So you’ve probably never heard of GetGlue, and you’ve also probably never heard of i.TV, but let’s just say these companies have been part of a somewhat underground movement to revolutionize television. Yes, the battle of the living room has been focused on Apple and Google and some other players like Roku and Boxee but under the radar are dozens of companies all vying for one of the biggest markets on the planet.
i.TV has been around for around five years now and has been working with some pretty major networks negotiating deals behind-the-scenes. In August the company raised $9.2M and yesterday they announced their first acquisition, TV app-maker GetGlue which has been on a bumpy ride for sometime now.
Last month GetGlue’s CEO was removed from the company (Update – The CEO stepped down two months ago but is still an active board member and was involved in the acquisition) as the company tried to find its stride in the increasingly crowded social TV market. While Twitter has been late to the social-TV game, with their IPO around the corner and talks of Twitter joining the fight for the living room GetGlue saw the writing on the wall. After raising $4.5M the company failed to see mass adoption, yes, they got 4.5M users but that’s nothing in the world of social.
In November of 2012 GetGlue “almost” sold to Viggle but the deal fell through at the last minute. While you might think most companies are happy when they get acquired, GetGlue’s acquisition by i.TV was more of a last-ditch effort from a company on the decline rather than a triumphant exit that so many startups dream of.
One can only guess what the CEO of GetGlue is thinking right now as his company sells three weeks after he was ousted from the company. (The CEO of GetGlue commented below so we know what he is thinking!)
One thing is certain, this is only the beginning of the battle for the living room. The concept of social television is still completely new, heck, people still use DVR’s which to me seems like ten year-old technology. I have always believed that the .TV extension has long been a sleeping giant and in the ever-changing world of television this sleeping giant might just be on the verge of waking up.
What do you think? Will Twitter take the cake and win the war? Will Apple finally debut the TV everyone has been waiting for? Comment and let your voice be heard!