Apple has acquired a video discovery and recommendation startup called Matcha.tv, according to a report by VentureBeat. The company had abruptly shut down its service in May, claiming it had plans to take on a new direction, which apparently involved a lucrative deal with a major tech giant. As usual, Apple declined to comment on the aquisition, but a source speaking to VentureBeat says Apple paid between $1 million and $1.5 million.
This information has already been disputed by another source with knowledge of the deal, however, suggesting that the final amount could have been much higher. After all, Matcha.tv was displaying significant growth and was once ranked among the top 15 entertainment apps in the Apple App Store.
Most importantly, the app was extremely good at what it set out to do. It allowed users to see what was available on both cable TV and on popular streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and iTunes. It also gave personalized recommendations, and offered unique social features that allowed you to see which shows your friends and colleagues were watching.
What exactly will Apple do with Matcha.tv? The obvious assumption is that Apple will eventually integrate the service into TV centric offerings -- whether that involves its existing Apple TV streamer or their mythical TV set. Although much of this is speculative, most believe that Apple is actively talking to cable providers with visions of expanding its limited streaming options.
Back in June, we reported that Apple TV had bolstered its lineup with five new channels, which included HBO Go and ESPN. If they continue down this path, then Matcha.tv could eventually help Apple TV users to discover new shows and sort through their range of viewing options.