Samsung Galaxy device (or really anything with built-in IR functionality), the app acts as a universal remote, too. Now, with Peel.in, the rest of the TV industry can take advantage.

Peel was already a beautiful mesh of mobile technology mixed with traditional TV viewing.

“Our media partners can now send notifications that boost engagement in ways not possible before,” Peel CEO Thiru Arunachalam told VentureBeat in an exclusive interview. One example of how the Peel.in platform could prove useful, he said, would be for celebrity or TV personalities to send out updates that get people to tune in via social network messaging.

The move is similar in scope to what Facebook and Twitter are trying to accomplish — grow stronger relationships with the TV industry by proving that their respective social networks can increase viewership and boost engagement for those already watching. By doing this, both Twitter and Facebook hope to carve out a slice of the multibillion dollar annual TV ad budget.

But for Peel, the new Peel.in platform is a natural extension of what the company is already doing: enhancing the experience of watching TV, Arunachalam said.

A number of cable networks are already using the Peel.in platform, including AMC, HBO, BET, Reelz, Sundance Channel, and Univision. Peel’s smart remote app has 80 million registered users that perform 4.5 billion monthly “remote commands” (aka changing channels).


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