Duo hope to be Google of streaming

Nanjing Night Net

Tech entrepreneurs Scott and Andrew Julian at their office in Melbourne. Photo: Scott Barbour Tech entrepreneurs Scott Julian (L) and his brother Andrew Julian have developed an app called Gyde, a search engine for multiple TV streaming services. Photo: Scott Barbour

What if finding good streaming video to watch on your TV was as easy as searching for answers on Google? Now an Australian duo thinks it is.

Melbourne brothers�0�2Andrew and Scott Julian�0�2have created an app they want to be the Google for streaming shows – a sort of universal remote control for internet TV.

In the next few months, Australians will have�0�2access to unprecedented sources�0�2of new and old TV shows and movies as Netflix joins Foxtel Presto, Stan, Quickflix and Dendy Direct in offering online entertainment via set-top box, smart TV, portable device, or devices like Chromecast and AppleTV.

Navigating this new, hectic, entertainment pool in a Google-like way is something in which the duo with established data and start-up pedigrees has invested many late nights.

Their search app, Gyde – for the moment only available on iOS devices – allows viewers to define their preferences so it can search multiple streaming providers accordingly. It�0�2uses algorithm, user behaviour and content preferences to create content recommendations.

Depending on content provider, users can click straight from the Gyde app to open the provider’s app and watch their selection, or go from the app to the provider, say, the iTunes store, to buy or rent the content, says Andrew Julian who acts as product lead. Users can favourite shows and add favourites to a watch queue.

“Gyde is an app that integrates the increasingly fragmented industry. We aim to unite content from streaming providers with their natural audiences.”

Australian audience demand for international releases, synchronised new season TV content from the US and a tendency for piracy and binge viewing has meant an avalanche of internet-based content options for the new on-demand age.

The imminent launch of dominant global streaming player Netflix in Australia alongside local aspirants Presto and Stan – a joint venture between Nine and Fairfax Media (publisher of this article) – have traditional broadcasters nervous.

Gyde co-founder Scott Julian predicts the Australian streaming market is likely to develop in much the same way as broadcast television did.

“Consumers will find that only having one [streaming] service won’t satisfy them,” he said.

The brothers’ other ventures – Gate13, an online shopping cart started with Scott after Andrew dropped out of university and sold for $1 million when he was 23�0�2and now part of Australia Post, and media analytics company Effective Measure, among others – gave them the tech know-how for Gyde. Their partner Darcy Laycock, one of the key developers of Apple music search app Discovr, added his search and design nous.

The app already claims 100,000 users in the US �0�2where it finds content from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and other providers. The company plans to open an office in Los Angeles this year, to be closer to Hollywood.

Laycock said, unlike the music industry, licensing complexity for movie and TV content makes it impossible for a video version of something like Spotify to exist, hence Gyde.

“This complexity is likely to force consumers to subscribe to multiple sources to get the content they want. If the industry is serious about combating piracy it needs need to make it seamless for people to not only find what to watch but also where they can watch it, making it an easier alternative than the piracy route.”

Foad Fadaghi, managing director of research firm Telsyte, agreed.

“There is a plethora of ways for consumers to access content both legally and illegally which is creating challenges for entertainment providers and consumers alike,” Fadaghi said.

Gyde, already with 100,000 users a month in the US, also has an option aimed at content providers.

“This will help streaming broadcasters gain a deeper understanding of what people want to watch, on what platform and how their content catalogues meet this demand,” Fadaghi said.