zeebox rebranded and reborn as Beamly

written by: Richard Kastelein

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beamly-logoBeamly (formerly zeebox) launches today on iPhone, iPad, Android and the web with a new brand and a vibrant, exciting new app representing the state of the art of social television.

Anthony Rose, CTO and co-founder said:

“We’ve already seen a marked progression in the behaviors of users since gradually introducing our new social features over the past few months. The social effect of users following other users, for instance, lifts frequency by 9x to over 21 visits per user per week, and usage to over 500 minutes per user per week – so we’re pretty excited. And since almost 2/3rds of our users are now female, and the 16-24 age bracket is our core, the new Beamly brand captures the zeitgeist of these millennials perfectly.”

For more on the Evolution of Second Screen, check out this fresh blog post from Beamly’s co-founder and CTO, Anthony Rose. 

The second screen, social TV app formerly known as zeebox is now Beamly. Why the change? What does it mean? And what’s the story on social TV in general?

Over the past months we’ve been interviewing people who love TV and who love talking about TV. It’s clear that television viewing, or at least the love for TV shows, is as healthy as ever. It’s also clear that people are still looking for that perfect companion experience, the perfect app that reminds you when your favorite show is on, that gives you 24/7 news and gossip for the drama and celebrities you’re following. An app that lets you jump into a community and chat with fans before, during and after the show. An app that gives you a no-spoilers experience when you’re watching on-demand or, increasingly, binge viewing.

With the Beamly app, TV fans now have a single 24/7 destination where they can:

  • follow the shows and stars they love to get personalized news and social feeds – updated live
  • find and follow other fans to connect with around shared passions
  • chat and share in TV Rooms – Beamly’s unique social spaces for television, hosted by TV influencers, celebrities and passionate superfans
  • discover what to watch with Beamly’s super-smart personalized guide
  • interact live with their favorite shows via custom playalong games, contextual votes and more, all synched live to what’s on screen

“The rebrand to Beamly is a celebration of the huge development our app has been through since launching two years ago, originally as a simple program guide and synch experience,” said Ernesto Schmitt, CEO and co-founder. “The initial phase of social television and 2nd screen was limited to apps providing a companion experience for audiences while watching TV. However, people’s emotional engagement with TV spans the whole day: they want to read up on stories about the shows and stars they love in the morning, discuss plotlines over the watercooler in the afternoon, and carefully plan what to watch in the evening – long before ever switching on the TV itself. While they watch, they want a great interactive experience that synchs with what’s on screen. And after the show is over, they want to chat and share socially with other fans,” said Schmitt. “Beamly for the first time brings together all of these touchpoints with TV in a single app, all day long."

To mark the launch, Beamly welcomes on board over 100 TV and pop culture influencers who are hosting their own live, vibrant TV Rooms and profiles in the app.  Across Grammy Award Winning Songwriter/Singer and reality star Kandi Burruss of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” fame and YouTube sensations like Tyler Oakley, Sawyer Hartman and Kalel Cullen, Beamly users have the chance to connect and interact directly with TV Influencers that matter to them – while talent has the opportunity to express their own TV passions, while building followers and connecting with their fans in a ways not possible on other social platforms.

“What I like about Beamly is it allows me to connect with my viewers around TV shows that we’re passionate about anyway,” said Tyler Oakley whose YouTube subscribers top 4m. “It’s just another way for us to connect in a more intimate way.”
In the coming weeks, several more reality stars across hit shows will be joining Beamly, following fans and lighting up conversation. First to join is Kandi Burruss from Bravo's ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta.’
"I love the idea of being able to follow and connect with fans around our show and all the other shows I'm obsessed with,” explained Kandi Burruss. “You'll definitely find me in the ‘Scandal’ TV Room and look out for some of my new wedding pics in the 'Atlanta' TV Room later this month!”

Existing partners like NBCU and Viacom as well as new TV network partners can also syndicate Beamly’s rich interactive capabilities. These include TV rooms for vibrant show specific communities that fans can engage with on the .com page of a TV Network and a rich suite of gaming experiences that networks like Bravo and Oxygen are enabling.

Beamly is available free from the App Store for iPhone and iPad, Google Play for Android, on the web at http://beamly.com/– and coming soon to Windows Phone.




About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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