VUniverse

There are so many streaming services out there right now that it’s sometimes hard to keep track of them all. Sometimes it makes finding something to watch a daunting prospect as you jump across several different streaming apps, looking at what’s available in each one. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to organize all the titles available across all the streaming services that you subscribe to? Thankfully, it sounds like that streaming service savior has arrived with a new startup called VUniverse, which touts itself as a “channel guide for the streaming universe.”

Deadline called our attention to VUniverse, which recently finished beta testing and has now launched for the general public. The startup highlights the fact that streamers can spend an average of 20 minutes trying to find a movie or TV show to watch, and with each household having an average number five different streaming services, the search can be exhausting. Here’s how VUniverse hopes to help with that:

VUniverse is a personalized movie and show recommendation platform that enables users to browse their streaming services in one app—a channel guide for the streaming universe. Using artificial intelligence, VUniverse creates a unique taste profile for every user and serves smart lists of curated titles using mood, genre, and user-generated tags, all based on content from the user’s existing subscription services. Users can also create custom watchlists to stay organized and keep track of what they want to watch.

I took some time to sign up for VUniverse, set up a profile, and give it a shot. The first thing VUniverse has you do is rate 10 different movies and/or TV shows. You can either rate the movie out of five stars if you’ve seen it, or you can label it as either something you want to watch or haven’t seen yet. If you label it as something you want to watch, it will be added to a “Watch Later” playlist, which makes for an easy way to see which streaming services are carrying the movies you want to see.

VUniverse

If you’re looking for suggestions for movies to watch across the various streaming services you subscribe to, your ratings will help create the aforementioned lists of titles based on what you have enjoyed the most. For example, in the ratings that I quickly accessed when creating my profile, I have lists suggesting “thought provoking science-fiction” and “lighthearted, charming comedies.” As with many streaming suggestions curated from your tastes, these lists will get better as you rate more titles. And just for the record, I’ve seen almost all of the titles listed above, but I just haven’t told VUniverse that yet, which is why they’re being suggested.

Within these lists, you can hover your cursor over the title, and it tells you which of your streaming services currently have the title available, and sometimes the price of the movie or TV show to buy digitally on iTunes or Google Play. While hovering, you can also click the streaming service or digital provider, and it will take you right to that title’s page for viewing. This kind of ease is exactly what VUniverse wants users to have. Monica Brady, COO and co-founder, said in a statement:

“We created VUniverse because we were tired of hunting through endless titles of movie suggestions and toggling between services. Finding what to watch has become a chore. VUniverse eases that pain and empowers users to get the full value of both their time and subscription fees.”

As of now, the services included in VUniverse’s catalog include Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, YouTube Premium, and AppleTV+, as well as offerings from networks that have streaming libraries for their shows like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, TBS, PBS, The CW, and USA. There are also more niche streamers like DC Universe and Tubi, as well as iTunes and Google Play for digital movie/TV purchasing options.

Hopefully VUniverse will expand to include more streaming providers like Criterion Channel, Shudder, and more, because websites/apps with similar but somewhat incomplete functionality, such as Letterboxd and Just Watch, have a much bigger list of streamers you can use to search for titles. But where VUniverse improves upon those two offerings is by making it easier to cycle through titles from all your streaming services without jumping to different apps or setting a bunch of filters to find what you’re looking for. It’s perfect for those times you want to discover something to watch rather than looking for a specific title. They also provide the ability to make your own playlists of movies/TV shows you want to see. So if you want to keep an organized list of documentaries or stand-up specials, you can do that.

The only downside to VUniverse is that it’s currently only available through Apple and Android devices and your web browser. But they do plan on releasing the app for Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire devices in the future. Also in the cards may be a premium version, though it’s not clear what extra offerings would be available if you paid for it.

VUniverse is available now, and you can get your own profile started right here.

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