By Lyndsey Schaefer
With the multitude of content available for consumption on traditional televisions and mobile devices, it’s hard to keep up with watching the latest TV episodes and movies. What’s even harder is avoiding time-sensitive spoilers on social media sites.
A little over four years ago at South by Southwest in Austin, Mick Darling, CEO of Tomorrowish, was talking with Amy Greenlaw, Director of Marketing, Tomorrowish about missing the last few episodes of “Lost,” and not being able to avoid tweets spoiling the season finale. A light went off in Darling’s head for a DVR for Twitter, where users could record and re-play tweets at a later, more convenient time.
Darling was already working on a product called “Tomorrowish,” as in watching something at a later date, perhaps not exactly tomorrow, but “tomorrowish.” After some research and talking consumers about making it a consumer application, Darling realized that it would make more sense to pivot and make it a white label API tool. Now, Tomorrowish is a tool for the backend for use with all of the second screen tools populating the ecosystem.
The way it works is by providing curated time-shifted content by recording the social media conversation that happens live from the East Coast broadcast. Tomorrowish was launched at SXSW in 2011 and has a growing stable containing over 9 million tweets from more than 5,000 conversations about TV shows and events.
“We have built very clever filters that can look through all of that content to filter it down to something that’s manageable,” Darling explains. “We have this great curation tool that captures the conversation automatically as it’s coming down live. Then on the West Coast, we capture more of what’s happening and merge all of that together, then run it through our algorithm to find the best stuff to have really good content we can synchronize with the show.”
Tomorrowish’s first big client was Turner’s tru.tv, and they’ve recently worked with NBC Universal’s E! Network. They have recently launched with Fox Now, and are doing a pilot with another network this summer, Darling says. They also have access to Hulu’s premium content so users can interact and add their voice, so there’s a two-way part to that conversation. Tomorrowish’s “Interestingness” filter is built to find the most interesting message.
“It’s an improving conversation – for TV, re-runs on VOD become a destination if you missed that conversation,” Darling says. “For TruTV, they’ve improved engagement by using talent to interact with fans on Twitter. We fit in any time after the immediate live premiere. We’re trying to get the whole conversation by showing those messages in context. The algorithm can understand 56 different languages.”
Tomorrowish is currently focused on being a white label tool on the back end. They have been working with Twitter for years to make sure they’re doing it right. The company also has partnerships with Facebook’s fan pages and has recently gotten the GetGlue API and is exploring other APIs.
“We’re the back end white label tool that we can plug in that goes on someone else’s site, or a tool that can augment someone else’s second screen app,” Darling says.
Darling says that while Tomorrowish is primarily working with TV now, they are planning to expand their scope to include conferences and governmental use.
When Darling attended the 2nd Screen Summit at CES, he observed that the attendees aligned very well with the companies they were doing business with.
“It’s important to know what’s going on, what people are talking about – and seeing what’s coming down the pipe to make better decisions and target what we’re doing to help the ecosystem,” Darling says. “With Fox Now, that’s multiple companies all working together. We’re focused on one particular part and doing it very well. We want to make it even better for everyone else as well.”
Darling says to keep an eye out for an announcement from Tomorrowish in the coming months. To get involved in the social conversation today, or maybe Tomorrowish, go to http://www.tomorrowish.tv/