A smart move on behalf of both companies – both zeebox and Foxtel proving they, as leaders in their specific markets, make a perfect partnership in the television market to deliver social media engagement for the subscription TV platform – the winners being Foxtel’s customers. Well played indeed. From the press release:

Foxtel TV Guide App to include social media features from zeebox

Foxtel and zeebox today announce an agreement to offer Australians a new way to experience Foxtel TV shows by using the zeebox social media platform to interact with favourite shows and friends online while watching TV.

Together, Foxtel and zeebox will redefine TV companion apps by bringing Foxtel content in to the zeebox app, and integrating zeebox’s social TV platform into Foxtel’s Guide app. Exciting second screen experiences on many of Foxtel’s channels will be available on the zeebox app from today with more to roll out over the coming months, and later this year Foxtel will launch an enhanced version of its award winning Foxtel TV Guide.

zeebox launched its ground-breaking companion TV service in Australia in November 2012 to great critical acclaim and rapid user adoption. zeebox has now had over 3.7million downloads worldwide. The zeebox app enables consumers to get more information on their favourite shows, connects them to friends and celebrities in a social conversation about TV, and even makes it easy to buy the products seen on TV.

As a result of this agreement, zeebox will become the first second screen app in Australia to include key Foxtel channels in its line-up. zeebox users will soon enjoy the ability to remote control and remote record their favourite shows using the zeebox app on Foxtel iQ set-top boxes. Zeebox and Foxtel friends will also be able to chat and interact with each other in the zeebox App.

Advertisers will also be able to engage second screen audiences on Foxtel Channels. Through Spot Synch, advertisers can engage viewers with second screen experiences synchronized real time with their TV ads. Advertisers can also extend existing program relationships into the second screen by sponsoring shows or categories on zeebox

Since the Foxtel TV Guide App was launched in 2009, there has been over 1.4 million downloads to mobile phones and tablets. The new Foxtel TV Guide App, to be launched later this year, will include features powered by zeebox and is designed as a companion app to be used while watching TV, delivering many of Foxtel’s channels with an engaging second screen experience and providing social and enhanced additional content on personal devices. Key features of the new-look App include the ability to tweet along with celebrities, see behind-the-scenes information on favourite shows, as well as an updated and re-imagined version of the successful Foxtel TV Guide App helping users discover great TV content.

Foxtel’s General Manager of Emerging Platforms, Kym Niblock said, “Multi screening has quickly become the new ‘normal’ for today’s media savvy, connected viewers as they chat, shop and discover new online content at the same time as watching TV.

“Our agreement with zeebox recognises this and brings together our successful TV Guide App with the social and content features customers expect when interacting with their favourite brands and channels. We believe the new TV Guide App and the Foxtel Go App, which lets customers watch live Foxtel channels and catch up TV on compatible iPad and iPhone as part of their subscription, are what customers are looking for. We’re excited and proud of the new TV experiences we continue to deliver to our customers and look forward to bringing many more devices and features online in 2013.”

zeebox Australia CEO, Craig Blair said, “Through our partnership with Foxtel we are expanding the audience of our companion app and setting the standard for a universal social TV platform that all broadcasters can use to engage directly with the fans of their shows. We are delighted that Foxtel is embracing our open industry model and look forward to announcing more Channel partnership agreements in the coming months.”

The updated Foxtel TV Guide App with zeebox features will launch across all popular smartphone and tablet devices running either iOS or Android this year

zeebox is available as a free download through iTunes, Google Play and zeebox.com