New App called Viggle Rewards Couch Potatoes for Watching TV
On Wednesday, Function (X) Incorporated, released the much-anticipated Viggle app that rewards users for watching television. The app allows your iPhone or iPad to “listen” to what you are watching on TV, and gives you two points a minute for as long as you are watching. When the user reaches 7,500 points, he or she is rewarded with a $5.00 gift card for Starbucks, Burger King, CVS, iTunes, or Best Buy.
According to Chris Stephenson, Function (X) president, “Viggle is the first loyalty program for TV.” Stephenson went on to say, “We’re basically allowing people to get rewards for doing something they’re doing already and that they love to do.”
Theoretically, Viggle gives users an added reason to watch TV, and this will increase the size of the audience, thus earning more advertising money for the shows. Some shows will give “bonus points;” American Idol is giving 1,500 bonus points for every episode. Some commercials are worth 100 bonus points to users. Gatorade, Pepsi, and Burger King have all agreed to give premiums for watching their commercials.
Viggle will make its money from advertisers and networks, but it buys the gift cards directly from the companies at a discount. The app will also cull valuable information upon redeeming the cards, such as name, phone number, age, gender, address, email, and what shows someone watches. The app also gives a 200-point bonus to anyone who refers a friend.
Viggle debuted in the Apple iStore on Wednesday, January 26. There is also a version for Android coming soon, and one for computers is next on the list.
Function (X) has industry experience and a lot of solid financial backing. The owner, Robert F. X. Sillerman, was once a part-owner of American Idol’s parent company, CKx Inc. They have already amassed over $100 million from investors. Its stock is listed on Pink Sheets, which enables investors to buy shares, but doesn’t make the company release any financial documents to the public.
Currently, the value of Function (X) is estimated around $1 billion.