June 23, 2014
Earlier this year, we reported the launch of Qplay from TiVo co-founders Mike Ramsay and Jim Barton. The service allows users to create personalized video streams called “Qs” from various online sources. The startup also offers a $49 TV adapter for those who want to watch their video streams on their television. A new version of Qplay’s iPad app now adds the ability to cast videos to Google’s Chromecast streaming stick, which could eliminate the need for Qplay’s streaming player.
“Maybe building a dedicated video streaming box that doesn’t even have a Netflix app wasn’t such a good idea, after all,” suggests GigaOM. “Qplay will continue to sell its own streaming player for the time being — but why would anyone buy the device, now that Chromecast offers the same functionality, plus dozens of additional apps?”
The Qplay player was originally designed to compete with the likes of Roku and Chromecast by offering users the ability to play videos from various apps in one place.
The iPad app allows users to subscribe to existing Qs if they do not want to create Qs themselves, and share videos through Facebook, Twitter and email. The recent update includes the ability to search for queues by hashtag and the option of creating collaborative playlists, or party Qs.
“Qplay auto-plays queues to transform online video from a constant hunting and gathering into a leanback experience,” explains GigaOM. And with the new update, “users can also cast these endless streams of programming to Google’s Chromecast.”
Qplay had originally planned to include premium video from Netflix and Hulu Plus to its own app, but the startup did not have the necessary partnerships in place at launch time. Now it seems that Qplay has abandoned that approach.
“The next big shift in entertainment is going to be short form video,” said Qplay spokesperson Ashley Martin-Golis.
“Qplay’s move from its own hardware to Chromecast is a smart one, since the company couldn’t compete against Google with its own, much more limited hardware,” concludes GigaOM. “But now that it has embraced Chromecast, it will also have to compete with plenty of other apps for that platform, which puts pressure on the company to get its mobile experience right.”
TiVo Co-Founders Launch Qplay Web Video App and Service, ETCentric, 4/4/14
Qplay TV Streamer from TiVo Co-Founders Expected to Debut, ETCentric, 2/25/14