Cuba-supported streaming app Mark By the fireplacewhich today offers podcasters and other creators the opportunity to host interactive live shows with audience engagement, will soon hit the big screen TV. Diversity announced and Fireside confirmed that it has acquired an open source TV streaming platform Stremywhich will allow Fireside shows to be made available to a range of connected TV devices, including Amazon Fire TV, Roku, smart TVs, and more.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Cuban retweeted This is reported by Variety, but no other public comment has been made.
A company representative confirmed the deal to TechCrunch, noting that it was due to a combination of intellectual property and talent.
“Fireside has acquired the entirety of Stremium, including all of its team and intellectual property,” a spokesperson said. “The company is the first web-3 interactive streaming platform and the acquisition will help Fireside accelerate service delivery as it is the only platform that transforms creators, celebrities, brands and intellectual property owners into the studios, networks and streaming services of the future. Expect other important announcements soon on this front,” they added.
Launched just over a year ago, Fireside follows pandemic-driven demand for live entertainment startups and a growing number of startups catering to the creator economy.
Despite some early — and misguided — comparisons of Fireside to other live audio platforms like Twitter Spaces or Clubhouse, the startup gained momentum thanks to a differentiated feature set that also prioritizes video content. Shows on the Fireside platform could be streamed live to the app, recorded, saved, or even simultaneously streamed to other social networks. The app also includes audience engagement tools and other features to help content creators promote, edit, measure, distribute, monetize, and grow audiences as part of Fireside’s end-to-end content production process. Most recently, the company was the study web3 technologies, including NFT.
Co-founder of Cuba, one of the first employees of Yammer. Mike Ihbeand former Google employee, YouTuber, and co-founder of Node. Falon Fatemi, who sold her last company to SugarCRMOver the past year, Fireside has managed to bring in some notable creators such as Jay Leno, Michael Dell, Melissa Rivers, Craig Kilborn, and Entourage writer/creator Doug Ellin.
In a letter to investors Fireside published DiversityFatemi shared that the acquisition of Stremium will help Fireside offer “a second screen where viewers can use their phones to interact and interact in real time while watching on their TVs.”
“Imagine watching a live cooking show with your favorite chef on your TV and phone simultaneously, where you can interact and get invited to talk to them directly and even show them what you are cooking right from the palm of your hand,” Fatemi explained. . In addition, the Stremium infrastructure will allow creators to upload, publish, program and distribute their live streams on both mobile devices and television, she added. (Stremium confirmed the authenticity of the letter to us.)
TechCrunch reported in February Fireside was in talks to raise $25 million for Series A. which valued its business at $125 million. Since then this round closed, but Fireside has yet to make a formal announcement about the raise, investors, or valuation. We understand this may be because Fireside is still raising additional strategic investors for the deal and plans to expand on the fundraising shortly. Of course, funding may have helped Fireside make this new acquisition.
Other investors in Fireside besides Cuban include Chainsmokers, HBSE, Goodwater, Animal Capital and NFL stars Larry Fitzgerald and Kelvin Beachum, as well as former NBA star Baron Davis. Fireside raised about $8 million ahead of Serie A.
Stremium was developing a service that allowed consumers to combine all of their favorite channels using their “TV everywhere” and use the cloud DVR instead of downloading separate streaming apps. It also included a selection of free streaming channels. But the service has faced an increasingly competitive environment where there are now many ways to watch free streaming content such as Tubi, Pluto TV, The Roku Chanel, Freevee (formerly IMDb TV), Plex and more. Meanwhile, cord-off is accelerating, leaving fewer people with cable TV logins for Stremium to sell their services to.
The Stremium website now points visitors to Fireside and confirms the purchase. Fireside plans to release its television product next year as a result of the deal.