Channel 10 have been sweating on this being released for a large chunk of this year – and reasonably so (Let’s face it: right now they could do with any distraction from what’s going on). Zeebox is a full-featured second screen app that has the potential to be the first of it’s kind to draw people into the experience rather than ask “why am I not just doing this on Twitter/Facebook?”. From my cursory tests so far it’s very engaging and looks to be the kind of app that Fango *could* have been or Jump In wants to be if it can even work out what it wants to be – full review to come. From the press release:

Australian audiences can now experience TV as never before with the local launch of zeebox, a free TV companion app that has already been adopted by millions of viewers in the US and UK as their official TV ‘side kick’.

Launching in Australia as part of a global expansion, the award-winning social TV platform is the brainchild of former EMI executive Ernesto Schmitt and BBC iPlayer CTO Anthony Rose.

zeebox displays in-depth information about the programs viewers are watching, enabling them to engage with friends and their favourite television personalities directly through zeebox, and even makes it easy to buy the products seen on TV.

“zeebox knows what’s happening on the show you’re watching and opens up that world to you. With search, recommendations, social connectivity and ecommerce functions all built into the one app, it will be Australian’s first truly integrated second-screen experience, making TV even better,” said zeebox Australia CEO, Craig Blair.

Blair says zeebox also allows broadcast networks to extend the TV experience by sharing engaging and relevant content directly with the viewer.

“Imagine watching a programme and on your mobile or tablet receiving synchronised trivia on the cast, only the most relevant Twitter feeds on live shows, an invitation from a celebrity to join a group chat, up-to-date statistics on big sports games, or being able to directly purchase a product seen on screen. All that is now possible with zeebox.”

zeebox uniquely enables consumers to discover what to watch by browsing comprehensive TV listings, social media and personalised recommendations while getting real-time contextual information about each programme. From one screen, viewers can:

* Discover what to watch through the rich, 7-day TV guide that shows what friends and celebrities are watching, which shows are trending on Twitter, or are most popular on zeebox.
* Set up viewing parties with TV buddies in just a few clicks, making it seamless to share, chat and Tweet around shows, people and gossip.
* Dive into any programme via the news feed, or by clicking on live ‘zeetags’ to be directed to a world of information about virtually anything mentioned on TV.
* Vote and play alongside shows, follow celebrities and get live statistics for big sporting events.
* Conveniently buy products seen on screen and access relevant digital content such as music, videos, apps and ebooks with just one click

“zeebox has made huge waves overseas through its ability to enrich the TV experience, with the backing of the world’s largest TV media companies, including BSkyB, Comcast, NBCUniversal, Viacom and HBO, who are seeking to make zeebox the industry-standard platform for second-screen enhancement of television,” said co-founder and global CEO, Ernesto Schmitt.

Network Ten has already teamed with zeebox in Australia, with other strategic partners to be announced.
zeebox is available as a free download through iTunes, Google Play and