Yahoo acknowledges that consumers these days tend to favor streaming video services, and banks on their behavior by launching the new Yahoo Video Guide app.
It is sometimes difficult to keep track of each TV show and where you can watch it, and Yahoo Video Guide helps you do just that. Users can install the app on their Android and iOS smartphone, helping them find TV shows or movies.
Whereas established video streaming services have video guides of their own, they often rely on self-marketing and suggestion on what to watch. Yahoo tests the water in a slightly different manner.
The company introduced a "mood picker," which should help users determine what kind of televised entertainment they want to enjoy. The idea is in its prime, but the concept is interesting: users browse through GIFs, clicking on those that match their mood. For example, clicking a GIF with two people kissing will direct you to romantic comedies, clicking on a fire gives you an array of action movies, and so on.
There is an area where Yahoo actually uses raw data to make recommendations. Yahoo Video Guide taps into your handset and analyzes the video apps you already installed, making sure that all the suggestions it provides are watchable on your phone.
Alongside the leaders of streaming, Yahoo Video Guide gives you access to a myriad of TV networks, YouTube and Showtime.
"You can then start watching instantly by tapping a playback button that redirects you to the right app on your phone, including HBO, Netflix, Amazon and Hulu," says Yahoo.
Information such as the rental or purchase cost, as well as the source for free streaming is available on each title's page. The app further displays details such as ratings from specialized websites, the year when the show or movie was released, its length, the names of the cast and more. A welcomed section is the "similar" tab, which helps users find titles they might enjoy.
Yahoo Video Guide faces the same problem plaguing its rivals: poor integration of the not-so-famous streaming video services. While they may not be as popular as others, these services air original content and borrowed TV shows and movies. However, they are not featured in many apps.
It would certainly be a plus to find the likes of Feeln, go90, Noggin, SeeSo, Sling TV, Stream, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, Vessel, Vimeo or Watchable on Yahoo Video Guide.
Yahoo Video Guide also scores bonus points for its engaging user interface which is both simple and intuitive, as it works a lot with thumbnail images. It remains to be seen whether the third-party app will convince enough people to use it instead of going head-on to the video streaming service they are used to, but it sounds promising.
Yahoo Video Guide works on mobile devices only, and it currently comes exclusively to U.S. users.