April 14, 2014 7:56am PT by Carolyn Giardina
Zeebox Rebranded as Social TV App Beamly
Zeebox -- the startup co-founded by chief technology officer Anthony Rose, the former BBC exec who is widely credited with the design of the BBC iPlayer -- has been renamed Beamly with a rebranded social TV app.
"It has evolved from something that was largely a TV guide and twitter feed into something that is really a content and social network. At some point when you change the product enough it makes sense to have a new name," Rose told The Hollywood Reporter. The user base, he added, has also moved, from a largely "geeky male" audience to one that is more female-skewing.
Part of the recent changes involve what the company offers to content owners. "Behind-the-scenes, we have been evolving our syndication platform," Rose told THR. "Broadcast partners can use our content-enhancement tools to enhance their shows and not only make them available on Beamly, but on their own websites. That avoids some of the difficulties that broadcasters have had -- should they make an app for their own show or partner with someone like Zeebox? So essentially we give them a fantastic set of publishing tools, and they can take the output and put it on Beamly as well as on their own sites."
To introduce the new brand, the company is planning TV advertising, as well as working with roughly 100 individuals, including series castmembers, to create exclusive content for the app.
"We've already seen a marked progression in the behaviors of users since gradually introducing our new social features over the past few months," Rose said. "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."