UK pay TV provider BSkyB has taken a stake in Zeebox and will launch an ‘augmented TV’ service early this year. The service will allow Sky’s ten million subscribers to integrate social media feeds and conversations into their TV viewing.
Already available online and on iPhones and iPads, Zeebox runs alongside the linear broadcast, offering Twitter feeds, Facebook updates and other social media services and programme information. Sky, which has taken a 10% stake in Zeebox and will sell its digital advertising inventory, said that it will be the only TV platform in the UK to integrate it with its TV offering, when it rolls out the new service in the first half of this year.
The Zeebox service only launched late last year. Its founders include former EMI director Ernesto Schmitt and Anthony Rose, one of the early architects of the BBCs iPlayer, and the former chief technology officer of BBC-led connected TV project YouView. Schmitt said that following Sky’s investment, his company is looking at expanding beyond the UK and Ireland: “Thanks to Sky’s backing we now also have the resources and expertise to set our sights firmly on international expansion alongside further innovation here in the UK and Ireland.”
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