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BroadbandTV News is reporting that Sky is investing (stake in Zeebox at a rich $15m (£9.7m) in cutting-edge Social TV Second Screen startup Zeebox and plans to integrate the platform into their offerings.
Sky is to integrate Anthony Rose’s Zeebox technology into its suite of tablet and smartphone applications. At the same time the broadcaster will take a 10% equity stake in the social media platform.
...Sky will become the UK’s only TV platform to integrate Zeebox into its own applications. These will include Sky+ and the multiscreen service Sky Go.
“Sky has a strong track record of innovation, and we are delighted to partner with them to deliver zeebox’s social TV vision to millions of Sky homes. Thanks to Sky’s backing we now also have the resources and expertise to set our sights firmly on international expansion alongside further innovation here in the UK and Ireland,” said the former EMI executive Ernesto Schmitt, zeebox’s co-founder and CEO.
The Guardian reports that BSkyB's stake in the company will give the broadcasting giant exclusive UK rights to integrate the technology into its own network of mobile apps and later this year BSkyB will integrate the Zeebox technology into apps for services including Sky+, which allows access to the the set top box functions on the move, and Sky Go, which allows users to watch programmes from a variety of handheld devices.
Only two months since is was launched by former BBC technology chief Anthony Rose, Zeebox has been making waves in the industry, due to its deep Social Media integration and unique temporal metatagging technology which pulls contextual words in real time from broadcast TV using a number of technologies and then links them to relevant information from Wikipedia, Twitter and Apps from the Apple ecosystem.
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.
"Sky took an early position of leadership with companion devices, having recognised the demand from our customers to use second screens to discover, enjoy and interact with their favourite content. The integration of zeebox’s innovative technology will enable us to make the companion device experience even richer and more engaging. We know that millions of our customers have smartphones and tablets and regularly use them to engage with Sky on mobile devices, so it’s a natural next step for us," said Emma Lloyd, Sky’s Director of Emerging Products