zeebox and Network Ten ink partnership for Australia

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
zeebox logo

The ground-breaking social TV platform and consumer service will launch in Q3 with significant backing from Australia’s leading youth broadcaster

LONDON, UK, and SYDNEY, Australia — zeebox today announces the establishment of zeebox Australia, a joint-venture with Network Ten, which will launch zeebox’s award-winning app on the local market. Australia will be zeebox’s second international launch after its highly anticipated arrival on US shores during the summer.

zeebox uniquely provides consumers with a comprehensive social TV discovery and interaction service, while enabling broadcasters and brands to engage with TV fans across all channels.

zeebox Australia comes to market with significant backing from Network Ten as anchor partner. Network Ten is making a substantial investment in zeebox Australia as well as committing to extensive promotional support and deep integration of Ten programming in zeebox’s award-winning second-screen platform. Beyond Network Ten, zeebox is working across the major media companies and content owners in Australia to enable them to use zeebox in similar fashion to reach their fans and to extend their ability to commercialise TV viewers to the second screen.

“We’re delighted to launch in Australia with support from Network Ten, who share our vision of a second-screen platform that delivers value to consumers across all channels and providers. We look forward to working with Australian content owners to develop compelling social TV propositions around key shows and events, and to give the industry access to our unique monetisation platform in sync with live TV,” said Max Bleyleben, CFO of zeebox Ltd and Director of zeebox Australia.

Since launching in the UK last year, zeebox has led innovation in the market of social TV apps, enabling consumers to discover TV content through their extended social graph, to follow their favourite celebrities’ TV viewing, get access to social media feeds, and to automatically get more information about the programmes they’re watching. Jon Marquard, Chief Operating Officer of Network Ten said: “The launch of zeebox in Australia is a key part of Network Ten’s digital media strategy.

“We know viewer behaviour is changing and audiences are multi-tasking. About 70% of TV viewers use a second screen while they are watching TV. This creates an enormous opportunity for zeebox, a network-agnostic app that offers consumers a much broader and deeper experience than other second-screen apps.

“Zeebox’s research shows people want an app that gives them a better way to find TV programs, a better way to know what TV programs their friends are watching, and a better way to find information on what they are watching. Zeebox delivers all that, and more.”

As part of its launch, zeebox will introduce Australian content owners to its OpenBox toolkit, which allows broadcasters and programme-makers to publish show-specific content through zeebox. OpenBox is designed to make efficient use of content already created by the show’s rights-holder: fan pages, cast bios, backstage videos, custom Twitter streams, interactive widgets, and more.

Media partners using OpenBox benefit from in-depth analytics on how viewers engage with their content, have an opportunity to participate in the commercialization of those viewers, and can use zeebox’s reach to drive traffic back to their own digital assets.

zeebox Australia will be run by Internet investor and entrepreneur Craig Blair, previously a Principal at netus, a News Ltd-backed technology investment company. Craig’s experience includes setting up a range of businesses in Australia, including Expedia, The Video Company, Allure Media, Switchwise, Buyster, and others. “We are in active discussions with several broadcasters and content owners to offer zeebox functionality into their TV apps and to enhance their content within zeebox. With OpenBox broadcasters and programme-makers can engage closely with fans, create a lively, engaging, social distribution point for additional content, and obtain insightful analytics about their customers,” said Craig Blair, CEO of zeebox Australia. Zeebox will launch in Australia on iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones in the third quarter of 2012.