Mark Cuban-backed streaming app Fireside acquires Stremium to bring live, interactive shows to your TV

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Mark Cuban-backed streaming app Fireside, which today offers podcasters and other creators a way to host interactive, live shows with audience engagement, will soon expand to the big screen of TVs. Variety reported, and Fireside confirmed, that it has acquired open streaming TV platform Stremium, which will allow Fireside’s shows to be available for a range of connected TV devices, including Amazon Fire TV, Roku, smart TVs, and more. and others are included.

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Terms of the deal were not disclosed. cuba retweeted Variety reporting but made no other public comment.

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A company spokesperson confirmed the deal to TechCrunch, noting that it was for a combination of IP and talent.

“Fireside has acquired all of Stremium, including its entire team and intellectual property,” the spokesperson said. “The company is the first interactive Web3 streaming platform and the acquisition will help accelerate Fireside to become the only platform that connects creators, celebrities, brands and IP owners to the studios, networks and streaming services of the future. Other big announcements are expected soon.

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Launched just over a year ago, Fireside arrived on the heels of a pandemic-fuelled demand to offer live entertainment as well as a growing number of startups that cater to the maker economy.

Despite some early — and inaccurate — comparisons between Fireside and other live audio platforms like Twitter Spaces or Clubhouse, the startup gained traction due to a different feature set that also prioritizes video content. Shows on Fireside’s platform can be streamed live on its app, recorded, saved, or even simulcast to other social networks. The app additionally includes audience engagement tools and other features to assist creators with promotion, editing, measurement, distribution, monetization and audience growth, all part of Fireside’s end-to-end content production experience. Recently, the company has been exploring Web3 technologies including NFTs.

Co-founded by Cuban, early Yammer employee Mike Ihbe, and Falon Fatemi, former Googler, YouTuber and Node co-founder, who sold his previous company SugarCRM, Fireside has brought together some high-profile creators like Jay Leno, Michael Dell, succeeded in attracting Melissa Rivers, Craig Kilborn, and screenwriter and Entourage creator Doug Allin over the past year.

In a letter to Fireside investors published by Variety, Fatemi shared that the Stremium acquisition will help Fireside deliver a “second screen experience where viewers can use their phones to engage and interact in real time while watching on their TVs.” Can do for.”

“Imagine watching a live cook-along show with your favorite chef simultaneously on your TV and your phone where you can interact and be invited to talk directly with them and even show them What are you cooking with the palm of your hand,” Fatemi explained. In addition, Stremium’s infrastructure will allow producers to upload, publish, program and distribute their live shows on both mobile and TV. (Stramium confirmed the accuracy of the letter to us.)

This February TechCrunch reported that Fireside was in talks to raise a $25 million Series A, valuing it at $125 million. That round has since closed, but Fireside has yet to make a formal announcement about the raise, investors or its valuation. We understand that this may be because Fireside is still adding some additional strategic investors to the deal, and it plans to start fundraising soon. Of course, the funding will have helped pave the way for Fireside to make this new acquisition.

Other investors in Fireside include the Chainsmokers, HBSE, Goodwater, Animal Capital, and NFL stars Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Beacham, and former NBA star Barron Davis, in addition to Cuban. Ahead of its Series A, Fireside raised nearly $8 million.

Stremium was developing a service that allowed consumers to aggregate all of their favorite channels using their “TV Everywhere” credentials and using a cloud DVR instead of downloading separate streaming apps. It also included a selection of free streaming channels. But the service faced an increasingly competitive landscape where there are now many ways to watch free streaming content, such as Tubi, Pluto TV, The Roku Channel, FreeVee (formerly IMDb TV), Plex, and more. Meanwhile, cord-cutting is accelerating so fewer people with cable TV logins can market their services to Stramium.

The Stramium website is now pointing visitors to Fireside and confirms the acquisition. Fireside is aiming to release its TV product next year as a result of the deal.

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