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AdaptiveBlue, a New York City startup that lets users “check in” to TV shows to share what they’re watching with their friends, recently raised $6 million in funding Time Warner and others. I’ve seen a ton of TV check-in apps in the last few months, so I asked founder and chief executive Alex Iskold how GetGlue (that’s the name of the app) will stand out.
The key, Iskold said, is that GetGlue is a platform. Yes, there’s a check-in app that users can download for their iPhone and iPad, but media companies can also add GetGlue’s check-in technology to their own apps, and they can add GetGlue widgets to their websites and Facebook Pages. A network could add a widget to a TV show website, and fans could then use a widget to say, “I’m watching Doctor Who,” which could then be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and within the GetGlue app itself.
The fact is that every major media company already has iPhone and iPad apps — this is because these apps offer unique way to engage with fans, bring them unique content and rewards. Adding check-ins to these apps makes a lot of sense, because you want to know that they user is engaged and watching.
The API goes beyond widgets and exposes full control of GetGlue stack. Partners can tap into specific stickers, for example, displaying all rewards from their show inside their apps or web site. Also, partners can tap into personalized suggestions and user profile (all permission based using OAuth).
That’s a different approach than competitors like Miso and Philo, which seem more focused on their own apps.
The platform has already been used by USA, Showtime, and Discovery, Iskold said, and he plans to expand its usage among GetGlue’s other partners, which include more than “three dozen top entertainment brands.”
GetGlue isn’t limited to TV check ins either — Iskold said TV is the biggest part of the app, but users can also check in to content like movies, music, and books. When I talked to Philo chief executive David Levy in July, he touted the company’s focus on TV, but Iskold argued that it’s important to be more complete.
“Without other bits, the experience is too narrow,” he said. “TV check-ins are evening only, but during the day people listen to music, on the weekends people head to movies, play video games and read books.”
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