Check-in application Viggle has acquired GetGlue in a move to consolidate the market for second-screen initiatives. Although the merger is a step in the right direction, marketers still have a ways to go when combining television and mobile campaigns.
Under the deal, Viggle will pay $25 million in cash and 48.3 million stock shares to buy GetGlue. With the number of mobile applications vying for consumers’ attention while watching TV growing daily, the news points to the need for standardization in the industry.
“By consolidating our operations we have the largest social TV audience,” said Greg Consiglio, president/chief operating office atViggle, New York.“This allows us to create even more vibrant communities around TV programming and provide network, brand and reward partners greater reach to get their messages in front of a highly coveted audience of TV enthusiasts,” he said.
“We look at social TV as being more than just the social conversation around shows. To us it’s about discovery and tuning in around shows, community and loyalty and real-time engagement around TV programming.”
Details of the deal
Viggle will bring on board all of GetGlue’s 34 employees. The two companies claim to have a combined user base of 4.5 million users.
However, the challenge in making for a successful merger requires looking at how many users have already downloaded and frequently use both apps.
According to an interview published in AllThingsD with Robert Sillerman, CEO of Viggle, the number of active users – meaning consumers that interact with the apps on a monthly basis – is 1.5 million, substantially less than the total user base.
The numbers point to the ongoing challenges for marketers in tying together TV and mobile marketing. Although there is a huge opportunity for marketers to connect the dots between mediums, the large number of second-screen options for consumers is overwhelming.
By combining both companies into one, the deal could potentially make it easier for marketers to target mobile users via TV.
Both apps have also carved out different purposes, which could help close the gap between TV and mobile, according to Eric Mugnier, U.S. senior vice president at M&C Saatchi Mobile, New York.
“Combining Viggle’s reward offering with GetGlue’s social footprint will give the new company a great advantage over their competitors in the SoLoMo trend,” Mr. Mugnier said.
“Second-screen marketing is going mainstream with consumers using more and more multiple channels to share, interact and comment on content and entertainment they consume,” he said.
“This trend started many years ago with SMS, which has enabled viewers to vote or interact with TV programs. Now with the reach provided by smartphones and the social platforms it’s taking an all-new dimension.”
Fragmentation is an ongoing challenge for marketers in the mobile industry compared to other marketing mediums such as TV.
Additionally, in many cases a mobile device acts as a second or third screen while users watch TV, meaning that it is difficult to grab a user’s undivided attention.
New second-screen apps are constantly entering the market, each with a different value proposition for users.
Check-in apps such as Viggle and GetGlue have steadily been losing steam in the past year with campaigns that do not offer users an upfront value for interacting with their mobile devices.
Therefore, the company that is able to accumulate a critical mass of users first will pave the way for second-screen marketing.
“The trend has always been to create scale for marketers and to provide value for consumers,” said Jeff Hinz, managing partner and United States digital director at MediaCom, New York.
“This gives marketers an opportunity across all broadcast channels to engage consumers in a meaningful way,” he said. “It moves second-screen marketing into the sphere of game play, meaning, checking-in is the game and rewards are the way to level-up.”
TV is a tried-and-trusted medium for marketers. However, with consumers often multitasking while watching TV, it is not the marketing platform that it used to be. The Viggle-GetGlue deal points to the longevity that social and second-screen TV will likely have.
“Second-screen marketing is still in its nascent stages and has a long way to go, but there’s a lot of promise and growth ahead,” said Kevin French, exectuive director and general manager of G2 Philadelphia, Philadelphia.
“Eventually, second-screen marketing will be become more efficient and more intelligent thanks to technologies such as audio fingerprinting, GPS and social networks deeply integrated into the mobile operating system,” he said.
“The sad truth is that as long as there are two screens involved, neither will have the undivided attention of the end-user. The future is likely a convergence of both platforms that will allow consumers to interact directly with what they see on TV versus simply talking about it on another screen.”
View full article here.