Reece Pacheco is the founder and CEO of Shelby.TV, a NY-based startup looking to solve the web’s nagging video-discovery problem. The company’s had a long history in the web video space, originally launching its service in 2011, only to later shut it down for a period of 16 months in an effort to improve the product. Shelby.TV’s back now, though, with a recently launched iOS app that scours the web for videos that you’re likely to enjoy watching. In today’s 5Qs, we asked Pacheco about his company, the 16-month hiatus, and the new iOS app. Enjoy.
What’s different with Shelby.TV this time around?
The new Shelby.TV iPhone app is the best product we’ve built to date. It puts your favorite videos front and center, offers personalized video recommendations, and preloads video so that playback is super fast.
Our goal is the same as it’s always been — to be the best way to discover and enjoy videos. iIt’s just that we better know, and are better able to do that after a couple years of iteration.
Why did you choose to shut it down and spend 16 months rebooting the app?
After our initial launch, we realized there was an opportunity to better build our infrastructure and better position ourselves as a company for the long haul. When we looked at the options, trying to build the new product while maintaining the old one just didn’t make sense.
You’re channelizing the video-viewing experience — combining different clips into one stream which is supposed to be suited for the viewer. In a sense, it’s TV-like. Why did you choose this approach?
Most people would describe the experience Shelby provides as “lean-back,” which is what we do when we watch TV. We do that, not because we’re trying to increase engagement, but because it’s the way we naturally like to watch video (read: TV). But web video, generally, is not that lean-back… you have to hunt and peck to find cool stuff to watch. It’s scattered across different sites and networks. It’s a pain. So Shelby makes it easy to see the videos you want to watch, in a comfy, lean-back fashion.
How are you/will you monetize?
Video is a great medium and it’s still early days in this industry, and for Shelby, but at a high level, knowing what people want to watch and when they want to watch it is pretty valuable. I’ll leave it at that.
Discovery is a problem with web video. How would you say you’re solving this?
I won’t go into the exact details of our recommendations, but our goal with our recommendations is to connect you to videos outside of your immediate circle. So whether that means videos similar to videos shared by your friend so-and-so, or videos that are similar to videos you’ve already shared, we’re trying to get outside of your immediate bubble to help you find something new.