Something afoot? Apple acquires video discovery service

Apple appears to have just acquired another startup, this time, a second-screen mobile app and web-based service offering users a range of TV-related features – including comprehensive listings, personalized recommendations, queue creation, and show subscriptions – for content from cable and streaming providers.

The news was first reported by VentureBeat, citing an anonymous source, though a short while later AllThingsD said an Apple spokesperson had confirmed the news.

Precisely how much Apple paid for isn’t known, though a figure of between $1 million and $1.5 million has been suggested – small change for the Cupertino company.

News of the acquisition at least goes some way to explaining why the service closed suddenly back in May with little to no explanation, though CEO Guy Piekarz did tell TechCrunch at the time that the startup was working on “a new direction”.

“The hardest thing, by far, in the new direction we’re going was taking down the service, which we’ve been building for the last couple of years,” Piekarz told TechCrunch, adding, “We apologize for disappointing our users and plan to provide something better in the future.”

According to VentureBeat, prior to its closure the service was growing steadily and found itself regularly ranked among the top 15 entertainment apps in Apple’s App Store.

We’ll have to wait and see what plans Apple has for its most recent acquisition – it could involve incorporating it into Apple TV or launching it as part of a new product.

The tech giant’s TV-based intentions still aren’t clear, though as you might expect with anything connected with this particular company, there are several rumors knocking about. Talk of a so-called iTV – an Apple-branded flat-panel television – continues to rumble on, while it’s also believed to be developing ad-skipping technology for Apple TV and any other TV-related products it might launch. 

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