Younify TV adds Pluto TV, Tubi AVODs to universal search guide

Younify TV, a free streaming playlist aggregator app, has added ad-supported video on-demand content from Pluto TV and Tubi to its universal search guide.

Younify’s app combines watchlists, continue watching and recommendations from top streaming services into a single consolidated view, in part to help address the viewer pain point of having to search, remember or continuously switch between apps to find or discover content. Younify also offers playback startup for videos, launching whichever app a user chooses. Until now the app only supported 10 leading SVOD services. That includes Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, Max, Disney+, Peacock, Paramount+, Apple TV, Discovery+ and Showtime.

But now it’s brought free ad-supported content into the mix with the additions of Paramount Global’s Pluto TV and Fox’s Tubi.  While the FAST services themselves also offer linear channels, Younify’s universal search guide (USG) is only pulling from on-demand content. Teed up it plans to add support for another leading FAST - The Roku Channel - though a definitive timeline hasn’t been disclosed.

FAST services continue to grab eyeballs, with Tubi capturing 1.3% of total TV viewing time in September, The Roku Channel accounting for 1.1% and Pluto TV garnering a 0.8% share, according to Nielsen’s The Gauge. Tubi’s share of viewing in the U.S. that month outpaced that grabbed by Max, Peacock or Paramount+.

As for Younify, the app, developed by the creators of online streaming video recorder PlayOn, launched earlier this year and recently disclosed plans for new features.

Younify doesn’t strike deals with streaming services themselves, but users pick which of the supported services they want to add for a combined view of titles across platforms. It includes unified search and lets users see where they left off, alongside platform-generated user recommendations. While it pulls in recommendations from the streaming apps it supports, Younify also plans to launch platform-agnostic recommendations that are based on consumers’ personal viewing preferences and behaviors across services.

Helping users find content more easily in a fragmented landscape comes as data form Nielsen’s Gracenote found it typically takes viewers more than 10 minutes to land on a title to watch, with one in five viewers giving up altogether after unsuccessful browsing and opting to do something other than watch TV.

In emphasizing an aspect that makes Younify stand out from other aggregators, Jeff Lawrence, co-founder and CEO of MediaMall Technologies (parent of Younify and PlayOn), told StreamTV that Younify links directly with users’ streaming accounts.

“It does not need to be trained with manually entered ‘likes’ and ‘watched’ over time – the algorithm that Younify has created is ready to work instantly to enable third party discovery without any bias,” Lawrence said via email.

And while easier streaming navigation is one of Younify’s goals, the company also aims to collect and license data gleaned from and/or the software supporting its aggregation app to USG providers or others in the ecosystem.

Lawrence said the Younify team is only now starting those conversations but that “virtually any USG or streaming platform or device maker could easily incorporate Younify’s Technology into theirs.”

With a direct link to accounts and algorithms and data that has been collected over the lifespan of users’ subscriptions, “Younify isn’t starting from scratch to learn what you want to watch,” Lawrence said. 

And as the app “grows its user base, it will amass even more data on viewer behavior and preferences that can be used to aid in content discovery within Younify or any partner platforms who license data and/or software from them,” Lawrence continued.

While Younify debuted this summer, a concerted marketing push began just last month. Currently the app is only available via mobile through the Google Play and App store with casting capabilities, but smart TV and CTV apps – starting with Android TV, Google TV and Fire TV – are on the product timeline.