IMDB made finding details about movies and TV shows easier. Netflix made streaming movies and TV shows easier. Amazon made buying DVDs of movies and TV shows easier. And we were already watching downloaded movies and TV shows on our TVs, computers and handheld devices. So why has there been no service that can bring all of this together? And I demand Anime to be treated as a first class citizen in the land of internet pastime!
Simkl TV Tracker is must have tool for anyone who can’t live without their dose of digital entertainment. It combines the functionality of the above mentioned services and makes watching, tracking and discovering new movies and shows so much easier and it is available on every device imaginable.
About the Startup
Simkl was started by Andrew Masyk in 2007 but back then it was a completely different service. They were the first to create a recording solution for Skype calls. When Microsoft discontinued its Skype API, Simkl rebranded itself as a TV Tracking service. Also on the team, is co-founder Eugene Yushchenko.
Simkl TV Tracker solves the problem of not being able to remember if that movie or show you wanted to watch is on Hulu, Netflix or Amazon – since licensing deal with studios means no one streaming site can have access to all the movies and TV shows. It also automatically detects what you’re watching, tells you how many episodes you’ve missed, recommend new shows or movies based on your watched list and lets you find out what your friends are into.
The idea came from the vacuum of not having any service that provided a well structured TV, Anime and Movie information on one website and allowed to track what you watch. The team went to Kickstarter in June 2014 but they pulled out when the service became much bigger in ambition and scope and they didn’t wanted to overcommit. They focused on making the service functional and launched an open beta on December 2014 and everybody can now sign up while they continue to develop more features.
Today 50% of users use mobile and TV devices to watch and track their favorite shows and movies while desktop use has shrunk drastically. Simkl is leveraging this shift happening in media consumption.
How does it Matches up to the Competition
Simkl is not trying to create another second screen experience. It’s more about what you watched, what to watch next and what your friends are watching. It only aggregates the content from streaming sites and serves as gatekeeper with its open API that can be integrated with any apps for automatic tracking (while allowing manual tracking through its website).
“Our main competitors would be TV Guides and watchlists services”, says Andrew. Trakt.tv is a similar service that allows tracking of movies and TV shows but the open architecture of Simkl allows them to work with competitors, not against them. “Our end goal is your watchlist portability – the freedom to use multiple platforms and devices.”
About their Plans
The company plans to released a 2-way sync for trakt which will build a history of every TV show and movie you’ve watched, automatically from your media center. And once they launch the public Simkl API, all popular media centers, like XBMC, Media Portal, Infuse, Plex, Popcorn, would be supported and tracking would happen seamlessly in the background. They are also targeting developers to help them build more contextual entertainment apps with full watch history sync.
Although anyone can use the service to track and get recommendations but only US users will be able to stream. Netflix and others are slowly expanding to other regions and this might change in the future. Simkl will also have paid VIP accounts that will allow users to get more features that they would not normally get if the website was simply monetized by ads. VIP features will include IFTT integration, iCal export, complete ad removal on the website.
So head over to their website and start tracking movies and shows like a pro!