Bonnie Cha

Recent Posts by Bonnie Cha

Fanhattan Brings Its One-Stop Video-Discovery Service to the Web

There’s no shortage of places to watch your favorite TV shows and movies online, but trying to figure out who offers what can be a frustrating experience.

Fanhattan made that task easier with its intelligent video-discovery iOS app, and now it’s expanding beyond mobile devices to the Web.

Starting today, users can sign up for an email invite to try out the new Fanhattan website. But if you already use the iOS app, you can start using the site right away.

As with the mobile app, you can search the Fanhattan website for a TV show or movie, and Fanhattan will not only show you which content providers offer what you’re looking for, but will also directly link you to those services.

The company has partnered with 29 content providers, including Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, HBO and NBC, and has more than one million titles in its database. Fanhattan CEO Gilles BianRosa said in a phone interview that he hopes to add new content on a weekly basis.

I got a sneak peek at the website, and it’s elegant and smart. I could have used this a few weeks ago when I was looking for Season 2 of “Downton Abbey,” after realizing it wasn’t on Netflix. Instead, I did a frantic Google search (you know how it is when you get hooked on a show) to find out who else offered it. I also liked that the site offered actor bios, movie trailers and plot synopses.

Beyond connecting users to content, Fanhattan wants to create a social experience. As such, members can share their watch lists with other users, or sign in to Facebook to see what their friends are watching (provided that they also use Fanhattan). There’s also a section of the site that lists trending shows.

Fanhattan’s ultimate goal is to bring its entertainment-discovery service to every screen, though BianRosa told me that the company is taking it one product at a time to ensure the best experience.

To that point, the Fanhattan Web service is only in beta for now. The site will eventually open up to everybody, but BianRosa didn’t provide any specifics of when that might be.

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