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StreamSavvy helps you find, organize and pay for streaming programs

It's like a TV Guide for the streaming generation
StreamSavvy helps you find, organize and pay for streaming programs
Posted at 12:00 PM, Aug 28, 2016

So you're tired of paying a bundle for cable or satellite TV, which gives you a bunch of programs you never watch, along with unwelcome rate increases?

Aren't we all?

Ever thought about "cutting the cable" and just buying individual programs via Internet streaming services?

If so, you're not alone. A recent study showed that in 2014, 8.2 percent of former pay subscribers quit their service, an increase of 1.3 percent over 2013. And 45 percent reduced their cable or satellite service over the same period.

Search the Web for "cutting the cable" and it's easy to find stories or websites that tell you just how to do that.

This is the trend that Chris Kessler, 34, and Carl Lewis, 35, hope to cash in on with StreamSavvy, their new company that helps customers find streaming programs and pay for them.

The trend is being fueled by an increase in the number of streaming services. It used to be that Sling TV was the only game in town, Kessler said, but a few weeks ago PlayStation Vue opened, and Twitter has started livestreaming political and sporting events. Hulu announced plans to provide livestreaming next year.

How does it work?

When Kessler was a boy visiting his grandmother, she always had a TV Guide magazine. As a young adult watching TV with his parents, they pressed a button and could see which shows their cable provider was offering.

But for streamers, he said, there's no equivalent single place where a viewer can check out all the options. That's what StreamSavvy aims to be.

"We are the TV Guide for the streaming generation," Kessler said.

At http://www.streamsavvy.tv, subscribers can search for the programs they want, then sign up for a single show or a binge watch.

Whose idea was this?

When Kessler took a job with Nationwide Insurance in Columbus about a year ago, he bought a house there. That prompted a discussion about whether to sign up for cable TV or rely solely on streaming.

After much searching, Kessler said his family decided on seven programs they really wanted, and figured out what streaming apps they needed to get them. It was a painful process, he said, one in which he saw an opportunity.

In June of last year, he asked Lewis to help him start a company to solve the problem. They worked on the project nights and weekends until June 11 of this year, when they left their well-paying, secure corporate jobs to work full time on StreamSavvy.

Two days later, they joined the newest class of the Over-the-Rhine business accelerator The Brandery, and now they spend most of their time in Cincinnati.

Oliver Lemaitre, the CEO of fellow Brandery company Atumate (formerly Atumsoft), was an early adopter of StreamSavvy.

"I love being able to search for shows on all the different platforms, instead of wasting time jumping one to another," he said.

Without StreamSavvy, he said, he would sometimes search his various streaming providers for up to 45 minutes and end up not watching anything.

"I'm pretty sure it's a problem everyone has," he said.

How will they make money?

About 1,000 have used the Web-based app, Kessler said. They hope to have a mobile app now in development ready to deploy by Sept. 15, when Twitter streams its first NFL game.

They expect to keep the service free, but have streaming providers pay them for each program ordered through StreamSavvy. Kessler said he also expects to sell to advertisers the viewership data collected in the selection process.

Another revenue stream will come from charging users $1.50 to $2.99 per month to use StreamSavvy to organize and manage payments to the user's different providers, Kessler said.

What's been challenging about this business?

Staying ahead of trends in the market.

"Trying to solve the complexity of the TV/entertainment world as it shifts is no small challenge," Kessler said.