i.TV Gobbles Up Second-Screen App Specialist GetGlue

Deal Comes 11 Months After Viggle and GetGlue Called Off Their Proposed Merger

i.TV has inked a deal to acquire GetGlue, a developer of second screen apps and affinity-based TV “check-in” features that touts a registered user base of 4.5 million users.

The deal begins the expected consolidation of what’s become a fragmented market of second screen app developers.

The acquisition, announced Wednesday, also marks the second time GetGlue has been tabbed for a merger. About two years ago, another second-screen startup, Viggle, struck a deal to buy GetGlue for $25 million plus stock that would’ve pushed the value of the deal beyond the $70 million mark, but the deal was called off in January 2013. Viggle, which just expanded its relationship with DirecTV, has about 3.06 million registered users.

Financial terms of the iTV/GetGlue deal were not disclosed, but i.TV CEO Brad Pelo said his company plans to maintain and improve GetGlue as an independent product, but will integrate it and its “superfans” with the i.TV backend platform, which powers second screen and social TV apps for several brands, including AOL, Huffington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Telus, and Nintendo TV, the service bundled into the WiiU gaming console.

i.TV, a five-year-old company that claims to have 15 million people usings its common backend system, said the addition of GetGlue will expand its overall audience and its advertising business model.

i.TV will “bring GetGlue’s users to the broader social community that our current partners benefit from,” Pelo said, noting that the deal should close sometime this month.

Pelo said it has not yet been determined how many of GetGlue’s 48 employees will join i.TV, but acknowledged that there will be a “reduction in force” due to overlapping functions.

“The business of GetGlue will continue has it has, with many of the same people building and maintaining that platform,” he said.

GetGlue will maintain its presence in New York, but among execs who will not stay with i.TV post-merger is Evan Krauss, the former Shazam exec who was named president of GetGlue in June. 

GetGlue, founded in 2007, has raised about $24 million, according to TechCrunch.