Zeebox gears up for US launch
21 August 2012
UK-based social TV start-up Zeebox is preparing to expand across the Atlantic by launching its social TV app in the US, with Comcast tipped to be its launch partner.
According to sources, Zeebox will reach a partnership with Comcast ahead of its US launch, which will likely include a strategic investment from the cable provider. With 20 million TV subscribers in the US, the partnership would give Zeebox a strong foothold in the market.
“We are very much looking forward to our US launch, which I’m pleased to confirm is imminent,” Zeebox chief executive Ernesto Schmitt. “We will be working with a range of great US partners who all share a deep appreciation for our work, and a strong desire jointly to embrace the huge opportunity that is the second screen. We’ll be announcing details [of] our US partner line-up soon – stay tuned!”
Launched in the UK last year, Zeebox is a social TV app that aims to give users a new way of discovering content around TV shows, including information about the cast and crew, multimedia content and social features.
In the UK, Zeebox has attracted funding from UK satellite TV provider BSkyB, which in turn got a 10% stake in the start-up. Through the deal, Sky integrated Zeebox’s social TV technologies into its own apps and plans to sell sponsorship and product placement with its help.
Zeebox also reached a deal with Australian commercial broadcaster Network Ten in July, taking an investment and rolling-out the app in Australia. Network Ten will also use Zeebox for promotion, as well as integrate the service into its own branded apps.
The Comcast deal is likely to be similar, with Zeebox taking an investment in return for integrating its technology into existing apps from Comcast.
Jenni Baker, London