Tons of startups are trying to turn streaming into social media

And it might just help the streamers keep their edge.

August 28, 2020

Picking a TV show to watch is officially more anxiety-inducing than a Cheesecake Factory menu.

With Peacock, HBO Max, Quibi, and Tubi all jumping onto the stream train, it’s easy to fall prey to the paradox of choice. But a new crop of startups is trying to sort through the mess…

And they’re doing it by mimicking social media

  • Bingie is streaming’s answer to Goodreads: you can add the TV shows you’re watching, send recommendation links to friends, and start chats about specific shows.
  • JustWatch, a platform that aggregates new TV across all streaming services, has seen monthly users jump from 10m in December to 20m in July.
  • Watchworthy, Wander, and VUniverse — apps that track your recent watches and send personalized recommendations — all launched earlier this year.

Streaming services want these companies to take off

Netflix has said that its biggest threat is actually the video game industry — not other streaming giants.

Interactive video games like Fortnite are encroaching on Netflix’s most-valued metric: “consumer screen time” (basically, how long the average user is binging on reruns of The Office). 

This summer, Fortnight took another stab at the streaming services by screening films within its virtual world.

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