Streaming services are at an all-time high and they continue to keep appearing, enticing us in with new original content. I’m talking about you Disney, taking Marvel from Netflix and then bringing the Star Wars series to our screens. We continue to purchase these services and have to flick between each app, check what’s new, what’s on our lists and find something to watch. Now what if I said there was an easy way to do this…? Well, a little app called PlayPilot could be your answer and an alternative to Apple TV.
PlayPilot is a streaming aggregator, which collates all the available content from the services you pay for into one handy location. Available as an app or website, PlayPilot is already available in the Nordics with almost 100,000 registered users. It’s not currently available in the UK, although you can visit the website to get a sneak peek, it’s set to release this summer. From what I know, no money exchanges hands, so you keep your existing subscription with your supplier and pay them directly.
It’s going to be very interesting to try out and see whether people can get out of the habit of clicking straight on the Netflix app. The thing that would get me most excited is if it gets pushed out to our TV’s, which would be such a time saver! Watch this space.
In the meantime, here’s a little Q&A with the founder.
1. Rough time of launch in the UK? Any rough ideas of launch in any other territories i.e. US? What’s the expansion plan?
Playpilot is live in Sweden, Norway and Denmark and we aim to launch in the UK this summer! After that, we will be looking at the US and possibly the Netherlands.
2. A full list of the services that PlayPilot has done deals with, whether those deals are ‘international’, and how payment is handled through the system
We don’t have any distribution/payment deals, and we in fact don’t need them. Here is why:
Playpilot is an aggregator that lets you search and explore all your streaming services in one place. So for example, say you want to watch the movie Seven but don’t know where to stream it. Googling “Stream Seven” won’t get you far but using Playpilot you can search across all services in your market to see who (if any) provider has it available. The same would apply if you want to know who has the latest season of The Walking Dead. Another use case is that you are in the mood for something Sci-Fi. Using playpilot, you can easily select which services you have access to and then you will be able to see all Sci-fi movies/shows from all of your providers in one view.
At its core, Playpilot is a discovery tool that lets you explore all the content available to you in one place. However once you find something you want to watch – you just click on a playlink and Playpilot will send you off to the provider that hosts that title so you can watch it (you will be sent to the title page of the movie you clicked). In other words, you can’t watch anything on Playpilot. We also don’t handle payments when signing-up to the various services – all of that is handled by each provider.
Since we do not host content, we don’t need any agreements regarding distribution rights, and since we don’t handle payments we don’t have any agreements related to that either. We are however aiming to make it possible to sign up for all services/manage your accounts through Playpilot later this year.
3. What is Adam’s view on Apple TV
I love Apple, but I’m not a fan of their TV app for iPhone and Apple TV. It’s not very good at serving me titles I’m interested in and it’s missing lots of services (including Netflix and all the buy/rental services except for iTunes). The problem is that Apple is not a neutral player in this space, and the tension that creates will only get worse now that they are launching their own service. Apple TV + will become a direct competitor to the services they aggregate, and we expect they may give their own content preferential treatment. If you’re using an aggregator to get cross-service recommendations on what to watch, we believe you want the recommendations to be as unbiased as possible. Beyond that Apple doesn’t offer any social features (which is a big focus for us). We don’t expect they will launch anything social since half the people I want to follow have Androids.
4. Explain in steps the journey a user would take if they wanted to watch something on Amazon
Open Playpilot – Go to a title that’s available on Amazon Prime – Click the playlink to get redirected to the title within Amazon Prime – click play and start watching (if you have a chromecast/Apple airplay you can then cast right up to the big screen).
The web version of Playpilot does’t work in the UK, but you can try out the app now.