The UK-based team behind social TV app Zeebox has partnered with Australian free-to-air broadcaster Network Ten to bring the innovative app to Aussie audiences through the formation of a joint venture between the two companies, along with a “substantial investment” by Network Ten.
The agreement also involves the provision of programming, promotional support and visibility by Network Ten. The broadcaster’s COO Jon Marquard said that he sees Zeebox as a key part of the broadcaster’s digital strategy.
“We know viewer behaviour is changing and audiences are multi-tasking,” said Mr. Marquard. “About 70% of TV viewers use a second screen while they are watching TV… this creates an enormous opportunity for Zeebox.”
Zeebox is also looking to work with other media companies and broadcasters in Australia, with Max Bleyleben, CFO of Zeebox and director of the Australian operation, stating: “We look forward to working with Australian content owners to develop compelling social TV propositions around key shows and events, and to give the industry access to our unique monetisation platform in sync with live TV.”
UK broadcaster BSkyB has already taken a 10% stake in Zeebox for over GB£ 10mn (US$ 15.6mn), securing for Sky the exclusive rights to integrate Zeebox technology into its own apps. We spoke to BSkyB’s Aidan Conway recently on the benefits that Zeebox delivers – for the full video interview please click here.
The Zeebox app is available on iOS and Android devices, and on PCs and Macs. It provides users with a more social, interactive experience when watching live TV by combining a powerful “Zeetags” engine which generates clickable tags based on names, subjects and products mentioned during a TV show, live chat with friends, an overview of social media activity around the programme, and access to additional information.
The company’s co-founder and CTO Anthony Rose revealed last month that Zeebox has passed 1mn app downloads in the UK since its launch last November, and will become available in the US by the end of August – more details here.