“There has to be a way to hear that TV,” Tunity co-founder Yaniv Davidson thought. Stuck in an airport terminal awaiting his flight, the row of televisions showing a variety of news channels and sports highlights, all on mute.
Together with his partner and CTO, Adi Gabber, Davidson went on to develop Tunity, a solution that allows consumers to sync their mobile devices with silent TVs in order to live stream sound. Further blending big screens with mobile screens in a unique way, Tunity also solves a burden for people worldwide: silent televisions and muted entertainment.
Breaking the Silence
The story about Davidson isn’t apocryphal – it actually happened. Davidson and Gabber noticed silent TV sets all over after the initial realization in an airport. Airports, bars, restaurants, casinos and gyms- they all feature large screens showing things patrons are interested in seeing, all with no audio.
“It is an obvious pain point for people everywhere,” said Grant Mombach, Tunity’s Operations and Marketing Manager, “Yaniv and Adi knew they could fix it.” The solution was simple — live stream the audio to the mobile devices everyone already has with them.
Tunity allows users to hear any muted, live TV’s audio directly on their mobile device. By simply scanning the TV through the phone’s camera capabilities, Tunity identifies the channel and streams the audio through the user’s built-in phone
speaker, headphones, Bluetooth speakers, or even Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids.
“Tunity is also a problem solver for brands that spend a lot of money on TV ads with no real data on effectiveness. Tunity connects the two and provides exclusive data on listening patterns to the brands.”
Davidson and Gabber founded Tunity in February of 2014 and things instantly took off. The company was even selected to receive the “One to Watch” award at the 2014 NVIDIA Emerging Companies Summit.
With over one million downloads through organic growth, the company continues to grow its user base and lead the way in the out-of-home listening space.
“All of our growth has been 100% organic,” Mombach continued. “We haven’t executed any sort of marketing campaign.” In a world where brands and advertisers are targeting mobile customers to bring them into retail and other brick-and-mortar locations, Tunity has shown where it’s needed — in spaces with silent TV sets.
The number one growth strategy for Tunity is one many publishers and advertisers should be familiar with: strategic partnerships. “We have partnered with airlines, bars, restaurants, airports, doctor’s offices, gyms, casinos and TV networks that are introducing Tunity to their guests in an effort to improve the customer experience. Tunity creates unique and valuable data for all its partners,” Mombach explained.
Some gyms have FM transmitters for their wall of TVs with specific channels for patrons to tune into, but as bulky headsets with FM tuners have fallen out of favor with consumers, Tunity has replaced them with a much more easy and convenient audio tool synced straight to user’s mobile phones, relieving the inconvenience from gyms.
“We offer the business a free audio solution, and they provide us with free marketing which, in turn, results in app downloads,” Mombach said.
The Team & Constant Improvement
Tunity’s work has been done with a small international team in Tel Aviv and New York City and with its continued success, is expanding both offices to continue to evolve the product and reach more users.
The team is also committed to keeping the experience as smooth as possible. “We are constantly looking for new ways to improve Tunity,” he said.
“We are always listening to user feedback, and as requested we recently released a new version that has a zoom feature, which allows users to zoom into a channel instead of having to be in close proximity to the screen.”
Keeping in Touch with Tunity
As befits a company giving people sound when it’s hard to find, Tunity has a number of outreach platforms. The Tunity website has news items and an FAQ to cover as many bases as possible for information.
There’s even a campus ambassador program for students whose student union have too many TV sets and not enough headphones.
Davidson and Gabber’s ingenious use of mobile devices to overcome a common problem in social spaces the world over shows the power and potential of mobile, and we can’t wait to see what new innovations Tunity has up its sleeve.
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