Free Streaming Service STIRR Gets a Second Life With Plans For New Content and AI-Powered Search




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STIRR, the free ad-supported streaming service that broadcasting giant Sinclair unloaded last month, is getting a second lease on life thanks to new parent Thinking Media.

Thinking Media has some new plans for STIRR, including tripling the on-demand content library and implementing artificial intelligence to aid in searches, according to TechCrunch. The streamer has cut the live channels available under Sinclair, but Thinking Media President Scott Schlichter told the new site that it is “actively trying to build that back up.” The company is working on new content licensing deals, and expect programming to begin appearing in March.

STIRR currently is a shadow of its former self, and now boasts a limited collection of second and third-tier shows and movies. The site lists a few categories at present, such as horror, documentaries, sports, and dramas, even if it’s unlikely that you’ve heard of the selections. Thinking Media CEO Todd Carter told TechCrunch that the company wants the platform to appeal to a “large number of smaller niche intent-oriented audiences.”

STIRR will launch more categories in June, including travel, fitness, cooking, automotive, technology, fashion, home improvement, gaming, and educational content. 

The rebirth of STIRR comes as free ad-supported platforms are rising in popularity. More people are culling their paid streaming subscriptions to save money and turning towards freebie platforms. Content varies from streamer to streamer, as does which devices can access the services. STIRR plans to launch on Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Tizen (which powers Samsung TVs) after its store app accounts switch from Sinclair Broadcasting Group to Thinking Media’s control. The app is already available on Apple TV, iOS and Android devices.

Another feature that will set STIRR apart from competitors is syncing a user’s smartphone searches with the app with “Key Video Moments.” Schlichter said this will make it easy to look up relevant recipes while binging Hell’s Kitchen, for example, and even share your findings on social media. 

“There’s this incredible opportunity to think of STIRR as a lab for TV web innovation,” said Carter, according to TechCrunch. “For us to build on what Sinclair Broadcast Group created and take it to the next step.”

Thinking Media is negotiating licenses for international expansion. STIRR is scheduled to launch in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland in the first half of 2024 and plans to launch Spanish language content in Latin America, the report said. 

Thinking Media was not available to comment.

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