Thursday, February 14, 2013

Monetizing Second-Screens the Zeebox Way

Second-screen apps have been trying to figure out how to turn a profit from the growing chatter around TV and Zeebox thinks they have the answer. Earlier this week they launched an automated advertising platform called SpotSynch that will show users targeted digital advertisements simultaneously with specific TV programs and commercials. The goal of the new product is to create an immediate path to engagement, said Jason Forbes, exec VP-managing director of Zeebox USA. Traditional TV ads create demand and are a call to action, ads on Zeebox let viewers go to brands' websites, get more information, enter a sweepstakes or take a poll or quiz. The hope is that playing Zeebox ads off commercials will increase the impact on viewers while creating a monetization model the company can bank on.

First launched in the App Store in September, Zeebox is a second-screen TV app. Using it, viewers can see comprehensive TV listings, information about favorite television personalities, and, of course, it comes with a social element. According to the company, Zeebox has been downloaded about 1.2 million times since it arrived in the U.S. Full disclosure, I use Zeebox on a ongoing basis, at to onset, I do not have any issues with the concept behind SpotSynch. I actually feel it will add to my viewing experience and I like the idea of having consistent ads on two platforms providing they are relevant. Second screen apps, by their very nature, are supposed to add to the TV viewing experience however, if SpotSynch becomes too obtrusive to my television viewing experience, my opinion and future usage of the app is very likely to change.

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