NBC debuts WatchBack, a free video platform that rewards users

WatchBack launched last weekend. (NBCUniversal)

Over the weekend, NBCUniversal rolled out its new service WatchBack, a streaming video platform that rewards viewers for watching certain content.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the service is described within NBCU as a “marketing tool” that can help promote content from NBCU’s various networks as well as way to gather viewership data.

"The long-term goal of WatchBack is to make it just a little easier for consumers to try out new programs for the first time and create fans for us and our partners,” Andrew Hanna, vice president of insights and strategy at NBCU, told the publication.


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WatchBack users create a personalized profile on the app. Once signed in, viewers can watch entire episodes of shows to be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win $100.

Right now, the app is only available for iOS, but NBC said that it’s working on an Android version. Content partners including NBC, E!, CNBC, Access Hollywood, Refinery29, College Humor, Nasty and Fandango.

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WatchBack is using measurement data from Nielsen to track viewer behavior on the app.

WatchBack was initially reported to be in development back in August. Though it is a streaming video platform, it is not an official standalone streaming product for Comcast-NBCUniversal.

Back in March, NBC News Chairman Andy Lack told reporters at NBC’s New York offices that the company is planning an NBC News streaming service for launch later this year. He described it as a means of attracting a younger audience, which is an issue for many programmers as viewers move away from traditional television.