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Should TV Be More Social?

PSFK interviewed the Founder and CEO of Shelby.tv, which is a new TV experience that incorporates information from social networking platforms into...

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
Piers Fawkes, PSFK on January 28, 2012. @piers_fawkes

TV is becoming a much more personalized experience. Shelby.tv has designed a TV that incorporates information from social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter to create channels specifically catered to the user. It is also incorporating cutting-edge gesture technology into the mix. Is this the future of TV? PSFK sat down to chat with Reece Pacheco, Founder/CEO of Shelby.tv, to hear his thoughts on the subject:

Can you talk a little bit about how the multi-screen experience is changing and how that changes the TV viewing experience?

People need to realize that we live in a four screen world (phone, tablet, computer, TV) and those screens are converging in terms of what content and/or apps are available. However, form factor has been largely overlooked in terms of how we interact with these screens/devices. At the core of the TV viewing experience is the fact that the TV screen is a way to consume, it is not meant for input. That’s why we developed TouchPlay for Shelby.tv – a simple way to control the screen using simple, natural gestures.

How are you describing Shelby.TV today?

Today, Shelby is a great way to discover and enjoy video. Shelby takes all the video your friends are sharing across Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr and pulls it into one experience for you on web, iPhone, iPad and connected TV (through Apple’s AirPlay or browsers on Boxee/Google TV). From there, Shelby will get smart about what you like and don’t like so your video channel is really personalized for you.

Is there an algorithm running behind the social recommendation engine – to suggest content based on other variables? Or is it just riffing off of your friends’ favorites and behaviors?

Since day one Shelby’s been collecting a ton of data and we’ve been running tests with that on the back-end a bit, but we have yet to show any of those recommendations on the front end. Stay tuned for that.

It seems like all aggregation portals (and those that feature user-generated content, as well), eventually go down the road of content production. We’re curious to know whether you ever envision yourselves getting into that game?

Well, I did study media production and worked in production after college, so I’d love to get back in that game ;). But we’re focused on building technology that allows other great content creators to take advantage of social recommendations to spread their stories.

How are you going to monetize this service in the long term? How will you work with brands and other corporate partners?

We have had and continue to have a lot of interest from great brands about how to work together. While it is very compelling, our current focus is on continuing to build engagement and perfecting our core technology. That being said, we have a couple creative ideas for business models that don’t just involve slapping ads on the videos… because let’s face it, that experience sucks.

Thanks Reece!

Shelby.tv

Thinking...