Today’s Q&A Wednesday is with Bradley Markham, founder of TweetTV. They’ll be pitching at the Social TV Summit in New York this week.
Q: Give us the elevator pitch for your company?
tweetTV (www.tweet.tv or www.tweetTV.com) is real-time social TV. It’s part TV discovery tool and part TV communication platform. We’ve created a real-time, localized TV Guide that helps users discover what to watch on their TV by ranking currently airing programs based on their real-time“tweet rate” on Twitter. This helps answer the question “What are people watching on TV right now?” The guide is constantly shifting to show which programs are trending at any given time, and their localized channel numbers. We can show local trends, intra-network trends, and more. Plus, on the TV discovery side, we’ve invented a unique search tool that lets users dig down to see what’s popular on TV based on any combination of networks, genres, and program types.
But that’s just the beginning. When a user clicks on a TV program, he enters into a “tweet room” where he can see and reply to all of the tweets related to the program (beyond generic #hashtags ). We’ve created a full-fledged TV oriented web-based Twitter client for TV that goes beyond just seeing and replying to TV-related tweets. Our intuitive interface allows for actual tweet-based conversations and allows users to filter TV tweets by friends, experts, Network/Cast, etc. If that wasn’t enough, we’ve integrated multi-user video chat so our users can see and chat with each other publicly or privately while continuing to engage in tweet-based conversations, view program info, and further participate with others about the TV program they’re watching.
For TV Networks, tweetTV offers unique engagement tools such as Featured Tweets, and easy, customizable content integration so that networks can easily put their talent and content in front of their social TV viewers in a very direct, accessible way.
Q: How did the company get started? Who had the idea? Was there an “A Ha!” moment?
About 3 years ago, our founder, Bradley Markham, noticed that several of the Trending Topics on Twitter were related to TV shows. The ‘A Ha’ moment came when he realized that it’s not enough to just say “x is trending”. The question to be answered is “Trending against what?”. He realized that he could create a platform that would show trends within channels for anything that people were tweeting about (TV being the obvious first choice).
Q: Who are the founders of the company?
tweetTV is founded by Bradley Markham. Born and raised in Crockett, TX, Bradley later attended Stanford University where he graduated with honors and a degree in Science, Technology, and Society with a specialization in internet business. He then went to work at Google, where he served as an optimization specialist in the Google Adwords department in the days when Adwords was a brand new advertising medium. He has since owned, operated, and sold several small-market web businesses, including FreeTVonline.com, DoggySpace.com, and Wordze.com
Q: How has the company been financed so far? Are you looking for additional capital?
tweetTV has been completely bootstrapped thus far. We worked on the website for 2 years before releasing our public beta just last week. We’ll be pitching tweetTV on the “10 Great Ideas” panel at the Social TV Summit in New York on November 16th. We are now actively seeking seed capital and encourage interested investors to contact us.
Q: What can we expect to see in the future from your company?
We have tons of exciting things in the pipeline, only a few of which we can mention. First, we’re going to be introducing free, front-facing social analytics for all TV programs. Also, we’re just starting to talk with TV networks about unique partnerships where we can integrate their content feature their tweets for the programs of their choosing. We’re working on mobile apps. And because our technology allows us to identify and display trends within channels, look for us to branch out beyond TV and create other web-based interactive popularity guides (think news, shopping, etc).