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“If we can improve the recommendations made in ads, people will get a better experience,” says Navin. “Otherwise, they are noise.”

Andy Tarczon, an analyst covering consumer electronics and media with TDG Research, says his research shows there is a ready audience for extra information and context about television content. “In surveys and interviews, we see that consumers want to have more information around their programs, because it’s how they find new content to watch,” says Tarczon. “Social media, ‘checking in’ to shows like you do places on Facebook, always scores the lowest.” That is, consumers want more information, but they’d rather not have to work to get it.

Tarczon notes that Flingo already has strong relationships with television companies including CBS, MTV, and Fox, after spending several years helping them develop apps for Internet-connected televisions. In this respect, Flingo contrasts sharply with Google, which has its own ideas about combining Web and television. CBS and Fox, among other content providers, block devices using Google TV from accessing their online television content, because Google TV encourages users to discover content via a Web search on their TV screen, which can point them to pirated material.

Tarczon says that Flingo’s approach fits better with the networks’ desire to use the Web to build stronger relationships with viewers while keeping their traditional business model. “They want to use the Web and apps as an augmentation to their existing content.”

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