Viggle vs. GetGlue

Ideas,Observations March 28, 2012 10:43 am

I’ve never been a huge GetGlue fan- I don’t find getting ‘stickers’ all that motivating (nor back in the day did I find collecting things like pogs exhilarating). I know many people love the system, but it just isn’t for me.

As a TV fan, but especially as a TV researcher.

I’ve seen many an article or press-release touting the number of ‘check-ins’ from GetGlue. My issue with the app? You can very easily ‘check-in’ to a program without watching a program- you ‘check-in’ on a computer or phone, with zero connection to the content of a television program. Just last night as an experiment I ‘checked-in’ to Dancing With the Stars… a program I haven’t watched in a good two years. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t watching it- or that I even checked in after 11p- long after the program’s time slot- I still got credit for ‘checking-in’ to the show and got that little sticker.

Now this is a problem– I can ‘check-in’ to anything and everything, and there is zero accountability, no checks-and-balance system to make sure I’m actually watching a program. No reliability (or credibility) for programmers and advertisers touting the ‘social success’ of a program by GetGlue ‘check-ins.’

Eek! This is a huge red flag- the data isn’t accurate (or even marginally accurate) because there is a huge disconnect between what people say they are doing {watching} vs. what they’re actually doing {watching}.

Enter Viggle, a different ‘check-in’ service. Viggle is an app available on iPhone, iPad, and iTouch, and ‘checks’ a viewer into a program by picking up the audio signals from the program. (I.E.) Solving the disconnect between what people say they are watching vs. what (and when!) they are actually watching. And although it’s not 100% perfect- say, if you change channels and don’t ‘check-in’ to another show, it doesn’t know you’ve changed channels, it’s a huge improvement over GetGlue.

Viggle also provides real rewards for check-ins– each ‘check-in’ gives a viewer points that can be redeemed for gift cards to merchants like Starbucks, Amazon, Sephora, Gap… so if you’re not a sticker-loving-fiend like me, there’s a little more motivation to ‘check-in’ to a program.

Another great feature of Viggle is the ability for a program (or advertiser) to offer interaction opportunities to viewers so they can gain additional rewards. For example, the Oscars used Viggle to keep viewers engaged, and those that participated in live interaction were handsomely rewarded with extra points:

A whopping 78% of ALL active Viggle users checked in during the 84th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday night. Of those, 85% stuck around to play along with Viggle Live, answering an average of at least 24 trivia questions and winner prediction polls. [88,000 people checked-in with Viggle for the Oscars] (Viggle)

Why is this interaction opportunity so great? Researchers, advertisers (anyone interested in data!) can use this information to gauge engagement with the program- how many correct answers were there for each question, indicating if someone was closely paying attention to the program or ad? When during the program did the most people answer a question, when did participation die down? What was the most memorable and least memorable moment, and what can we learn from this? Although the platform is currently only limited to the iPhone, iPad, and iTouch, and the user base is relatively small (and not totally representative of the US population at large), Viggle can provide researchers and advertisers with additional insights into viewing behavior.

Viggle has the potential to be much more than a ‘check-in’ tool- to be a real viewing extension tool for a program or advertiser. The platform gives viewers the opportunity to visit a program’s Facebook page and check the latest social activity surrounding the show. Viggle also links to sites like Amazon and iTunes, but to really extend the viewing experience, they could be doing so much more.

Some suggestions for Viggle to really extend the viewer experience:

  • Viggle could add a link to the show’s actual site, instead of just the show’s Facebook page.
  • Viggle could add links to the major advertisers in the show, so viewers could go directly from show to purchase. For example, for NBC’s Fashion Star, that would mean adding links to Saks, Macy’s, and H&M, the main sponsors of the show. For other shows, it could mean having an additional brand advertisement for the on-air advertiser, with users getting extra points for watching the advertisement and correctly answering a question about the advertisement. Or an advertiser offering a coupon for a product featured in the show for Viggle users.
  • Viggle could offer channel specific rewards- most channels have tons of show merchandise. What if, in addition to offering Starbucks and Sephora gift cards, viewers got points towards channel merchandise for being loyal viewers of a channel? Say, 5 days of consecutive check-ins to Bravo would equal special points for Bravo branded merchandise?

As the conversation around social activity and television viewing continues to grow, I think people will realize it’s not necessarily about the quantity of social activity- it’s about the quality of social activity. What good is a simple count when it doesn’t give you any information about what the social activity means? Accountability will also become more important- how reliable is the information from social activity? Apps like GetGlue will have to evolve to stay relevant, and Viggle is a good start to focusing on the quality and accountability of social activity.

  • Celeste

    Thanks for the info.  Viggle it is then.

    • admin

      Glad you found the info helpful! Let me know what you think of Viggle!

  • Michael

    I use both. Both are very different. Obviously, the author of this was more fond of Viggle. GetGlue is about stickers (as the name implies), and Viggle is about different rewards. GetGlue stickers are very easy to get. You don’t HAVE to be watching whatever you check into. In fact, most of the people don’t! The site doesn’t care.