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|Industry||Media, broadcast, television, digital cinema, Internet, Automatic Content Recognition, Social television, second screen, Smart TV, application software, Interactive TV|
|Founded||San Francisco, CA (incorporated 2008)|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California|
|Ashwin Navin, CEO|
Samba TV (formerly Flingo) is a content recommendation engine within Smart TV apps, co-founded in 2008 by early employees of BitTorrent (company), including Samba’s current CEO, Ashwin Navin. Samba TV develops software for televisions, set-top boxes, smart phones and tablets to enable interactive television through personalization. Through its portfolio of applications and TV platform technologies, Samba TV is built directly into the TV or set-top box and will recognize onscreen content—live or time-shifted—and make relevant information available to users at their request. Through APIs and SDKs for mobile application software developers, Samba TV is usable on a second screen or the TV itself. Samba TV applications are currently available on over 30 million screens in 118 countries.
History and Features
The company was founded to help media companies like Showtime, FOX, A+E Networks, TMZ, Revision3, PBS and CBS develop apps on Smart TVs that synchronize with linear Broadcast programming and Non-linear media. In January 2012, Samba TV launched one-click sharing on social networks like Facebook and Twitter from the television. In January 2013, the company announced further developments and features and named its interactive TV platform Samba.
In September 2013, the company adopted the Samba TV name to reflect the company's focus on interactive television and market traction with signed contracts with leading players throughout the ecosystem including TV and set-top box manufacturers, advertisers, content publishers and broadcasters. In the company’s own words, the core services of Samba TV include:
- An all-access pass to behind-the-scenes content from viewers’ favorite TV shows and actors. By connecting phones or tablets to the TV, viewers gain access to exclusive content and special offers. Also, as they flip through channels, related online videos or similar TV programs are automatically recommended.
- Exclusive videos TV and set-top box manufacturers' ticket to bringing all the hottest Internet videos directly to Smart TVs, allowing them to provide their customers with access to over 80 channels and thousands of online videos.
- Sponsorship enabling major advertisers to build a direct relationship with viewers and present additional information to interested viewers directly on the TV or any device synchronized with it.
Samba TV was incorporated as Free Stream Media Corp. in 2008, a company founded by Ashwin Navin, David Harrison, Alvir Navin, Omar Zennadi and Todd Johnson. According to the public source code repository, Flingo's open source client was written by David Harrison and Omar Zennadi in Python, and is free software licensed under the GPL.
In February 2012, Flingo announced a $7 million Series A round investment from August Capital. In May 2012, Flingo added additional investors, closing at $8 million, including entrepreneur Mark Cuban and Gary Lauder. Cuban discovered Flingo at CES 2012 when he saw a crowd in the Flingo booth watching a demonstration of its SyncApps technology. The funding helped Flingo expand its presence with smart TV and device manufacturers worldwide, building on its existing partnerships.
- Smart TV
- Interactive television
- Social television
- Enhanced TV
- Digital Video Fingerprinting
- Second screen
- Automatic content recognition
- “Flingo Rebrands as Samba TV”. Multichannel News. 2013-09-24. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
- “Flingo Integrates Web and Television With the First Application Publishing Suit”. Marketwire. 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- “Flingo Dives Into Social TV with Synchronized TV Apps”. Lost Remote. 2011-11-30. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- “Flingo’s SyncApps let you tweet directly from your TV”. GigaOM. 2012-09-01. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
- “Flingo reveals Samba, a first of its kind dual interactive TV and second screen platform”. PandoDaily. 2013-04-01. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
- “Flingo Is Now Samba TV, Launches New Brand and Website”. Marketwired. 2013-09-24. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
- "Ashwin Navin’s Connected TV Startup Flingo". NewTeeVee.com. 2010-10-12. Retrieved 2010-10-30.
- "Flingo Code Repository on GitHub". github.com. 2010-09-29. Retrieved 2010-10-30.
- 9. “Flingo raises $7m to make your TV smarter”. NewTeeVee. 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- 10. “Mark Cuban Invests in Social TV Startup Flingo”. Lost Remote. 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- Official Website for Flingo Open Source project
- Official Website for Free Stream Media Corp.
- Forbes interviews Flingo's CEO about the Smart TV marketplace
- Flingo's announced deployment on Syabas, Popcorn Hour and Popbox devices
- BestBuy announces support for Flingo on Insignia TVs
- Flingo's official launch covered by GigaOm
- Flingo demo on Western Digital's WDTV
- Flingo demo and coverage on NBC News
- Flingo's Vimeo page including a product demo
- Mark Cuban invests in Flingo covered by Variety
- Mark Cuban funds Flingo covered by CNET
- Gary Lauder and Mark Cuban’s Flingo investment covered by Broadcasting & Cable
- The state of the second screen covered by Engadget
- Flingo moves to interactive advertising covered by TechCrunch
- Flingo adds web videos and smart TV apps to TiVo covered by VentureBeat
- Q&A with CEO Ashwin Navin covered by CNET