Will Viggle Be the Next Step in TV Companionship? - latest tech tips

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Will Viggle Be the Next Step in TV Companionship?

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Once Upon a Time …In the old days, "TV companionship" referred to the person(s) who sat with you in the den and watched the program with you. "Chat" consisted of whatever verbal communication passed among you, be it "I hate this character," to "run and get me a beer." The only "rewards" you earned by spending an evening in such a fashion might have involved relating the plot to a co-worker who had missed the show over lunch the next day.

What is Viggle?

Now we have smartphones and tablet computers that are also referred to as second screens for the television programs — or content — that we watch. Viggle is a new app available for iPhone and Android that essentially collects data on what programs smartphone users are watching in much the same way the app Shazam identifies musical tunes — through an audio sample and subsequent identification. Incentives to lure TV viewers to use the app while purportedly "watching" a program include a point accumulation program, a chat function to interact with other program viewers, a broadcast schedule that indicates programs with an extra point value and the ability of participants to exchange points for prizes.
As Viggle only works with live programming, friends of Viggle users might be encouraged to purchase a cable subscription of their own. Instead of commenting on games or programs on Facebook as has been the case, the communication takes place within the app.  A basic cable package costs new users usually around $30 and provides a significant monetary reward to the friend making the referral.

Why Use Viggle?

Viggle is just one of the many second-screen apps freely available to consumers and the curious. While they promise an enhanced-viewing experience, entertainment and rewards, the real benefits are to network and advertising costs and revenue.
Ashwin Navin, a partner who founded the company BitTorrent, pronounces the second-screen genre as "dead" because of the limited relevance of one apps programming aspect to the huge variety of programs aired daily. For instance, other examples of second-screen strategies provide background information on a show's characters and allow viewers to study evidence already introduced in a program's plot. These alternatives have been introduced on a limited basis with limited participation among a program's viewing audience.

Is Viggle Worth It?

As suggested above, Viggle hasn't been without its detractors. The second screens on the laps of TV viewers are indeed on, but they're engaged in other activities, citing a survey from NPD, a market research association.
“ … we're sitting there fiddling with these devices and if something catches our attention,” said NPD's senior vice president of industry analysis Russ Crupnick in a report announcing the findings, “we're off to do our own thing.”
Some consumer reviews from iTunes customers:
  • “Horrible”
  • “Keeps Getting Worse”
  • “Stealing Our Points”
The topic is leaving no question that viewers don't relate the current “rewards” as adequate to the tasks they're asked to perform with the app.
Image by Christoph Bauer pursuant to the terms of his Creative Commons license.

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