Chill just integrated with Hulu to offer viewers scheduled times to watch full television episodes with friends, and now features a revamped user interface.
"There's a reason why TV works the way it works," Chill Director of Growth Andrew Skotzko tells LAUNCH. "We're extending that idea online and the idea is that people have always had friends over to their house to watch television, go to bars to watch sports games together and that's really the direction we're building this out into. An interactive social viewing hub for premium content on the web."
Chill has access to all of Hulu's library, but currently only offers showings for 18 television episodes, including Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, 90210 and Glee.
"The shows that dominate the collective psyche is what we're choosing to highlight at the moment," Andrew says.
You can watch the latest episode with friends at different times throughout the day. For example, Chill offered showings for New Girl's latest episode at 10am, 11am and 12pm PT today. Eventually, Chill will offer private rooms to watch shows just with friends.
"By integrating with Hulu, we now have a place where people can go watch their favorite shows with their friends," Andrew says. "It's an opportunity for a certain class of customers who want a fully integrated experience rather than an on demand solo experience. They want to be engaged with other people and have their experience integrated into social networks."
Chill currently doesn't offer an on-demand experience but plans to add it in the future, in addition to offering movies from Hulu as well as from other partners.
In addition to its major integration with Hulu, Chill partnered with Vevo last week to let users watch music videos with artists. Back in September, Chill added live event powered by Ustream, Justin.tv and YouTube Live.
With connected devices like Apple TV, Google TV and Roku emerging in the entertainment industry, Flingo CEO Ashwin Navin says that "it's all about the apps" and others wonder if apps are the next channels.
Yahoo's IntoNow app for iPad offers a somewhat similar experience to Chill's social television viewing experience, but on the iPad as opposed to on a web browser. The app lets users connect with friends around the shows they like and discuss what's going on. By listening to and identifying the show you're watching, it pulls in relevant information from sites like IMDb or in the case of sports, actual scores and standings.
"It's focused on a very different experience than Chill," Andrew says in regards to IntoNow. "We're focusing on a different and younger class of customer who wants to lean forward and engage with other fans in an integrated environment, one that ties the whole experience -- premium content, their social & interest graph, direct engagement -- together in a shared, real-time experience."
Andrew says that Chill is still remaining focused on the lean forward experience of Internet video, as opposed to a lean back traditional television experience.
"[The lean forward experience] is well suited by the browser," Andrew says. "We have to nail down the integrated experience in the browser before extending into other platforms."
Chill, founded by Dan Gould and Brian Norgard, launched in August.
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Watch "New Girl" with others fans.
CONTACTS & LINKS
Andrew Skotzko, Director of Growth
Andrew Skotzko, Director of Growth