AnySource Media, a company that manages the delivery of web video directly to TV sets, announced today it has secured $3.2 million in Series A funding from NextStage Capital, Murex Investments and individual investors from the cable TV and VOD industry.
Net-connected television sets are already hitting the market, and will proliferate this year with new models coming from the likes of Vizio, LG and Sony (s SNE). AnySource’s software runs on chips within these broadband-enabled televisions to create user interfaces and menus where online video content lives.
With more video options on your TV come more video selections that must be navigated. AnySource is creating a loose UI that will provide a generally consistent experience from television to television, but allow each TV manufacturer to differentiate itself. As far as navigation, AnySource is keeping it pretty simple, based on the up, down, left and right basic remote controls. That’s how consumers want it, according to AnySource CEO Mike Harris. “Instead of something innovative and wild looking,” said Harris, “we take the channel paradigm, where consumers are comfortable.”
But the UI on the TV set is only half of the AnySource equation. It also has a data center that communicates with content partners to translate their web video into a 10-foot experience. When an online video is watched on the TV through AnySource, it comes straight from the content provider with the ads intact.
Contrary to what you might think, AnySource doesn’t plan to make money through licensing to TV manufacturers or by taking a cut from ads served through content partners. Instead, the company will rely on its own ad space in the menu it creates, and will take affiliate fees for any transactions such as movie rentals or bounties from subscriptions that it generates.
Though AnySource says it is working with big name TV vendors, it has not officially announced any agreements yet, and the same holds true on the content relationship side. But its executive team, which has deep experience in the cable and consumer electronics industries, provides its legitimacy in the field.
Based in Philadelphia, AnySource has raised a little more than $4 million to date. It was formed in the fall of 2006 and currently has 25 employees. Competitors in this space include Clearleap, which manages video to multiple platforms, and ActiveVideo Networks, which is working to bring web content to your television through Internet-connected devices.