As more and more television viewers spend time tweeting about their shows or posting comments on Facebook, social entertainment start-up GetGlue has raised more money to keep fans talking through their favorite shows.
GetGlue said on Wednesday it had raised another $12 million in a round led by RHO Ventures with previous investors Time Warner Inc, RRE Ventures and Union Square Ventures participating again. It previously raised $6 million in Nov 2010.
The New York-based start-up now has more two million users who 'check in' to let friends know what shows they are currently watching or movies they have seen, for example.
That kind of user behaviour is increasing according to various Web research. Up to 38 percent of U.S. mobile device owners surveyed last July used their device to interact or research a TV show while they were watching it, according to a Yahoo!/Razorfish survey.
GetGlue founder Alex Iskold said as many as 75 TV networks like Walt Disney Co's ABC, News Corp's Fox and Comcast Corp's NBC use GetGlue's marketing dashboard to reach fans of nearly 700 shows. The fans are rewarded with incentives like virtual stickers and actual gifts for checking in, while the networks hope to mine valuable user traffic data which goes beyond traditional viewership data.
Iskold told Reuters that his two-year old company sees its current business model in advertising and is working on ad sponsorship campaigns with big brands like Gap, Coke and PepsiCo's Gatorade. But he also said he sees a great future in working with media partners on sharing user data.
GetGlue is still at least 18 months from turning a profit according to Iskold, as it uses it new chunk of funding to hire more engineers and product staff and expand its business offering to major agencies and brand owners. (Reporting By Yinka Adegoke; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)