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Zeebox lands down under

Social media and Aussie TV set to converge in one app

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UK developed social TV platform zeebox has hit Australian screens following its US launch last September.

The zeebox platform, the brainchild of former BBC iPlayer architect Anthony Rose and ex EMI exec Ernesto Schmitt, has been backed locally the Ten Network but remains broadcaster agnostic.

The social TV app is available across iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones and zeebox.com.

zeebox Australia CEO, Craig Blair anticipates that the platform will introduce a new layer of interactivity to the TV experience with search, recommendations, e-commerce and social media plug-ins built into the app. “It will be Australian’s first truly integrated second-screen experience,” he said.

Since launching in the UK last November, the platform has garnered 1.5 million users bolstered by partnerships with broadcasters and support from BSkyB.

For broadcasters struggling to retain digitally divergent eyeballs the platform allows them to push content to the app while also getting new layers of audience metrics.

The metric data piece of the zeebox story may be the panacea to the Australian TV industry's woes, allowing broadcasters and advertisers to get deeper real time detail on who is watching and what they are engaged in. In the UK Zeebox has appeared in the Sky+ app, which already offers subscribers an interactive programming guide to schedule digital recordings.

BSkyB has been monetising the app through sponsorship and product placement opportunities around Zeebox’s “Zeetags”, which allow for hyper text to be shown around actors, objects and topics on screen.

“zeebox has made huge waves overseas through its ability to enrich the TV experience, with the backing of the world’s largest TV media companies, including BSkyB, Comcast, NBCUniversal, Viacom and HBO, who are seeking to make zeebox the industry-standard platform for second-screen enhancement of television,” said co-founder and global CEO, Ernesto Schmitt.

Recent research from Uk’s Red Bee found that one in three smart device owners admitted that they are also social media junkies and are more likely to watch a show live rather than on-demand if there is significant social buzz around that programme. While more than half of respondents (52%) have used a second screen to find out more about a TV programme. 7reg;

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