San Francisco-based online video directory Yidio is introducing content alerts today, pinging its users every time a new video from one of their favorite TV shows goes up. Alerts can be customized to include the airing of a show on TV and news about a certain show, and will be delivered via email, Facebook or Twitter.
These new alerts are just one way for Yidio to compete with similar TV content directory offerings like Sidereel and Clicker, both of which were recently acquired by large players in this industry (Rovi (s ROVI) and CBS Interactive, (s CBS) respectively). Yidio’s main differentiator has so far been a kind of digital currency dubbed Yidio Credits, which can be earned through participation in partner programs.
Watching a video from one of the site’s advertising partners may get you 14 or so credits, but signing up with Netflix (s NFLX) is a way to earn 7000 credits. These credits can then be redeemed for TV episodes on Amazon (s amzn), making it possible to watch current episodes of TV shows without any ads. The redemption process itself is a little cumbersome, but that hasn’t stopped users from earning 600 million of them since the currency was introduced about a year ago, according to Yidio’s co-founding brothers Brandon and Adam Eatros, with whom I recently sat down to talk.
Of course, Yidio’s new alerts feature could be useful even if you’re not into the whole digital currency thing. And for the company, it’s one of many applications it wants to enable with its data layer, which includes information about around 300,000 episodes from 7,000 TV shows. Yidio has started to use this data to power websites from partners like the TV Addict and Spoilers Guide, and he company is looking at signing up other partners.
Yidio launched with an angel investment of undisclosed amount, with investors including Buzz Tracker co-founder Alan Warms, Jim Collis and Bill Luby of Seaport Capital, Lon Chow of Apex Venture Partners and Performics CEO Jamie Crouthamel. The startup is now profitable, thanks largely to its digital currency: Affiliate relationships make up 70 percent of Yidio’s revenue, with ads bringing in the remaining 30 percent.