Comcast, NBCUniversal, HBO partner for U.S. Zeebox launch
1st Oct 2012 | 17:41
Socially minded 'TV sidekick' Zeebox makes its American debut
Billed as "your TV sidekick," Zeebox is landing on American soil this week, offering a free second screen experience for both web browsers and mobile apps for iOS and Android.
The launch is a partnership with a trio of U.S. providers, with HBO kicking in premium content while Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal infuse Zeebox with investments as well as promotional support.
"As the Olympics demonstrated, the second screen experience has become an increasingly important platform to engage audiences," explains NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke.
"We think the Zeebox technology presents tremendous opportunities for our viewers and our advertisers."
Coming to America
Like the more music-centric Shazam, Zeebox hails from the U.K. but both are squarely aimed at competing with American social discovery platforms such as GetGlue, Miso and IntoNow.
Prior to jumping across the pond, Zeebox touched down in Australia as part of a joint venture with the Ten Network.
However, having the support of Comcast, NBC and HBO for the American launch is considered a major coup for the company.
"We are proud to launch with this game-changing roster of partners who recognize the importance of fully meeting web-empowered consumer expectations," remarked Zeebox Chief Executive Officer Ernesto Schmitt, who founded the company with Anthony Rose, a veteran of the BBC iPlayer relaunch.
For its U.S. partners, Zeebox makes for an attractive television advertising platform, currently a $70 billion industry.
"As consumers continue to flock to social media and the web to experience a program beyond what is on the screen, Zeebox gives content owners and programmers a direct line of communication, feedback and engagement that has never before been possible," Schmitt elaborated.
Zeebox launches this week with a seven-day program guide for all major TV channels, offering customized channel lineups, show reminders and deeper social discovery via Twitter and Facebook.