Second Screen TV App Viggle Buys Competitor GetGlue

Not since chocolate and peanut butter got together to form a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, have I been so excited about a merger. Robert F.X. Sillerman, Executive Chairman and CEO of Viggle announced today that his company has entered into an agreement to buy competitor GetGlue.

For those of you who don’t live and breathe TV like I do, Viggle and GetGlue are both second screen, social TV apps that reward viewers for checking in to various programs.

Viggle uses audio sync technology to make sure you’re watching the show, then rewards you with points. They also offer bonus points on a few shows a week when you answer trivia questions during the broadcast. These points can be redeemed for gift certificates, discounts and sweepstakes entries. I routinely use mine to buy iTunes and Starbucks gift cards which I often use as gifts (bribes) for family members.

GetGlue rewards viewers with limited edition virtual stickers that can be converted into real stickers every few months. Since they’re not giving away anything with a monetary value, they don’t use audio sync, they simply trust you when you say you’re checking into a show. In order to get the sticker reward, you do have to check in when the show airs live, so there’s a gaming element to the system.

Because of the different rewards, I use both systems but switching back and forth at show time is a pain. I’m hoping that this merger means the functionality of both apps will be combined. I want my stickers and my reward points, too.

GetGlue, which has been around since 2007 has 3.2 million registered users. Viggle launched in January of this year and already has 1.2 million users. Gotta figure there’s a lot of cross over in the member list, but it still means a large influx of users for Viggle.

According to a press release, Viggle will pay $25 million in cash and 48.3 million shares of stock for GetGlue. Viggle Inc. will operate the Viggle and GetGlue brands, and they will take on all 34 GetGlue employees. (And I pause here to marvel at the fact that GetGlue runs with only 34 employees.)

Alex Iskold, Founder/CEO of GetGlue said;

“We are very excited to join forces with Viggle! GetGlue has built a Social TV product that people love, and Viggle has become their favorite loyalty program for TV. Together we are positioned to deliver the next generation second screen experiences that delight and benefit users, networks and major brands.”

Second screen and social apps are the future of television. We’re on our way, but are still so many avenues to be explored. I’m very excited to see where they go with the combined brands.

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