Interactive TV News Round-Up (VI): TVGuide.com, Epix, TVplus, Amnesty International, zeebox, Sky

--TVGuide.com Says Survey Shows Social-Network Discussions Drive TV Tune-In and Loyalty
--Epix Taps TVplus to Power Second-Screen Social-TV Experience for Secret Policeman's Ball
--zeebox Begins Two-Month Advertising Campaign on Sky and Viacom Channels

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on The TV of Tomorrow Show 2012 (note: early-bird discount registration ends tonight!), we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • TVGuide.com has unveiled the results of a research study which it says shows that social network discussions about TV shows drive tune-in, loyalty and more live viewing. "17% of respondents said they have started to watch a show because of a social impression, while 31% said they have continued to watch a show because of a social impression," the company states in its press materials. "27% of respondents also said they are now watching more live TV to avoid plot and reality 'spoilers' that may be revealed in real time by members of their social networks, up from 20% in 2010...In addition, the user survey showed the following: a) Users who said they were influenced by social impressions to start watching a TV show said the top three reasons they are influenced are: 1) people had good things to say about it (76%), 2) topics or storylines interested me (64%), and 3) I like to watch what others watch (13%). b) Asked how social impressions influenced them to continue watching a TV show, users said the top three reasons are: 1) impressions helped keep up my interest in shows (77%), 2) topics or storylines interested me (66%) and, 3) controversial moments (34%)." According to TVGuide.com, the study surveyed 3,041 respondents during the month of February.
  • Automatic Content Recognition (ACR)-based social-TV company, TVplus, says that it has been chosen by cable network, Epix, to create a social-TV experience for the telecast of Amnesty International's Secret Policeman's Ball. "The Secret Policeman's Ball is scheduled for March 4th, 2012 at New York's Radio City Music Hall and will celebrate Amnesty International's 50th anniversary," the company states in its press materials. "In partnership with Epix, the TVplus application will power the second-screen experience for at-home television viewers, providing the opportunity for the audience to have real-time access to informative interactive content about the evening's performers as well as the history and mission of Amnesty International. Viewers will receive a wide variety of content related to the Secret Policeman's Ball, including celebrity news, videos, photo galleries, music, celebrity quotes, event Twitter activity, and much more. Viewers of the event can enjoy the dual-screen experience on their iPad by downloading the TVplus app, or on their laptop by visiting TVplus.com on show night. The event will be presented live on Epix and streamed at epixhd.com and via Epix apps on Xbox and Roku...TVplus is the only social technology company with live event publishing capabilities on the second screen, and has previously powered social-television experiences for such events as the 2011 Emmy Awards, and the inaugural season of 'The X Factor' on Fox." Said TVplus co-founder and CEO, Ajay Shah: "With each live activation we produce, we have the opportunity to see just how dynamic the viewing experience becomes when there is the additional interactive layer. Social TV is the future, and we're excited to partner with forward-thinking companies like Epix to bring the next generation of television to their viewers."
  • zeebox, the second-screen social-TV company that was co-founded by former BBC iPlayer chief, Anthony Rose, will kick off a UK advertising campaign this Saturday, that will air 12,000 spots on Sky and Viacom channels over the next two months. The campaign, which is part of a deal announced in January that saw BSkyB taking a 10% equity stake in the company, is scheduled to coincide with a zeebox upgrade that will see it offering enhanced Twitter features, HD channel support and push notifications. The company is also now offering a feature called OpenBox Showtime that allows broadcasters to create custom interactive experiences and branding within its app. Paid Content's Robert Andrews has more.

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