BuzzFeed Partners with Bravo and IFC to Launch Social Tune In Program

BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed, the popular list-driven social news site, recently announced that NBC Universal’s Bravo and AMC’s IFC networks are the first two partners for their Social Tune In Program. This program will allow advertisers to cross-promote their content on BuzzFeed as well as their own websites. According to BuzzFeed, the Tune In Program will create “a full circle TV, social and digital program for advertisers.”

BuzzFeed president and COO Jon Steinberg said, “Everyone talks about the two-screen experience being synchronous but it is also asynchronous. People learn about the shows they want to watch online, and after watching those shows, they go back to the web to read and share about those shows.”

In connection with the Social Tune In Program, IFC has created a recurring on-air Saturday night ‘BuzzFeed Block,’ which is a double-feature bill of movies accompanied by accompanying lists exclusively created for IFC by BuzzFeed and available on both of their websites.

According to IFC, the ‘BuzzFeed Block’ has helped the network increase viewership on Saturday nights by 16% in the 18-49 and 18-34 age groups in the first quarter of 2014. Bravo has used the program to promote the “Online Dating Rituals for the American Male” on BuzzFeed as well as the “Real Housewives Awards.” With such positive results already, it is obvious the Social Tune In Program is working and will likely continue to grow with new partnerships to come.

 

 

 

 

Are Social TV Companies on their way to extinction?

Peel, which may have started as a Social TV company, is now focusing its efforts on its smart remote technology. Peel’s smartRemote technology turns smartphones and tablets into universal remotes.

Initially, Peel had a goal of creating a premier second-screen companion that fosters conversations about TV on social networks. But now, according to its CEO and co-founder, Thiru Arunchalam, Peel doesn’t consider itself a social TV company. In fact, he believes that social TV companies are on their way to extinction:

“We don’t see ourselves as a social TV company. Twitter has won the battle and social TV companies are either dead or dying. We are a smart remote technology.  We believe we provide the best, most comprehensive smart remote experience of anyone in the market. We work with more devices, more MSOs and have aggregated more TV listings globally than any other company. That is why Samsung, HTC, ZTE and many more to be announced in the near future, have preloaded Peel on their IR-enabled phones and tablets.”

Peel’s strategic efforts in the smart remote space is exemplified through its partnership with Samsung and HTC. The Samsung Galaxy S5, released earlier this month, is preloaded with a smart remote app powered by Peel’s technology. Additionally, HTC products are preloaded with “Sense TV,” an app also powered by Peel.

Peel’s initiative to be the smart remote leader is proving successful thus far. The company currently has more than 58 million activations across the globe, handling 3 billion remote control commands each month. If Peel continues to sustain this competitive strategy, they will prove sustainable in the long term.

Zeebox Social TV App Relaunches as Beamly

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The UK based Social TV App, Zeebox, has recently rebranded and relaunched their website, and iOS and Android apps under the new name of Beamly. Originally launched in 2011, Beamly wanted to change from being seen as a geeky TV guide app to a co-viewing experience that would allow users to follow and discuss their favorite TV shows and celebrities all day long.

Currently with 2 million active users, Zeebox’s original features, such as the live chat and screen sync functions, will remain. The additional new features allow for many more interactions, making Beamly more of a social network based around television interests. Users will now have access to news feeds and social media topics about their favorite TV shows, and they will be able to follow their favorite TV shows and celebrities at any time.  Co-founder and CFO Anthony Rose explained, “We had a dream which was to create participation TV… One day we realized that people perceived Zeebox as a new type of TV guide rather than a co-viewing experience. So in the last six months we’ve set about transitioning from model one, which was essentially that synchronized Twitter playalong experience, to a fully fledged social network for television.”

With the relaunch, Beamly is able to adapt to the vast changes that are occurring in TV viewing. Along with the changing trends of TV viewer habits, there is also the change in audience that Beamly has seen with their users. According to Rose, once users were allowed to follow shows, they were using the app twice as often, and once shows were allowed to follow them back, users were returning ten times as often. This feeling of a community attracted a lot of females and transformed Beamly’s users from a group of geeky men to a diverse audience, that is now mostly 16-24 year old females in the US.

By being able to adapt so well to the constantly changing TV viewing habits, Beamly will be sure to increase their user base and shake that geeky image that they previously had.

The Gamification of Social TV

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Viggle is a gamification, loyalty platform for social TV, that is leading the second screen television experience. As users check into their favorite shows or log their music activity, they gain points, achieve different Fandom Levels, and can use points to redeem special rewards and offers from businesses such as Best Buy, Hulu Plus, and Groupon. The platform fosters a community in which users are exposed to new shows, and can see what their friends are watching and listening to as well. Your activity and friends’ activity on Viggle is all aggregated on your activity feed, on which you can compare your activity and points with others in your network. Below is a more in depth look of how Viggleworks:

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Viggle is a Manhattan headquartered start up that was launched in 2012 by media entrepreneur, Robert F.X. Sillerman. Its concept and strategy looks promising as Viggle has been progressively expanding its reach. In December 2013, it bought Facebook publisher WetPaint for $30 million. Most recently, Viggle acquired Dijit Media, a company based in San Francisco that runs “NextGuide,” a personalized TV and web programming guide. Vijit’s CEO Jeremy Toeman is excited about the move and merger:

“We have had incredible growth and success since our launch and we’re excited to join with another company that shares our goals – to create a holistic marketing platform for brands and networks, while giving our users content and tools they need to take control of their daily entertainment choices.”

Viggle leverages their social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to announce bonus points opportunities and new rewards. Throughout its short history, Viggle has made impacts on consumer behavior in television tune-in and engagement. Greg Consiglio, President and COO of Viggle explains:

“Not only are our users tuning in to shows we promote but now, our platform is playing a growing role in their viewing experience, including real-time engagement and driving sustained viewing throughout a season.”

Viggle’s reach now extends to 17 million users, a promising indication of the company’s future success and leadership in the second screen and social TV industries.