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March 22, 2012

What’s on the Second Screen?


When I sit down to watch my favorite TV show, it is rare that I am just watching TV.  I frequently use social TV applications, such as GetGlue, Viggle, and IntoNow, to check-in and share what I am watching. The second-screen experience is quickly making its way into households across the globe. Viewers now not only want to watch TV, but they also want to be rewarded for doing so. With this in mind, networks are partnering with various social TV apps to have their shows be actively promoted in the application. The thinking behind this is that people will be incentivized to watch certain shows, and share the fact that they’re watching with their social networks.

With so many social TV applications on the market, it can get confusing to remember which one does what. That is why I am here, to help sort through the clutter and provide and easy guide to social TV.

1.)  GetGlue – Getglue is one of the most used social television applications. Because the platform has over 2,000,000 users, it would be smart for any network or show to work with GetGlue. Users can check in to a TV show or other form of media and receive stickers for doing so a certain amount of times. Some shows also offer prizes to users who earn all of the stickers for a particular show. One of the big things about GetGlue that makes it stand out from its competitors is that it does not cost anything to partner with them. Once a show has been added, it is very simple to start a sticker program or other promotions.

Recommended for:  Brands who are trying to gain broad exposure without having to open their wallets.

2.)  GoMiso – GoMiso is like younger brother of GetGlue. They have almost identical features, but with a user base around 250,000. Instead of earning stickers by checking in, users have the ability to earn badges. One feature that separates GoMiso from GetGlue is its ability to chat with your friends who are watching the same show. Recently, GoMiso partnered with TV giant DirecTV. This new partnership allows for shows to be automatically identified by the DirecTV box, eliminating the need for users to type in the show that they are watching. This technology was first used with the TV show ‘Dexter’. Users were able to share opinions, see new content, and make predictions as the show was airing. Unfortunately, partnering with GoMiso requires companies to take out the checkbook.

Recommended for: A brand that is looking to be an early adopter of new ideas and is willing to spend some money.

3.)  TunerFish – TunerFish is your TV guide on steroids. A social discovery engine owned by Comcast, TunerFish recommends content on TV and on the web. One of the more interesting features of TunerFish is that it can display which shows are currently trending, letting you know what the rest of the country is watching. In addition to earning awards for checking in to shows, TunerFish also rewards users for sharing videos on Facebook and Twitter. Partnering with TunerFish would be a great way for a network or show to increase their social media fan base. TunerFish not only shows that a show is on, but also promotes the idea of talking about the show through popular social media channels.

Recommended for: Brands that are trying to increase their overall social media footprint.

4.)  IntoNow – This Yahoo-owned application allows a user to check in by identifying a show’s audio. Using its Soundprint software, IntoNow can listen to any new TV show, as well as old shows from as long as five years ago, and automatically identify the program. Users can then take an assortment of actions, including sharing the show on Facebook or Twitter, adding the show to a Netflix queue, or going right to the show’s IMDB page. IntoNow’s 2,000,000 users can also alert a user when friends are watching the same show. It can also provide statistics for live sporting events. Although the interface may be confusing at times, brands would be wise to partner with the innovative company. Recently, the Bravo show ‘Project Runway’ partnered with IntoNow to allow for people who check in to the show to view exclusive content, vote in polls, and chat with other people who are also watching the show.

Recommended for: Networks and brands that have extra content such as behind-the-scenes video and exclusive interviews.

5.)  Viggle- One of the newer entries into the social TV marketplace, Viggle has come out swinging. Viggle has used its unique reward system to attract more than 200,000 users in just a couple months. Viggle is a loyalty application that rewards viewers with points for checking in to shows. These points can then be redeemed for real life prizes such as gift cards and movie tickets. After checking in to a show, users can be shown interactive quizzes or other content. Although Viggle is sometimes buggy and won’t let you to check in, the pull of tangible prizes is quickly attracting new users. Brands would be smart to leverage this innovative system to gain new fans. As a way to reward fans for watching, shows could partner with Viggle to provide prizes. A user could then get points from watching their favorite show and then redeem those points for merchandise from the show.

Recommended for: Companies who are looking to be more innovative and have access to show specific prizing.

6.)  Peel – Peel acts as more of a recommendation engine than a check in service. For its over one million users. Using a nicely designed grid, Peel identifies shows that you may be interested in based off of what you have previously liked. After providing your zip code and selecting your cable provider, Peel can also tell you when your show is on and on what channel. One of their newer features is currently being showcased on American Idol. As a new contestant comes up to sing, their picture is displayed on the application, and users are able to “boo” or “cheer”. At the end of the night, a leaderboard is displayed showing who among the contestants and judges received the best feedback.  It will be interesting to see what networks partner with Peel to add this functionality to their shows.

Recommended for: Networks with competitive reality shows that want to allow their fans to cast votes.

7.)  Shazam for TV- When most people think of Shazam, they think of its great ability to identify any song that is playing and provide information on the song to the user. Well if you are one of the 125 million people to download Shazam, you can use it for TV too. You can “Shazam” a commercial or TV show in order to find out more information about the product or brand, participate in promotions, or shop for items. For example, you could Shazam a commercial for your favorite drink and instantly receive a coupon. Companies have been starting to explore this opportunity since the Super Bowl. During the Super Bowl, almost every ad, and the game itself, were “Shazamable”. By “Shazaming” the game, you would be able to see statistics and other information, while “Shazaming” a commercial would unlock discounts and other promotional material.

Recommended for: Companies who want to offer extra content or prizes to their tech savvy fans.

Genius, social tv

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