NYC-based second screen startup GetGlue, which lets users check in to their favorite TV shows, movies, and sporting events online, announced today that it has reached three million users, adding one million users since January 2012. Those users have contributed a total of 500 million check-ins, likes and reviews on the site since its launch in 2008, with 100 million of those check-ins happening in 2011. The network also announced its new GetGlue HD product, which is focused on helping users discover shoes, movies, and sports.
The new discovery-focused app is available now for iPad, and will be available for iPhone, Android, and GetGlue’s web and mobile sites later this fall. It aims to help users discover new content via a personalized list of shows and movies users already watch, delivered in a calendar-like display. Like GetGlue’s existing apps, it shows people what their friends are watching, and also shows content related to their existing favorites. It’s like a next-generation version of the TV guide (and TV Guide does, in fact, have an iPad app already).
While focused on new TV episodes and special TV events like the Oscars and the Super Bowl, the app also shows sports fans upcoming schedules, stats and live scores, and it recommends movies opening that weekend, as well as movies users can watch on iTunes, Netflix and Amazon. Users can also search by teams, movies, channels, and other criteria. The second screen experience is still central to the new GetGlue HD app, so rather than just finding shows, it encourages viewers to check-in to programs, and connect with other users who are watching the same thing.
“GetGlue HD is more focused and was the next step for us,” GetGlue founder Alex Iskold said in an interview, adding that the company’s big theme this year is discovery. “Check-ins are just the first action but being able to find what’s on TV for you based on the shows you like and watch was a natural fit for us.”
The company works with television networks and media companies to help them promote their shows, both through its API, which allows companies to add GetGlue widgets to their websites, and by offering monitoring and analytics to those companies about fan engagement. Brands can also offer viewers rewards like stickers and discounts. Currently the company has over 70 groups using its API and widgets, including Fox, NBC, and HBO, and has over 100 film and TV partners in total including ABC, CNN, and Food Network.
Iskold said today’s update means that partner content including YouTube videos, show and actor Tweets, and episode images will be aggregated into the app. “Their fans will have easy access to supplemental content that will help make fans even more passionate,” he said. “They’re also able to post content directly to GetGlue and interact with their fans here.” He said that the rewards, including stickers, will still be available going forward, and will be featured on both show and user profiles, but that discovery is a far bigger part of the update. While they have a number of brand partners, they’re still working out their revenue model, though Iskold said they will be unveiling new advertising products in the future.
Second screen startups are becoming increasingly popular, with Wayin raising $14 million in February 2012, and partnering with AT&T to bring its content to the company’s U-verse smartphone and tablet applications. Companies like SynopsiTV and Seevibes are trying to measure social viewers and provide analytics to broadcasters, while other second screen competitors include yap.TV and Miso.
GetGlue has raised $18 million, including $12 million in funding in January 2012 led by Rho Ventures. According to an April 2012 Nielsen study, 88 percent of U.S. tablet owners and 86 percent of U.S. smartphone owners use their device at least once a month while watching TV, so it’s clear that as long as second screen apps like GetGlue can find users when they’re watching TV, they’ll have a rapt audience. The key for GetGlue will not just be finding viewers to use its app, but finding a way to monetize the over 100 brand partners it currently has, something the company will be looking at later this year.