Likewise, the Seattle-area startup backed by Bill Gates, announced the launch of Likewise TV on Wednesday, a personalized entertainment hub that allows users to access all of their streaming television services in one place.
The free service takes the hassle out of switching between provider apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ HBO Max, Hulu, Apple TV+ and others. Users can stream shows on the web in one place via laptop, desktop and tablet as well as through iOS, Android and connected TV devices.
The move is an extension of the company’s mobile app that already provides personalized recommendations for TV shows, movies, books and podcasts to 5 million registered users.
Likewise TV uses machine learning, ratings from “influencers” and recommendations from other viewers to deliver personalized recommendations geared toward a viewer’s streaming tastes. Users can save a show or movie to a watchlist or launch it directly from the service it’s playing on.
“The majority of adults, and more than 80% of people under 35, use non-TV devices to stream video daily,” Likewise CEO Ian Morris said in a news release. “Likewise TV provides one seamless view across more than 100 streaming services, all in one place, letting anyone discover, share and even watch their next favorite.”
Likewise shared this example for how a recommendation might look across streaming services:
- Finished the latest season of “Ozark” on Netflix and want another like it? Check out “The Mosquito Coast” on Apple TV+, “Gomorrah” on HBO Max, or even “Sneaky Pete” on Prime Video.
Likewise made its public debut in October 2018 as the brainchild of Larry Cohen, the former Microsoft communications chief. Cohen is chairman of Likewise and the CEO of Gates Ventures, Bill Gates’ private investment firm. Gates is the primary financial backer, investing $15 million in the startup at the end of 2021.
The company previously launched its app for TVs in July 2020 as a companion to its smartphone apps. The mobile apps have captured 250 million ratings and reviews from users.