TiVo Founders’ Fledgling Online Video Service Qplay Is No More

/ Jul 21, 2014


Qplay, an online video service started by the founders of TiVO, is closing its doors less than year after its initial product launch.

In a blog post, the startup’s marketing director Ashley Martin-Golis, said Qplay’s last day of service will be this Friday, July 25, with everything shutting down at 5pm PT.

Qplay was one of many companies trying to solve the discovery problem with online video. Its pitch: A service that allowed users to stitch together a string of videos from free hosting sites like YouTube and Vimeo into “Qs,” as well as the ability to search for Qs created by others and/or based on different topics and interests. Available online and as an app on iPads, the service also came with a set-top box, which allowed users to flip the video to an internet-connected TV as long as all devices were in the same Wi-Fi network.

The startup was launched by TiVo founders Jim Ramsay and Mike Barton in the hopes of allowing users to personalize their own content networks. Priced at $49, the service never found footing in an incredibly cluttered marketplace — whether you look at it through the lens of a discovery platform that helps users find the free content that they want to watch, or a connected-TV platform that offers access to all sorts of premium content.

Qplay didn’t have a key to SVOD platforms like Netflix and HBO Go, both of which are accessible via devices such as Chromecast and Roku.

According to Martin-Golis’ post, Qplay will refund the price for its TV Adapter until the Friday, July 25 deadline. “All TV Adapters will stop functioning when the service shuts down,” she said.

“We did our best, and we’re sorry this is the end for Qplay.”


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