Viggle, a new free app by Function(x) recently launched for iOS, is calling itself the “Loyalty Program for TV.” It allows you to “check in” to TV shows you’re watching through audio recognition and earn points, which can be redeemed for real rewards like gift cards or movie tickets. While on the app, you can see what shows are the most buzzy or what shows will give you the most points for tuning in at the moment. Viggle also takes this opportunity to show you in-app ads.
Chris Stephenson, the president of Function(x) commented that for everything we buy these days there is a loyalty program, but “Networks don't have a direct relationship with the audience. So what you've got is a world where the television-show brands are very popular but the networks aren't really in a position to give anything back to the consumer.”
So what are the benefits for the networks?
It is clear that most users already use other devices while watching TV, and Stephenson offers Viggle as a another way for networks to maintain your attention since they know they can’t change user behavior. It is not necessarily about driving people back to live-TV viewing, as you can earn points by watching through any platform and at any time, but about networks giving back and building a better relationship with consumers by doing so.
It sounds almost a bit too good to be true for me—I mean getting rewards while doing nothing but watch TV? However, I am definitely sold and can’t wait to give it a try.