New App Helps Avid TV-Watchers Keep Up on Their Favorite ShowsBusiness Profiles — By Susan Post on September 27, 2013 at 8:00 am
If the last episode of Breaking Bad left your head spinning, a new app can help you make sense of every intense moment with help from fellow enthusiasts. Columbus-based TV Talk creates 20-minute podcasts discussing over of 50 the most popular shows on TV.
TV Talk follows both network and cable shows, aiming for those that have the largest audience and great talkability. Founder Stuart Crane wants those shows that people will be talking about at work the next morning, so the app focuses mostly on dramas, sci-fi and reality TV. There is a little something for everybody though, with coverage ranging from America’s Next top Model to Suits and from Homeland to Glee.
Crane wants app users to be able to wake up the morning after their show and get their tv-gossip fix.
“Episodes are ready for the morning commute,” he says.
Each show has two hosts that recap each new episode right after it airs. Recap and discussion are only 20 minutes, compared to some of the more lengthy podcasts Crane was seeing while researching the market. Hosts apply for specific shows they want to cover, ensuring a genuine enthusiast is relaying information on each new episode. Hosts for reality programs often include former contestants of the shows as well.
TV Talk is designed to be an interactive app.
“With the talkback button on the app, users can record up to a 40-second clip and say whatever they want about the show,” Crane says. In the clips, users can either answer a weekly question posed by the host or give their two cents about a plot twist. The sound bites run at the end of the podcast, giving all users a chance to hear what others are saying.
“We’re getting talkback clips from people all over the world,” Crane says.
TV Talk is available on several different platforms with the main being the iOS and Android apps. Users can also listen through iTunes and other podcast apps that connect to iTunes, including Stitcher and new app Swell. Smartphones and apps aside, users can stream content directly on the company’s website. Crane highlights how the various platforms increase the listenability. Users can listen with their phones on the way to work or stream it from the site as they work around the house.
TV Talk isn’t Crane’s first endeavor in to business ownership. He ran a successful software company CPR+ for over 20 years before selling it this past July. The sale allowed Crane to delve in to TV Talk full time.
“We had sufficient capital to support the development and back-end,” he says.
Running a software company, Crane was familiar with the development process, but a social, TV app was a different kind of businesses than healthcare software at CPR+. He says the transition has been challenging but fun.
Crane has always taken an interest in what one can listen to on the go, adopting everything from books on tape to satellite radio and eventually iPods and iPhones. When the “i” era started, he began searching for software systems for personalized radio and discovered podcasts. But when it came to episodes on TV shows he never knew what he was going to get, when they would post or how long they would be, so he created TV Talk.
“I wanted to build a network of podcasts with a predictable formula,” he says.
To listen to TV Talk, visit tvtalk.com.
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