Viacom has signed on as a strategic partner with British
startup Zeebox, joining Comcast, NBCUniversal and HBO in tapping the
second-screen app to deliver enhanced content and ads synchronized with its
cable shows on TV.
The Zeebox app, which
debuted in the U.S. last Thursday, lets users indicate which live TV
programming they're watching and then delivers related content in real time,
provided by TV programmers and advertisers as well as culled from the Web and
social networks. The free-to-download app, available for iPhone, iPad, iPod
Touch, Android smartphones and the Web, also enables e-commerce features.
Like Comcast and NBCU, Viacom will support Zeebox with
promotional commitments. Comcast and NBCU have each taken separate equity
stakes in Zeebox; the amount of their investments was not disclosed. Other
investors include BSkyB in the U.K.
"Viacom has the most socially engaged audiences anywhere,
and we're constantly striving to give our fans new ways to discover and connect
with our content," Viacom Media Networks chief operating officer Rich
Eigendorff said in a statement. "Zeebox is a powerful new platform to create
even richer and more interactive experiences around our programming, and build
an even deeper connection between our brands and our fans."