Zeebox Personalizes Second Screen Experience With First Fan-Driven 'TV Rooms'
Custom Communities Allow Fans to Own Second Screen Experience; Bravo Signs on as First Network to Develop Official Network Room to Celebrate 'Real Housewives' 100th Episode Special
New York, NY(06 Jun 2013)
Zeebox, the second screen technology leader and universal TV-watching companion, today announced the official launch of Zeebox TV Rooms, a completely new approach to second screen viewing that will impact the way fans interact, engage, individualize and experience TV. The new approach will also ultimately alter the way brands, advertisers and partners engage with fans. Zeebox TV Rooms 1.0 (beta) is a user-driven community for passionate TV fans to share experiences and thoughts with fellow fans in virtual rooms they create or join that are specific to shows, characters, themes and more.
While TV Rooms are largely fan-driven, Bravo Media is the first network to set up an official network-sponsored Zeebox TV Room. The "Real Housewives" TV Room – which will go live in tandem with the season premiere "The Real Housewives of Orange County: 100th Episode Special" on Monday, June 24 at 8pm ET/PT – will begin with a bang featuring a special event that includes current and former "Real Housewives" including Jo de la Rosa, Gretchen Rossi and Tamra Barney, as well as Bravo's very own Andy Cohen – allowing live interaction for fans with their favorite villainous or 'housewife of the year' within the official Bravo Media TV Room.
"As the first network to partner with Zeebox for a dedicated TV Room, we're excited to celebrate the Real Housewives of Orange County's 100th episode in a larger way that extends beyond the TV screen," said Lisa Hsia, EVP of digital for Bravo Media. "By creating a dialogue between fans and Housewives within zeebox during the special, we're providing our dedicated fans with an added layer of engagement for commemorating this milestone with Bravo and each other -- while upholding Bravo's commitment to pioneering cross-platform experiences for fans."
"The number one request from consumers has been to further personalize their zeebox experience," said Jason Forbes, executive vice president USA of Zeebox. "The launch of TV Rooms gives anyone the ability to join and build a range of different communities centered around one or a set of TV shows – a place where they can call the shots, share ideas, conversations and organize affinity groups based on what's important to them."
Also available in each TV Room is a program schedule featuring shows that are tied to the show or theme of each TV Room. For example, in the "6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon" TV Room, the populated shows list may tell you that "The Following" comes on Fox at 9pm as well as any upcoming Kevin Bacon movies. Live, contextual "zeetags" also appear as characters, products and other pertinent information appear in the show, giving viewers an immediate link to learn more and drive topical discussions.
At launch, the app features more than 4,000 TV Rooms (numbers will vary based on location/TV provider) across shows within the two-week viewing schedule, as well as 60 themed TV Rooms ranging from "Reality TV Time" to "Late Night Show Breakdown." The Top 50 Rooms will be highlighted every week and ranked based on activity (likes, comments, shares) and members currently joining.
The TV Rooms feature is available for iOS devices in the App Store and is accessible within the menu tabs of the Zeebox app. TV Rooms will be available for Android devices in the coming weeks. Starting a TV Room is easy and requires four quick steps, very similar to beginning a social media account. From there, 'TV Room Owners' can invite friends to the room, post conversation starters, like/comment on posts and share the room via social networks and email.
Future versions of the app coming in a matter of weeks will extend the consumer experience even further with new features that will include rich media/video experiences, personalized image capabilities, ability to post external links, viewable live show clips and more.
Since launch, Zeebox has exceeded 5 million global downloads and generates a 30 minute average engagement time across users of its mobile app.
Zeebox is the new, social, interactive and immersive way to watch TV. It turns your smartphone, tablet or laptop into an interactive companion that enables consumers to engage with friends around TV shows, to buy what they see on screen, to remote control their TV, and to get more information about whatever program they're watching including access to exclusive interactive content.
By partnering with Zeebox, broadcasters and content owners can augment their TV shows on the second screen, engage interactively with fans, and monetize this new medium in synch with live TV.
Zeebox was founded in 2011 by former iPlayer CTO Anthony Rose and EMI executive Ernesto Schmitt. The company is headquartered in London with offices in New York and Sydney.