zeebox rebrands as Beamly to move beyond second screen into social TV

Conceding that the second screen is only a limited application, zeebox has relaunched itself as Beamly and will now focus on "the art of social television," the company said.

"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 sync experience," Ernesto Schmitt, CEO and co-founder of zeebox--now Beamly--said in a news release.

That initial phase of social television and, in particular, the second screen was "limited to apps providing a companion experience while watching TV," and that wasn't enough, he said.

"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," he said.

Once they turn on the TV, they're ready for the interactive experience.

"Beamly for the first time brings together all of these touchpoints with TV in a single app," Schmitt said.

CTO and co-founder Anthony Rose broke down viewership statistics to demonstrate the "marked progression in the behaviors of users" since zeebox first introduced its new social feature. He also said the new app will target the youth audience, particularly females.

"Almost two-thirds of our users are now female and the 16-24 age bracket is our core," he said, adding that the Beamly brand intends to capture "the zeitgeist of these millennials perfectly."

Beamly, which is available from Google Play for Android and the App Store for iPhone and iPad, as well as the company's website, will continue to work with existing partners like NBCU and Viacom while soliciting new players to syndicate its interactive capabilities.

For more:
- see this press release

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Will the second screen become the first screen?
USA Network banks on second-screen devices to boost ad revenue
NPD: Second-screen apps getting scant use
GetGlue kills plan to merge with social TV rival Viggle
Viacom invests in Zeebox; Cablevision signs franchise deal in New Hyde Park

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