Dreams Launches Vertical Video TV App

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New York-based startup Dreams launched a new, mobile-only TV network this week. The app collects vertical videos from 100+ content partners in a simple, swipeable interface, similar to channel surfing on a traditional television.

New York-based startup Dreams launched a new, mobile-only TV network this week. The app collects vertical videos from 100+ content partners in a simple, swipeable interface, similar to channel surfing on a traditional television. Videos are organized into channels including live news, music, fashion, and documentaries.

Dreams only displays “vertical video” – portrait video that fills the phone screen when it’s held upright in its natural position. To collect vertical videos for its app, Dreams developed a process for converting content from its legacy widescreen aspect ratio to portrait. The startup has converted more than 500 videos to revitalize them for this mobile-first format. Dreams also produces original vertical videos at its studio in New York.

Dreams was co-founded by Tom Bender, formerly a product manager on the DoubleClick team at Google, and Greg Hochmuth, who was an early engineer and product manager at Instagram. “We asked what TV would look like if it was invented in 2017,” said Bender. “We ignored legacy devices and designed a TV experience that’s native to the phone.”

The launch comes as Facebook rolls out Stories in its main app, expanding the user-generated vertical video format pioneered by Snapchat. Yet traditional TV and film content is still largely confined to clunky, complicated user interfaces on mobile. Dreams hopes to radically simplify the way people watch professional video content on their phones.

“We’ve seen surprisingly high watch times on our vertical video broadcasts,” said Hochmuth. “Users watch some live speeches and events for well over 10 minutes on average.” Dreams offers push notifications for important live news broadcasts. Yesterday, the app ran a live feed of President Trump signing the executive order dismantling Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

Dreams is available for free on iOS and Android. The app’s minimalist interface requires no login or registration.

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Tom Bender
Dreams
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