Read books, watch movies and TV: Get rewards.

GetGlue, Miso and Viggle are similar social media sites that allow for people to “check-in” as they watch a movie or television show, or even as they read a book.  As you check-in, users receive rewards, badges or points for their participation.  While reading or watching TV used to be more of an isolated experience, these platforms open the door for more social interaction, allowing consumers to feel as if they are a part of a community much bigger than their living rooms.

The Art of the Check-In as a Social Media Branding Tool

When we check-in with different shows, movies or books, we are “using them to personally define ourselves.  The check-in is just like all of social.  It’s about me and who I want other to see when they see me.”

Here’s the basic rundown of each platform.

GetGlue: it has been described as a sort of “Foursquare for entertainment.”  While people might be uncomfortable sharing their location on Foursquare, they’ll gladly tell the world what they’re doing and what they think of the media they are consuming.  But why share on GetGlue instead of Twitter or Facebook?  There is no 140-character limit, and the screen that opens after a check-in is a conversation that is easy to return to, even after the show is over.  GetGlue is currently the leading platform of this nature, but it still has a very old fashioned reward system where users win stickers.  While these can be shown as badges online, users can also request that the stickers they earn be mailed to them at home.

Viggle: an app available for iPhone and iPad, Viggle will actually pay you for watching TV.  Not only is its reward system different, its check-in system is also.  Viggle works similarly to the app “Shazam”: it uses the microphone in your device to detect what show or movie you are watching, and then shares that with your friends.  It is integrated with Facebook and Twitter, which is where it’s social nature comes in.

Telling your friends what you’re doing through these networks is a fringe benefit though; Viggle is where the rewards lie.  The app rewards points for each minute of content you watch.  You can eventually redeem your points for gift cards to places like Burger King, Best Buy, iTunes and Sephora, or even get movie tickets from Fandango.  The catch?  It takes about 60 hours of watchin to redeem your first award.  Still, Viggle calls it a “dream come true for ultimate television enthusiasts.

Miso: very similar in structure to GetGlue, Miso is actually the largest threat to the industry leader, but it is still solidly in second place.  One difference from Get Glue is that posting from Miso to Facebook or Twitter will actually earn you more points on the site.  This shows that the platform is trying more for integration.  Additionally, there is a paid feature called “Media Que.”  It costs $2.49, and will take all the shows and movies you look at and create a centralized list, so that you don’t forget to watch them later on.  Miso also has a relatively new platform called Side Show that allows fans or networks to create content that is synchronized with what is being shown on the air.  This content can include trivia, character information, quotable moments, polls and more.

An example of Side Show from HBO's Game of Thrones

Why choose to use these platforms?
Since users already have Facebook and Twitter as forums where they can talk about movies, books and television, why should they turn to these sites, especially since the rewards are so nominal?  Twitter and Facebook are overpopulated and overstimulating.  It can be hard to find a conversation on Facebook, and hard to maintain one with several people on Twitter, due to the character limit.  As some of these sites are strongly integrated with other platforms, they still give users a chance to tell their friends on other sites what they are doing.  However, on these platforms, you get to interact with people of common interests, instead of just your friends.  These applications allow you to engage with other users and share your opinion without being inundated with other newsfeed items or trends irrelevant to your conversation.

Why are these useful for marketing?
TiVo, Netflix and Hulu are changing the way that people watch TV and movies.  It is becoming increasingly rare that you watch a show when it actually comes on, meaning that shows have to find another way to market themselves.  Today we could fast forward through hundreds of commercials about new TV shows or movies and completely miss their release.  This is one reason why these sites are important from a business and marketing perspective.  One user said, about Get Glue, “It’s been a long time since I’ve looked at a TV schedule grid- they’re far too big these days.  GetGlue’s sticker page is more effective at informing me about what’s on television.” Since this is the case, it is important for shows to be present on these sites, and for producers to invest in creating good badges.  On Viggle, this also shows that it is great advertisement for the companies providing gift cards.  These platforms work as content discovery sites just as much as social networks, so it is important for your product to be visible if you are trying to market something.

Another benefit for producers and marketers is that these applications allow for them to have direct insight into the customers thoughts and opinions of their products.  They can select a movie or book and track customer behavior through the product’s page on the site.  In today’s culture, over-stimulation and too many options for entertainment far surpass the time a consumer will devote to them.  With consumer insight easily accessible through social media applications like GetGlue, Miso and Viggle, marketers can better target and reach their audiences, because they can now know exactly what and who they are looking for.


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