Viggle Wriggles Up To 625,000 Social-TV Users5/09/2012 8:47 AM Eastern
Since launching in Jaunary, social-TV app developer Viggle has attracted some 625,000 registered users for its television loyalty iPhone app, and those members have completed 142 million engagements within the app.
Viggle is a product of Function(x) Inc., founded by media entrepreneur Robert F.X. Sillerman, who previously founded and ran CKX, which among other properties acquired American Idol producer 19 Entertainment.
The Viggle app automatically identifies what television shows users are watching across more than 160 broadcast and cable networks and awards them "points" when they check in to a TV show. Users can redeem their points in the app's rewards catalogue for items such as movie tickets, music, gift cards and much more.
Since Viggle's launch, members have redeemed points over 375,000 times for items from companies such as Best Buy, iTunes, Amazon and Starbucks or converted their points into charitable donations. According to Viggle, the amount of time users spend in the app now tops 93 minutes per user, with active members checking in an average of five times each day.
"We set out to enhance the TV experience and we're seeing the results from our users who are hungry for more ways to interact with their favorite programming," Viggle president Chris Stephenson said in a statement.
Other companies that offer special-purpose social TV apps include GetGlue, Miso and Shazam Entertainment, while the bulk of social chatter around TV programming occurs directly on Facebook and Twitter.
Viggle also touted its live events as among the most popular features. The live interactive elements include real-time polls, quizzes and trivia related to the shows users are watching.
For example, 50% of viewers who checked into the NCAA March Madness basketball finals played along with a series of Viggle Live events, presented by Capital One, answering an average of 20 questions each, according to the company. Viggle also cited a recent partnership with USA Network to promote the 50th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird, which aired April 7.
New York-based Function(x), whose shares are publicly traded over the counter under the symbol FNCX, was formerly known as Gateway Industries Inc. In February 2011, Sillerman and other investors completed a recapitalization of Gateway, buying about 120 million new shares of the company for $3.6 million and renaming the company Function(x).
Function(x) reported no revenue and operating expenses of $50.7 million for the six months ended Dec. 31, 2011.
Viggle is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The company announced that it is currently testing an Android version of the app.