Qplay Shifts to App Service Only3 Jul, 2014 By: Chris Tribbey
In February the co-founders of TiVo launched a new streaming video service and device, allowing users to curate video content from around the Web and put their favorite streams in one spot.
However, it appears Qplay is shifting away from hardware, losing its $49 adapter for Internet-connected TVs, and instead focusing on app support for other company’s hardware, including Google’s Chromecast.
“Creating a fun and entertaining experience from short-form video, delivered over the Internet, is the next wave in consumer video entertainment,” said Mike Ramsay, executive chairman and co-founder of Qplay. “Our goal is to bring this experience to a mass audience in both unique and familiar ways. That’s why integration with the TV we know and love is so important.”
Michael Greeson, president and director of research for The Diffusion Group, said the market was against Qplay continuing its hardware push, and that the change was made to focus on apps “instead of incurring further losses and sinking the company altogether.”
He said that Qplay’s model (proprietary hardware that only worked with one tablet, the iPad) was unsustainable. “It had some interesting features, but it lacked the a couple ‘essentials’ for any upstart video service app looking to scale: Netflix and Hulu Plus,” Greeson wrote in a blog post.
“In six months, Qplay went from a hardware competitor of Google’s Chromecast with an iOS-based video service app on the side, to an iOS-based video service app supported by Chromecast, with proprietary hardware not so much on the side as out the door,” he said. “Why Qplay thought it could magically alter realities of the net-to-TV hardware/service marketplace remains unclear. I suspect the TiVo twosome, steeped in TiVo’s pro-hardware culture, still carried that torch and it regrettably blinded them to several new market realities.”