On average, Germans watch four hours of TV each night. That’s a serious chunk of the country’s leisure time – and it’s part of the reason why second screen and entertainment discovery platforms have been springing up from everywhere in recent times. One such startup is Munich-based wywy, which is launching this weekend.
The company are hoping to make a splash with the launch thanks to German reality TV star Sarah Knappik, who will be using wywy to comment on the progress of Das Supertalent, using the app to become a judge herself. If you’re a fan of the former Germany’s Next Topmodel contestant you can join in the fun at the Long Shot Bar in Friedrichshain this Saturday.
The choice of host reflects the kind of show wywy expects users to be talking about. After first establishing her reality TV credentials on GNTM, Sarah has also appeared on The Perfect Celebrity Dinner and the German edition of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!.
Founded by Tobias Schmidt and Andreas, and based in Munich, wywy has already been enjoying a successful year. A $3 million investment from Cipio Partners was secured in July in a deal which also saw wywy receive a majority of shares in Cipio’s Israeli portfolio company Idioma, which specialises in monitoring broadcast TV.
This in turn gave wywy access to Idioma’s automatic detection software allowing for real-time recognition of TV channels which, when coupled with the Berlin startup’s interactivity technology, made synchronisation with television possible. The second screen service now runs on 50 channels in European and 30 others worldwide.
To use the app, users check into TV shows and post opinions directly to Facebook and Twitter. These check ins earn points which can be redeemed for rewards like Amazon vouchers. Users can also chat to each other and see the Twitter stream concerning the program in question alongside the show.
The reward system for watching television is the first of its kind in Germany, as Andreas told Silicon Allee: “It’s way more fun to [virtually] watch a show together. And Germans love to collect points on anything – why not on watching TV as well?”
There are plenty of other second screen platforms, but the most similar major player is Shazam. Originally known as a music recognition tool, it now boasts 175 million users worldwide and provides second screen experiences for specific shows, such as Covert Affairs, though not continuously for entire channels.
That might be Shazam’s weakness, but there are plenty of others picking up the slack. UK-based Zeebox offers a service very similar to wywy with social media integration (and a 10 percent stake in which was acquired by BSkyB earlier this year) while GetGlu offers a FourSquare-esque platform allowing you to check in to television shows.
A win at the SevenVentures startup competition - which offered a total of €7 million worth of TV ads – therefore would have been handy, though wywy missed out on a podium finish. Not to worry, though, according to Tobias: “Pitching at Noah was not only fun, but also very valuable. It was a great forum to share our vision, and I had insightful talks and follow-ups with fellow entrepreneurs, business partners and investors.”
The launch will be at the Long Shot Bar in Friedrichshain this Saturday from 7pm. If you fancy being there, email wywy at piabo.net.