Peel announced a revamped version of its universal smart remote app that helps address the growing complexity of the video entertainment landscape as the medium becomes richer and more populated. The revamped Peel app makes it easier for Indian consumers to navigate between the worlds of live TV and streaming video.
The new Peel Smart Remote will offer access to popular streaming services such as YouTube alongside control and discovery of what’s currently airing live on a user’s TV.
“Our goal has always been to make the experience of consuming video entertainment easier and more enjoyable,” said Peel CEO and Co-Founder Thiru Arunachalam. “As more and more of our users diversify their entertainment consumption to include streamed content, it makes sense for us to simplify their journey to find something good to watch no matter what the source or destination is.”
Peel’s streaming service will launch with access to 45 popular CatchUp TV series in a variety of regional languages including Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, etc. Hundreds of movies in multiple Indian languages will also be available, as well as news channels in five different languages. For quick consumption, the Peel app will also include Videos of the Day in a variety of categories such as cookery, travel, humor and others along with music and movie soundtrack videos.
Youtube content is just the start. “We are negotiating with other top streaming video providers to expand our content offering,” said Kishore Poreddy, Head of Peel India. “Our goal is to be the premiere platform to discover and enjoy video entertainment.”
Peel plans to offer features not currently available on streaming video services such as recommendations based on users’ past TV viewing behavior and the ability to search both streaming content libraries and live TV schedules in a single search tool.
To accommodate the new streaming video content, Peel has redesigned its app user interface so that consumers can easily discover and enjoy a show or movie whether it is available to watch on live TV or one of their streaming services. The Peel app will highlight content available from streaming apps already on their phone alongside programming available on their TV. Users can also search for a particular show or movie to find where it is available to watch.
Just as they currently do to change the channel on their TV, Peel app users can simply tap on the image for a streamed show or movie they want to watch and it will launch the video in the corresponding streaming app. They can then choose to enjoy it on their phone or cast it to their TV screen if they have a casting device.
The app, available for iOS and Android, has more than 135 million registered users globally generating 10 billion remote control commands monthly. The Peel Smart Remote comes preloaded on phones from several Indian distributors, including Karbonn, Xolo, Gionee, Panasonic and Celkon.
Peel makes it easy for Indian consumers to switch to a smartphone remote because it works with all popular brands of TVs and air conditioners sold in India, and 600 set-top boxes, including those from Airtel, Tata Sky, Dish TV, Hathway, DEN and Siti Cable. For Indian consumers, Peel features TV listings from WhatsOnIndia.
In addition to controlling their TV, set-top box, and air conditioners, millions of Peel users worldwide also navigate around their Apple TV or Roku streaming devices with the universal remote app. Peel has aggregated remote commands for tens of thousands of devices, and TV programming guides for 110 countries.
The addition of streaming capabilities offers new monetization opportunities for Peel, which currently makes money by licensing its software to phone manufacturers and selling advertising to TV marketers and brands.