The latest small company to be snatched up by Apple is the second-screen service Matcha.tv, which provided a universal video guide until it went offline with little explanation in May.
Matcha.tv released an iOS app for the iPad last year, which allowed users to browse selections of content from online streaming services including Netflix and Hulu, US cable TV provider Comcast and digital video stores such as iTunes and Amazon. The app displayed the selections in a similar manner to a TV program guide, using user feedback to aggregate recommendations and linking into social networks to show any watching trends among friends.
The service shut down in May, with CEO Guy Piekarz only telling TechCrunch that Matcha was working on a new direction.
When questioned by VentureBeat about the acquisition, Apple replied by stating ‘Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose’. VentureBeat’s source, who originally brought attention to the deal, has valued the deal at between $1 and $1.5 billion, while another source, also of VentureBeat affiliation, has dismissed such as estimate as completely wrong.
The move by Apple to adopt the TV-related service of Matcha.tv could be seen as another step by Apple in its acknowledgement of plans to intrude on the television industry.