12:21pm PT by Carolyn Giardina
Zeebox to Connect Filmmakers With Fans Through 'TV Rooms'
New version 3.0 of zeebox’s second screen app includes a feature called TV Rooms, which a company exec describes as a sort of Facebook to connect actors, filmmakers and TV fans.
Now available for iOS and Android devices, TV Rooms launches with capabilities including chat and will steadily gain new features including rich media/video, the ability to post external links, and viewable live show clips.
While designed to be user driven, Bravo Media has set up a network-sponsored “Real Housewives” TV Room, which will go live June 24 with The Real Housewives of Orange County: 100th Episode Special. Plans are for cast members to interact with fans during the program.
Ultimately, these TV Rooms could be a place for actors as well as filmmakers to connect with audiences, according to Jason Forbes, executive vice president USA of zeebox. “We were in Los Angeles last week and met with large content producers,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “The feedback we got was the ability to connect directly with fans before, during and after a program is massively important.
“Talent in front and behind the camera can engage with fans,” he said, adding that productions could even upload "making of" or behind the scenes videos or stills.
Forbes noted that zeebox has identified five “needs” for TV viewers: Discovery, social, interactivity, information, and commerce. “The number one request from consumers has been to further personalize their zeebox experience,” he said. “The launch of TV Rooms gives anyone the ability to join and build a range of different communities centered around one or a set of TV shows -- a place where they can call the shots, share ideas, conversations, and organize affinity groups based on what’s important to them.”
Launched this week, version 3.0 of zeebox features roughly 4,000 ‘TV Rooms.’ Forbes related that roughly 30 have already been set up just for The Voice, by fans.
Zeebox was founded in 2011 by former iPlayer CTO Anthony Rose and EMI executive Ernesto Schmitt.