22. March 2013–
Stockholm startup Magine – which acts as a cable operator like Kabel Deutschland or Comcast – will be launching the first edition of its cloud-based service in Sweden on Monday. Plans to expand in other markets, including Spain and Germany, are currently in the works.
Magine isn't another TV startup tackling hackneyed social recommendations or second screen, "We're a full replacement for your cable," said Magine's cofounder Mattias Hjelmstedt in an interview.
The service aims to offer more flexibility when it comes to watching TV and allows viewers to catch up on already-aired TV programming by dragging back on a smartly designed timeline.
Unlike streaming TV shows online, there are no bandwidth limitations. Instead, Magine utilises an end-to-end broadcasting system, which means they take signals directly from a broadcaster's satellite and put it into their encoding.
Magine has opted for a subscription model with a free tier and a paid tier that will vary from market-to-market.
Magine – reinventing cable TV
Founded in 2011 by Hjelmstedt, Erik Wikstrom and Michael Werner, Magine essentially eliminates the need for a clunky setup box and allows users to "access anything that's been on television" and promises a fluid experience across your phone, tablet, computer and television.
"You don't have to worry about missing your favourite TV show that aired yesterday evening or the movie that will be on tonight because it's always on-demand across all your devices," said Hjelmstedt.
The startup has already signed deals with all major broadcasters in Sweden and claims this as an important point of differentiation. "We work with the broadcasters as a distributor of content – not the studios," he explained.
Magine has been in beta for the past six months in Sweden, garnering 12,000 beta users and 40,000 names on their waiting list. The startup has already raised an impressive angel round of €6.5m and are now looking to raise their Series A round.
The 35-person team is now working on new features, creating a better experience and expanding to a couple of key European markets. The concept has huge potential – and it will be interesting to see whether Magine can convince major broadcasters in other markets to get on board with them in the coming months.