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Summary:

Turn on one of TCL’s new Ice Screen TV sets, and one of the first apps to pop up is Frequency, a video curation app that presents five million new videos every day, neatly organized in a variety of channels.

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Frequency is set to announce a partnership with Chinese television maker TCL  that could put the video curation startup’s app before millions of new eyeballs. Frequency is revealing on Wednesday morning at CES that its app will be pre-installed on TCL’s newly-announced Ice Screen TV set as the default option to watch video from a variety of online sources, The startup will also have the option to bring the app to a range of other TCL TV sets.

Frequency is one of a number of startups that offers ways to curate online videos. The company previously launched a web version, apps for iPad and iPhone as well as an app for Samsung Smart TVs.

Frequency CEO and founder Blair Harrison told me during a demo in Las Vegas Tuesday that the company views TCL as a huge opportunity. “They’re a very smart, fast-moving aggressive company,” he said. TCL used to be known as a white-label OEM manufacturer who built screens for other brands. But the company has put a lot of emphasis on its own devices in recent months, and has since become the biggest TV manufacturer in China, as well as the fourth-biggest manufacturer in the world.

TCL’s Ice Screen TV is an Android-based TV set that offers access to a handfull of pre-installed apps. Users who start the Frequency app will be able to subscribe to and waatch a number of channels, which range from big news publishers like the BBC and CNN to blogs and even a user’s Twitter and Facebook contacts. Videos from a channel are played non-stop, which makes for a very TV-like experience.

Unique about the company’s approach is that it doesn’t just aggregate every video a brand publishes on YouTube or its own site. The company also crawls the links that publishers share on Twitter, and grabs every embedded video on a linked site. Harrison said that Frequency indexes around five million videos a day.

So what’s next for Frequency? Harrison told me that the company wants to keep improving its recommendation algorithms, and also build out its current monetization model, which allows publishers to directly feed videos into the app on any supported device in exchange for some revenue. And it wants to take a measured approach towards porting the app. “We are not in a hurry to to roll out Frequency on every single platform,” he said.

Frequency is based in Los Angeles and has raised some private funding. The company currently employs a team of 20.

  1. This is unique, hope to hear more.. Keep it up GigaOM.

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  2. Three cheers for Frequency! But I want to know how Frequency skirts China’s video censorship. From what I know, YouTube is inaccessible in China. Does Frequency curate videos from Youku instead of YouTube? I’d be interested to talk to Blair Harrison about this!

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