GetGlue Snags First Sponsor

Social TV app is the Foursquare of entertainment

You turn on the TV and whip out your smartphone. Using the GetGlue app, you "check in" to whatever show you're watching, sharing the news with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. You rate the show, receive recommendations based on your taste, and earn both virtual and physical stickers. 

GetGlue, a five-year-old company that has quietly amassed 1.2 million users, is kind of like the Foursquare of entertainment. And like Foursquare, it has raised a few monetization questions. 

But today the company revealed a plan that its peers are likely to follow: a sponsored media partnership. GetGlue will join forces with Entertainment Weekly for a new series of rewards focused on the magazine’s top 15 movies list. The promotion, GetGlue’s largest to date, is sponsored by HTC, the cell phone maker.

GetGlue and its social TV peers have little experience reaching out to brands, which is why the app’s road to sponsorships, and eventually, monetization, benefits from friends like Entertainment Weekly. The media company brings the relationships with the brands; GetGlue adds inventory with its social layer. “We’re taking a brand’s association with content and extending the campaign into peoples’ social networks,” said GetGlue CEO Alex Iskold. The campaign takes the form of HTC-branded stickers, which are pushed into users’ Facebook and Twitter feeds. (For its part, GetGlue is among the top-rated brands on Twitter, according to Twitter influence measurement service Klout.)

Sponsorships aren’t GetGlue’s only plan to make money. The company is developing methods to monetize its growing cache of user data, said Iskold. GetGlue already correlates check-ins with box office performance; it’s creating a model that may be able to forecast future performance, he said. The company already has more ratings for movies than Fandango and Yahoo Movies, and more TV ratings than IMDB.    

GetGlue, based in New York, last year raised $6 million in venture backing from Union Square Ventures, RRE Ventures, and Time Warner Investments.


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