Announcing the move, Zeebox founders Ernesto Schmitt and Anthony Rose described the move as an evolution of the service, in line with shifts in the wider second screen TV market.
Discussing the rebrand, Beamly chief technology officer, Rose, admitted in a blog post that since its launch two years ago, Zeebox’s TV guide has been “embraced by a geeky male audience” and that its perception has been that of a “new-fangled social TV guide rather than the social network and TV participation experience that was our vision.”
He added that while “Zeebox was all about TV, Beamly is all about the show,” with the app becoming a destination that provides value “even if you’re never in front of a TV.”
Beamly CEO and co-founder, Schmitt 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 synch experience.”
“The initial phase of social television and second screen was limited to apps providing a companion experience for audiences while watching TV. However, people’s emotional engagement with TV spans the whole day… Beamly for the first time brings together all of these touchpoints with TV in a single app.”
Beamly is designed to be a destination for news and gossip about TV shows and a place for people to chat about programmes with other passionate fans and celebrities – “instead of just a TV guide.”
Rose said that while the rebranded Beamly takes nothing away from Zeebox, it shifts the focus away from live interactions and Zeebox’s personalised TV guide, following the recent rollout of new features.
“We’ve already seen a marked progression in the behaviors of users since gradually introducing our new social features over the past few months,” said Rose.
“The social effect of users following other users, for instance, lifts frequency by nine times, to over 21 visits per user per week, and usage to over 500 minutes per user per week – so we’re pretty excited. And since almost two thirds of our users are now female, and the 16-24 age bracket is our core, the new Beamly brand captures the zeitgeist of these millennials perfectly.”