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Video Data Startup ColorTV Buys Streaming Search Specialist Guidebox

Variety logo Variety 4/20/2017 Janko Roettgers
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Video data and recommendation startup ColorTV has acquired Guidebox, a fellow data company that has been focusing on providing universal search and discovery services for video app publishers and connected TV platforms.

Guidebox’s team of seven is joining ColorTV as part of the deal, and ColorTV CEO Giancarlo Maniaci told Variety that he intends to unite both companies’ products in the coming months. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Guidebox is actually a kind of veteran in the TV-data space. The company launched in 2012 with a consumer-facing website that offered search of movies and TV shows across a number of web video sources.

Since then, Guidebox has changed focus to offer publishers and device manufacturers universal video search solutions, with some success: Not only has Guidebox struck deals with a number of content providers including Lionsgate, the WWE and Fandor, it’s also a widely known secret within the industry that Guidebox is powering Roku’s universal search.

Founded in 2016, ColorTV is comparably young, and initially focused on bringing mobile-style cross-app content recommendations to TV platforms. The company has since widened its focus to offer cross-platform personalization, analytics, video and audio content recognition and more.

The company’s tools are already powering some 300 apps, and Maniaci said that it was specifically targeting publishers that don’t have the teams and money to compete with companies like Hulu, Netflix or Facebook — industry giants that have the ability to run A/B tests on all their media and use their vast treasure troves of data to keep viewers glued to their content, and locked into their platforms. “If the publishing industry doesn’t wake up soon, they are going to be entirely beholden to Facebook,” he said.

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