GetGlue CEO: People can find second-screen ads interesting

Alex Iskold, CEO of GetGlue

Alex Iskold, CEO of GetGlue

Alex Iskold, CEO of US social TV app GetGlue, discusses the effect second-screen experiences are having on linear TV viewing patterns, the absence of time constraints on GetGlue, and his vision for where second-screen advertising is heading.

Alex will be speaking at the TV:Xperience event taking place in New York City on July 15th-17th. For more information and to register, please visit

How are second-screen experiences changing linear TV viewing patterns?

The second screen is becoming an accepted companion for linear television viewing.

Every evening hundreds of thousands of viewers routinely engage with each other using Twitter and second screen apps like GetGlue, Viggle, and Zeebox.

Common activities include discussing the show, enjoying additional content like videos & pictures, reading re-caps, answering polls, quizzes and more.

All the second screen activity has created an important feedback loop for linear television. More people are viewing socially engaging shows live.

Communities for Walking Dead, True Blood, Fringe, Breaking Bad, Homeland and Game of Thrones have been a regular digital water cooler for fans to connect with each other.

Its more interesting to watch live because you can be a part of the conversation on the second screen.

How is GetGlue acting on this change?

GetGlue’s approach to the second screen has been to create activity feeds for each show. Each feed is a mix of comments, video, pictures, re-caps, gifs, memes and more.

The feeds feature friends, and upvoted content by GetGlue community. As a result, each show has a real-time activity stream that is really interesting and engaging to all the fans.

Unlike other second-screen platforms, we don’t require the experience to be synchronous. Fans are free to consume and contribute the content at their leisure.

We do see the biggest activity happening when the shows are live and in primetime.

Do you agree that the integration of adverts into second-screen experiences needs to become more nuanced?

Absolutely. Second screen presents an exciting opportunity for advertisers and brands to connect with passionate fans. GetGlue’s approach has been to deliver a set of native advertising products, which make sense in the context of our network.

Specifically, any brand can create a piece of content on GetGlue whether its a video or an image or a message and then pay to promote this piece of content to specific audience on GetGlue.

Like any other piece of content, the ads have Like and Comment features. The idea is if one of my friends finds the ad interesting and interacts with it, the ad would hop into my feed.

This notion that people would actually find ads interesting is one of our core beliefs.

We no longer live in the world where people want to get blasted with irrelevant ads. Instead, ads are becoming pieces of content, that in case of GetGlue are embedded along with the content that our fans already like.

We really believe that this is the direction advertising is going to evolve in the future.

What are some of the most effective ‘triggers’ for encouraging consumer engagement?

It depends on the type of the consumer. Many people for example, enjoy discussing the shows. TV is so good and people are so emotional about it, that just by giving people an outlet to talk about it is enough.

Another group is looking for utility. They are not likely to contribute to the conversations but they instead want to find what to watch instantly.

We are building towards a completely personalised world where GetGlue can instantly tell you what is on for you right now on TV, streaming, online, in theatres, etc.

And of course there are folks who like to unlock rewards and incentives. Whether its a cool sticker with your favourite character or a coupon, some people find the rewards exciting.

The key is to not over do it on rewards, make them fun and scalable while keeping the core value proposition to the consumers around social and utility.

We welcome reader discussion and request that you please comment using an authentic name. Comments will appear on the live site as soon as they are approved by the moderator (within 24 hours). Spam, promotional and derogatory comments will not be approved

Post your comment

Facebook, Instagram and Sky case study: Game of Thrones

BT at IBC: 'unlocking the power of fibre IPTV'

IP&TV News tries out 4G Broadcast at the FA Cup Final

Thomas Riedl: “Google TV has evolved into Android TV”

Tesco and blinkbox: what went wrong?

Reed Hastings and 2030: is he right?