Looking for a specific movie to watch? Well, there's Netflix and Hulu, your DVDs and iTunes -- but each of those services has a limited library and fixed prices. You may have to hop around to find what you want.
That's what MediaHound is trying to solve.
A one-stop shop for all things movies and TV, the startup launched its website Thursday night at leetUP, a nerd convention that took over Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles.
“Both the film and television industries are struggling with convenience,” founder and manager Addison McCaleb told TheWrap. “We kept it simple enough to where grandparents and kids can use it.”
You don’t actually watch anything on MediaHound, you go there to find the cheapest and easiest way to watch whatever it is you desire.
If you search for “Iron Man,” you can buy it via iTunes, Best Buy or Amazon, or stream it via Amazon Instant Video. If you want to watch “Brokeback Mountain,” you can stream it on YouTube, Netflix or Amazon and buy it on iTunes, Netflix or Amazon.
“What makes Mediahound different is that we’re a web app, accessible to everybody that has a connection to the Internet,” Wesley Burger, the company’s director of communications told TheWrap.
That’s as opposed to a set-top box like Roku, which only hooks up to a television.
“A web app we can reach critical mass on social media much faster because everybody with Internet can use the platform,” Burger said.
Mediahound has affiliated deals with the likes of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and iTunes. That rewards them with a bit of money, but it remains an ad-based business.
The site also links to Sony’s Crackle, as well as the Paramount and Disney libraries, letting users watch a movie or show from whichever service they want.
They also have a deal with Miramax, which has its own channel on the site, giving users access to the studio’s entire library through Facebook’s Miramax Experience.
Attracting more studios is the goal, which is why they have turned to JPMorgan’s David Shaheen and John Miller as advisers.
“It presents a unique opportunity for studios to promote their brand and bring their content into their own space in a really actionable way,” McCaleb said. There isn’t a place right now for them to list all their titles and have people be able to purchase them from wherever they want.”
Studios can also use the site to promote their movies, targeting users who love certain types of films (and funding Mediahound in the process).
To find these movies, you can look in any number of ways. You can search for specific titles, browse by different criteria – genre, star or rating – or, aping Spotify, by playlist.
The goal is to enlist celebrities to make playlists for them. For leetUP, where the likes of Kevin Smith and comedian Doug Benson are podcasting, they got one of its founders, Kevin Periera, the host of G4’s “Attack of the Show, to contribute a playlist.
The site got an initial investment round of $350,000 from angel investors, and a second round is under way.
Tablet apps, mobile apps and Smart TV apps are on their way, too, but for now the goal is finding an audience and refining the service.
“We’ve built a platform and a product that from a consumer perspective solves a lot of problems they have in accessing content and from a studio perspective solves problems in accessing consumers,” McCaleb said it.
“But we’ve been able to do it as four guys in a garage on a start-up budget.”
Media Reporter, The Wrap