Thursday, September 27, 2012

Long anticipated zeebox second screen app launches

zeebox announced their US launch today, starting with a partnerships that include NBCUniversal, Comcast Cable (Xfinity), HBO and Cinemax. For those who haven't had a chance to see the app while in the UK, it is certainly worth downloading. They are promising enhanced experiences for The Voice and Notre Dame Football on NBCU and for True Blood and Boardwalk Empire on HBO. They are additionally touting feature sets that include a 7-day program guide (for Discovery), live synchronization with their now famous zeetags (which enable contextual commerce and the look-up of Stimulating content related info), and of course Social integration with Facebook and Twitter.

I took the app for a short test drive and love the UI and flow from Discovery to show-level detail. The initiation process was relatively easy, asking for your channel line-up provider and Facebook and Twitter account info. Since the Ryder Cup is just about to begin, I thought I would check-in on the Twitter banter from across the pond and wasn't disappointed at all. I was also impressed with the zeetag responses and suggested apps for the program you are watching.

Simple. The app in the UK integrates with a large number of devices (Samsung for example) and supports Sky's pay TV service, and I would expect is already integrated with Comcast Cable (will check next week), with announcements of future device partnerships in the U.S. to come.

Social. As I mentioned above, the integration is pretty decent, with ability to "filter" the Twitter feed for "Family Friendly" (see image) and to set the speed at which the live tweets fly by (I can't tell if they are curated or recorded for synchronized playback from your DVR--more to follow soon).

Stimulating. The app has this feature set nailed to a tee, with zeetags leading the way as an innovative way to enable consumers to find interesting related content and commerce opportunities (and soon to be contextual advertising).

There doesn't appear yet to be a feature focused around the Seamless sourcing of content from multiple sources (only your major channel provider line-up appears to be supported at initial release) and it is too early to opine on its ability to help me Discover new content (I will come back in a few weeks with a review on apps with that feature).

In summary, I predicted back in June that when zeebox launched in the US, they would be one of the top 10 apps to watch, and their experience at launch certainly doesn't disappoint. They are a serious contender in the 3rd party space and their major partnerships will certainly propel them quickly into the U.S. consumer marketplace.

If you happen to be in NYC next week, we are hosting a technology demo at the Advertising Week Experience (AWE) and come by to check out the second screen panels on both Monday and Tuesday afternoon being supported by the 2nd Screen Society as part of our Advertising Week activities.  If you are "in the business" of second screen, shoot us a note and we can try to connect during the week--there is even an S3 members' only cocktail party Tuesday night at Y&R's Madison Ave. offices and sponsored by Magic Ruby and Mobovivo. I am sure this app with be a popular subject in conversation for some period of time.

See you next week.


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