Glance — the consumer Internet subsidiary of technology company InMobi — on Monday launched Glance TV as its latest offering to debut on TVs. Glance TV works as a platform for live and interactive content that will be available for access to users directly from the home screen of their smart TVs. Glance has partnered with both content partners as well as TV manufacturers to make its new experience live for users. Prior to the latest announcement, the company was known for driving its lock screen experience that is claimed to be available on over 400 million smartphones to date.
With Glance TV, Glance wants to expand its content delivery from smartphones to TVs. The new platform is aimed to offer off-beat content of 5–20 minutes duration across categories such as sports, entertainment, infotainment, e-sports, current affairs, lifestyle, food, and fitness. To make all this possible, Glance is using its in-house content creators and has tied up with content providers including Docubay, Epic On, and Zee5.
Users on Glance TV can interact with the content creators directly from their television home screens by making comments, reactions, and participating in polls. The new platform also offers experiences in which QR codes are visible on the content through which users can buy tickets for movies and events, shop live, or post their expressions about the content directly on their social media accounts.
Similar to a proprietary layer such as Xiaomi’s PatchWall, Glance TV comes pre-installed on supported TVs. Users can access the content available on the platform directly from the home screen.
Piyush Shah, Co-Founder of InMobi and President and COO of Glance, told Gadgets 360 that the purpose of bringing Glance TV is to offer a two-way interactivity on TVs where the user could actually interact with their favourite creator, celebrity, or sports person while they are watching their content. The company conceptualised the plan for Glance TV a year ago and has been working on the platform for the last some months, the executive said.
“We are looking at this as a whole new platform where any such content partners can engage with us and use this to their advantage,” he emphasised. “And somewhere existing movies or music or digital concerts or games can have a whole different experience altogether on TV.”
Shah stated that Glance TV is already live on over 300,000 TVs through a partnership with “a couple of manufacturers”, though he did not reveal the name of those partners.
“As we speak, we are talking to all the main manufacturers in the world,” he said.
Once a user scans a QR code on Glance TV using their smartphone to take actions such as buying an item visible on the screen or to participate in a live game, Glance takes them to its proprietary website. Shah, however, suggested that it was possible to take consumers directly to the partner website or their property as well.
Glance TV currently works on TVs based on Android TV. Nevertheless, Glance has plans to make its platform available to run on other operating systems as well.
Manish Gupta, Senior Vice President and GM of Glance, told Gadgets 360 that the company is focussing on India for the next few months, though it does have plans to take Glance TV to global markets soon as well.
Glance already has Google and Jio Platforms as technology investors on board to help expand and improve Glance TV. Also, it has creators and influencers on board through live video and online shopping app Roposo that would also help towards developing content for the TV experience.
Last month, Glance acquired gaming company Gambit Sports and announced plans to integrate non-fungible token (NFT) games to its lock screen experience. The company is likely to explore similar moves for its TV offering in the future.
Glance TV is aimed to be available on 30 percent of all smart TVs in India. Shah said that the country has a market size of about 80 million smart TVs at present.
According to a report by market research firm Counterpoint, smart TV share in the overall TV shipments in India reached 84 percent in 2021. Xiaomi led the market of smart TVs in the country last year, followed by Samsung, LG, and Sony.