Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Exclusive: TMS Acquires Online Video Guide CastTV

Online video search start-up CastTV has been acquired by Tribune Media Services, the widely used entertainment guide metadata provider.

CastTV was founded in 2006 by a husband and wife team, and had raised $3.1 million from investors including Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Ron Conway and Marc Andreessen.

Though she wouldn’t comment on the terms of the deal, CastTV co-founder and President Alex Vikati said, “CastTV was profitable so we weren’t forced to make any decisions.” She, CastTV’s co-founder and CEO Edwin Ong, and their three employees will make up TMS’s Silicon Valley office, rather than moving to join TMS at its Chicago headquarters.

CastTV had stayed relatively under the radar compared to newcomers like Clicker.com, but it still has four million monthly uniques. Unlike Clicker, which has focused on curation and personalization, CastTV takes more of a pure search and aggregation approach. It historically did not exclude unauthorized content streams (though when I checked this morning, this no longer seemed to be the case). CastTV has also focused on detail-oriented features such as device awareness, so it will filter video results to only the formats playable on a certain device.

TMS will combine CastTV’s databases with its metadata service, and operate CastTV.com in conjunction with its own entertainment guide Zap2it.com, which has about double the audience.

TMS counts just about every content provider and guide service as a customer, including Microsoft, Google, TiVo, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, IMDb and the New York Times.


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— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google