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Fanhattan's video-aggregating service expands beyond iOS with new web-based interface

Fanhattan's video-aggregating service expands beyond iOS with new web-based interface


Web users will find nearly three times as much content on the web as they can find in the iOS app

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Movie- and TV-aggregating service Fanhattan has already made a name for itself with an iOS app that lets users categorize and find content across the wide variety of iOS entertainment apps out there, and now the service is moving that functionality to your web browser. The company is now sending out invites to the beta of Fanhattan on the web, a service that essentially mirrors the functionality of iOS app, but offers a total of 29 streaming video providers like Hulu, Amazon, NBC, and Netflix (compared to the 16 in the app), which means there's nearly three times more content available to those using Fanhattan in the browser.

Aside from the greater content selection, the experience of using Fanhattan in the browser is largely the same as in the iOS app. The service is centered around search — type in the name of a show or movie you're looking for, and Fanhattan's results generally show you multiple places to view it. It aggregates paid options options like Amazon and iTunes, subscription streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, and free options like the standard Hulu or a particular show's dedicated network page. From there, users can choose to play or purchase a show (which opens the selected option in a new tab) or add it to a "watchlist," which lets you keep track of everything you want. The watchlist serves as a master queue — even shows and movies that aren't yet available to stream can be added, and you'll get a notification once they are.


Make a master list of things you want to watch — regardless of where you can watch them

Users can also make as many custom lists as they want (think "movies with Hugh Jackman" or "worst TV shows ever"), and you can see your friends' activity and lists if you choose to log in with Facebook. While Fanhattan has done a great job at aggregating a huge variety of content (the company says it tracks over one million TV episodes and movies), it often feels like you come across the same few sources while searching — you'll see iTunes, Amazon, and Vudu for nearly every option. Of course, those are all paid services; you'll also see a lot of subscription services Netflix and Hulu Plus. If you're hoping to use Fanhattan to find free shows, your search might end up being a bit frustrating.


Additionally, users who are already committed to a living room ecosystem won't find it nearly as useful — if you have a Netflix Instant subscription and use iTunes to buy other content, for example, you're probably already used to just searching through those services directly. The last issue is that this doesn't help solve the problem of how to get this content to your living room — unless you have a PC with a browser set up on your TV, you'll be stuck watching this on your computer. All that aside, it's worth taking a look at Fanhattan when searching for video to view on the web. It's an elegant way to organize everything you might want to watch, regardless of where you can watch it — and you may find a source you didn't even know about to watch the content you're looking for (did you know the entire original Knight Rider series is available on Netflix streaming? I didn't!). If you want to give it a shot, head over to Fanhattan's site to request a beta invite.