Social TV app Zeebox added 22,000 UK users last night during ITV's Dancing On Ice, with host Phillip Schofield tweeting several times about the app during the show.

Schofield tweeted a link to the app four times during the broadcast and encouraged his followers to watch the show “together with Zeebox.”

Zeebox CEO Ernesto Schmitt denied that the presenter had been paid to plug the app and suggested that he was doing it to engage with his audience.

Whatever Schofield’s motivation, his backing caps a busy week for the social TV app in which it has been adding as many as 15,000 users an hour since launching its TV campaign. 

In other social TV news, US-based Peel has added a new feature that allows users to interact with episodes of American Idol in real time.

Peel, which has been live since 2009, allows viewers to share their favourite shows with friends and recommends new programmes based on viewing history.

The new tie-in with American Idol allows users to 'cheer or boo' for contestants as they appear on stage, with a status bar showing the overall sentiment the performer has inspired among viewers.

The X Factor launched an app to support its 2011 series that allowed people to interact in an almost identical fashion, with a 'boo' or a 'clap'.

While Peel's American Idol partnership is fairly basic, it's a good example of how social TV apps can be used to encourage audience participation.

The potential for monetisation lies in then serving these users ads and linking them to m-commerce sites where they can purchase music or products – something that Zeebox has already started to do during ad breaks.

New research from Diffusion and YouGov, launched earlier today, highlights the growing relationship between TV and social media. The survey found that found that 39% of British TV viewers turned to social media to guide them in their TV choices.

David Moth

Published 12 March, 2012 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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