Feeds

BSkyB nabs stake in telly babble app biz Zeebox

Multi-million pound tie-up to study viewing habits

Security for virtualized datacentres

BSkyB has taken a 10 per cent equity stake in social telly chitchat app Zeebox.

Anthony Rose's interactive TV venture launched last October, yet Sky has already bought into the business. The broadcaster said it would offer "unique 'augmented' TV viewing features" to its customers in the first half of this year.

Rose - who rescued the BBC's iPlayer, was one-time tech boss of YouView and previously was CTO at Kazaa - has agreed exclusive terms with Sky, which plans to integrate Zeebox tech with its apps, including Sky+ and Sky Go.

zeebox

Zeebox: let nan know what you think of
latest Corrie hijinks

The service plugs punters directly into social chatter via Twitter and Facebook - it effectively acts as an online water cooler around which you can praise or pick apart telly programmes with like-minded viewers as you watch.

On top of that, Zeebox - which uses tags to allow people to search for popular topics, programmes and so on - continuously relays what's being watched on the nation's goggle boxes, the idea being that data can be aggregated for advertisers and TV companies.

It's that final point that has most likely got Sky exec's drooling over Zeebox, which appears to pitch itself as a slightly more intelligent TV app for Apple's iPhone and iPad.

At launch, Zeebox was missing a key ingredient: the ability for users to record programmes and then retrieve the shows later. Sky said its customers will, later this year, be able to manage Sky+ recordings remotely thanks to a Zeebox-powered app. They will also be able to use their iPhones or iPads as a remote control for their Sky box.

"As part of this multi-million pound strategic partnership, Sky has become an investor in Zeebox and has taken a 10 per cent equity stake, providing funding to support the company’s future product roadmap and global rollout plans," said Sky, which is part-owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Under the agreement, Sky Media - the ad wing of BSkyB - also gets an exclusive sales deal as the sole agent for Zeebox's synchronised advertising inventory. Despite the huge Sky investment, Zeebox will remain independent, allowing rival broadcasters to use the interactive television portal.

"Sky took an early position of leadership with companion devices, having recognised the demand from our customers to use second screens to discover, enjoy and interact with their favourite content," said Sky's emerging products director Emma Lloyd.

"The integration of Zeebox’s innovative technology will enable us to make the companion device experience even richer and more engaging. We know that millions of our customers have smartphones and tablets and regularly use them to engage with Sky on mobile devices, so it’s a natural next step for us."

Zeebox's co-founder Ernesto Schmitt said that the cash injection from Sky meant that the company could work on expanding its product internationally. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.