Sky has entered into a strategic partnership with zeebox, the ‘second-screen’ consumer service that brings together broadcast TV and the Internet. Launching in the first half of 2012, Sky and zeebox will present a companion app experience for Sky customers which offers ‘augmented’ TV viewing features, such as connecting with friends around TV shows, finding more information about what’s on TV, and buying products relating to their favourite programmes.
Sky will become the first TV platform in the UK to integrate zeebox’s technology into its own applications – which include Sky+ and Sky Go.
The zeebox service – currently available on iPhone, iPad and the Web – serves up social media feeds and conversations via Twitter and Facebook, as well as additional information on the topics, people and products featured within specific programmes. Consumers use these ‘zeetags’ to search the web for more information, read up on characters or actors, purchase music, buy products featured on-screen – whether during programmes or ad breaks, or simply share their views with friends and followers on social media.
From later this year, Sky customers will also be able to use a zeebox powered Sky app to access their Sky+ box on the move, so they can manage their Sky+ recording remotely, as well as using their iPhone or iPad as a remote control for their Sky box.
As part of the deal, Sky has entered into a shareholders agreement with zeebox and its existing shareholders pursuant to which it acquired a 10 per cent stake in the capital of zeebox. zeebox remains an independent company.