According to Nielsen, 85 percent of smartphone and tablet owners use their devices while watching television. Three-year-old mobile app Viggle aims to take advantage of this increasingly common use of the second screen.
App Rewards Multimedia Multitasking
Viggle is built on a solid concept: Reward an already established consumer habit — multitasking media consumption. Viggle users check-in to TV programs they watch using their mobile devices. The app identifies what is on screen to verify the check-in and awards points for every minute viewed. Players earn additional points by answering program-related trivia questions, viewing advertising spots on their mobile device and, for sporting events, even playing a fantasy sports game while watching the game in real-time.
The app is relatively easy to use. Even those with limited digital skills can install and start using it in a few minutes. Alerts help users make sure they don’t miss featured shows that have high point values. Avid viewers can earn enough points for a low-value gift card within the first seven to 10 days of using the app.
Consumers aren’t the only ones benefiting from Viggle. Broadcasters also get perks.
- Featured programs encourage check-ins for programs viewers might not ordinarily watch.
- Show-related trivia questions promote real-time watching and retain viewers.
- Delayed viewing isn’t punished. Users have until eight o’clock the next morning to check-into a program aired the evening before.
- Rewards are valuable, easy to redeem and appealing. Viggle offers gift cards for retailers such as Lowe’s, CVS, Starbucks, Papa John’s, Sephora and Best Buy.
Despite the strong concept, Viggle has had mixed results. On the plus side, reviewers have given the iOS version of the app three-and-a-half stars overall, and the Android version has four stars. On the negative side, the most recent iOS version dropped to two-and-a-half stars. In January of this year, Viggle’s planned merger with larger competitor GetGlue was canceled — possibly due to the former’s shaky financial situation.
If it makes tweaks to its business plan, Viggle could be a great tool to invite and retain viewers. It’s rewarding users for things they already do, which could improve ratings for live and live plus same-day programs. With some work, Viggle might be a win-win for broadcasters and consumers.