If you love streaming platforms, allow us to introduce you to Chris Witherspoon — the founder behind what is about to become your new favorite app, PopViewers.
A veteran in the TV and film space, Witherspoon knows a thing or two about attending screenings and premieres, but he says one thing has been missing in the industry.
“I recognize that oftentimes, the problem of critics is that they don’t adequately reflect the viewership and the people that are actually paying to go see the movies,” said Witherspoon in an interview with AfroTech.
He explains that while people are paying to subscribe to a service, it doesn’t always reflect the audience and how they consume content.
“Sometimes it aligns, but more often times than not, it doesn’t,” he continued. “And more recently I recognize the opportunity that I have now to amplify the voices of viewers and marginalized communities of Black and brown people that I think show up and engage around entertainment in a way that Hollywood really needs to recognize as powerful and valuable.”
Rather than those lukewarm Netflix suggestions or iffy Hulu and Amazon descriptions, PopViewers allows television and film fans to take back their power in rating their favorite shows.
“When you first come onto the PopViewers space, we kind of teach you how to rate shows and/or movies that you love,” Witherspoon shared. “You can swipe left on the content that you have no interest in and the more you swipe, the more we learn about you and we’re able to hit you with suggestions.”
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As users continue to engage on the app, they’ll begin to see matches for them across all platforms and all genres and are able to add them to their watch list.
“You’re also able to click on a show and see real reactions from real people,” he said. “Users can also pop off themselves and give a quick reaction to something they’ve just watched.”
Witherspoon says having mentors like Joy-Ann Reid who not only fully support but invest in PopViewers is what keeps him and the company going.
“When Chris first told me his idea for PopViewers, I immediately knew it was something that not just the entertainment industry needed — but that I needed,” Reid shared with AfroTech.
It’s because of people like Reid and other investors — including Arthur Whitney and Richard Evans — that Witherspoon has managed to raise nearly $1.5 million to build the app and fulfill its mission.
The app is available for download here.