This Video App Wants to Curate Your Content Based on Mood

Rheo founder tells TheWrap why he thinks “low stress, low decision” approach will appeal to users

With an endless amount of clips to choose from online, one new video platform is looking to set itself apart by changing how viewers find content. Rheo, the brainchild of a former Apple veteran, wants users to ditch “search,” and instead discover video based on mood.

“What the market has catered really well towards in the last several years is if you know what you want to watch, you can find it in four seconds,” said Alan Cannistraro, founder of Rheo, in an interview with TheWrap. He pointed to Netflix and other streaming services making content easily searchable.

“The problem we haven’t solved is, what if you don’t know [what you want to watch]?” he posed.

Rheo’s answer to this question is curating an endless stream of short form content. Users simply choose from a list of moods — Laugh, Inform, Learn, Taste, Spark, Move, and Chill — and are presented with corresponding clips.

Its content is pulled from Facebook and Twitter, and a recent partnership with Vimeo helped beef up its slate. Rheo has more than 40,000 videos in rotation, and it’s adding 700 clips each week.

After releasing its beta on Apple TV last year, Rheo’s 1.0 launch came earlier this month, covering iPhone, Apple TV, and its website. The new app added a social aspect, too, where users can record their reactions to videos and share on their friends’ feeds.

Cannistraro brings a formidable Silicon Valley resume to the table: He spent 12 years at Apple, where he worked on apps like Books and Podcasts, before switching to Facebook and focusing on News Feed and autoplay video.

He told TheWrap he took the risk of leaving an established job because “video is becoming the primary way we consume information.” Rheo’s team of nine is based in San Francisco, and the company raised $2.3 million in funding last year.

With heavy hitters like Youtube are firmly entrenched, Rheo will face stiff competition for users.

Cannistraro did not share how many users the platform has, but was encouraged by users spending an average of 50 minutes per day on its Apple TV app. He says he believes Rheo’s “low stress, low decision” approach will appeal to users, similar to how curated music playlists from Apple Music and Spotify have been a hit.