As fall television premieres get underway, social entertainment network GetGlue has signed on a number of new network partners, including MSNBC, AMC, Disney, HGTV and Discovery.
Partnering with GetGlue helps the networks encourage fans to tune in during original broadcasts – driving Nielsen ratings – and to engage with shows throughout the season. GetGlue, in turn, receives exposure to the networks’ audiences through network Web promotion.
GetGlue’s VP of business development Fraser Kelton describes social entertainment as “Foursquare or Gowalla for entertainment.”
In other words, users check in to whatever type of entertainment they are consuming – including TV shows, movies, music or books – and, instead of badges, they receive stickers.
These stickers are both digital and physical – once a user has earned seven digital stickers, he or she can request that a physical one be mailed to him or her. Kelton says it’s a powerful value-add for users because they then have physical proof that the network has acknowledged their level of fandom.
“We’ve been working with partners to have branded stickers that help drive desired behavior and help reward fans for doing increasingly more interaction,” he adds.
The company has not tracked precisely how many physical stickers it has mailed to date.
“We know we’ve mailed out stickers to thousands of people and each (package) can include seven to twenty stickers, so you get the sense we’re mailing out tens of thousands of stickers,” Kelton says.
According to GetGlue, the company had 8 million unique ratings and check-ins in August, up from 5 million in the previous month. Overall, GetGlue has 600,000 users, of which about 60 percent have signed up via Facebook, Kelton says.
These users earn stickers by checking in during a premiere or by checking in with a phrase or keyword associated with each show, Kelton says.
“We usually work with the network to create a set of secret stickers that can only be earned with a key phrase about the show or the show’s story arc that is revealed as the season goes on,” he says.
For instance, GetGlue worked with Showtime on Weeds, and one of the story arcs was that the family went on the run and had to change its name. By checking in with family’s new name users earned that sticker. That encouraged people to stay tuned and rewarded deeper engagement. It also rewarded fans with deeper knowledge of the show.
Similarly, for the Season Two premiere of Glee earlier this week, GetGlue awarded a premiere sticker to users who checked in within the hour it aired in their time zone. This enabled Fox to drive buzz and encourage fans to tune in during the original broadcast rather than watch by DVR later, Kelton says.
Networks also benefit from a big social push associated with these check-ins that appear on Twitter and Facebook, GetGlue says.
For the new Disney partnership, GetGlue will offer three stickers each for two upcoming movies – Tron: Legacy and Tangled. It will give one for seeing a trailer, one for watching during opening weekend, and one for watching later.
In addition, GetGlue recommends future entertainment based on a user’s previous check-ins.
While entertainment obviously appeals to a wide audience, Kelton says GetGlue’s demographic is about 18 to 45 and skews a bit male – about 45/55 percent.
As a result of the new partnership with MSNBC, GetGlue will offer a unique set of stickers for a new show – The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell – as well as The Rachel Maddow Show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and The Ed Show. MSNBC will also provide network stickers for fans who watch a number of shows and will promote GetGlue on Facebook and Twitter.
Similarly, GetGlue will now be able to offer rewards for AMC’s lineup, including Mad Men stickers like Don Draper and the 60’s cocktail, plus an agency sticker for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.
GetGlue will also have rewards for HGTV’s House Hunters and Discovery’s Myth Busters and Storm Chasers.
Pre-existing partners include Fox, HBO, Universal Studios and Showtime.