AMSTERDAM — Multi-purpose social TV app Zeebox has spent the last couple of years dreaming up ways to help viewers engage with TV channels and each other. Its latest release helps them revel in shows that aren’t on conventional channels.
Speaking with Beet.TV at the IBC show, co-founder Anthony Rose said the Zeebox app, which already could change channels on its investor Comcast’s Xfinity set-top box, can now play on viewers’ Xfinity-connected TV VOD found within the app.
“It just plays on your TV,” Rose says in our video interview. “It doesn’t matter whether the show is on live, or whether it’s coming over cable or the internet – your TV faithfully plays out the shows that you know and love and are told about.”
The feature sounds like a kind of version of Apple’s AirPlay video-beaming technology. We will be interested to see whether Zeebox’s UK and Ireland broadcast partners launch the same thing.
Rose also says the latest Zeebox update introduces a new feature that helps users “follow” favorite shows or stars, then get alerts to latest articles about them from hundreds of blogs.
“The piece that’s been missing for us has been, what if you love the show but actually you may not watch it on TV, or maybe you watch it on video or on-demand?,” Rose said. “Our new release is all about the show, not so much the television.”
With House Of Cards and Breaking Bad catapulting Netflix’s popularity, it is clear that a service like Zeebox needed a way to incorporate at least some content about these mega-shows. With the update, viewers can stay abreast of news about the shows 24/7 in a feed, regardless of whether they are watching.
Taken together, the updates show Zeebox, which already had strong roots in traditional broadcast, responding more to the rise over-the-top and on-demand TV services.