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Viggle engagement increased during Oscars while viewership declined

While television viewership and the volume of related tweets declined during Sunday?s Academy Awards broadcast, second-screen application Viggle recorded increased engagement across a variety of metrics. 

The participation rate in the Viggle Live play-along game rose to 54 percent on Sunday night, up from 44 percent during last year?s awards ceremony, while total unique check-ins during the broadcast rose 19 percent. The Viggle app rewards points to users who check-in as they watch TV programs, with points redeemable to rent or own many of the Academy Award-winning titles on 

?Tent-poles have always been major drivers of engagement on our platform, and this year, by focusing our marketing efforts around our entertainment rewards - music, movies and TV - we were able to see increases for the Oscars and all of the major tent-poles so far in 2015,? said Kevin Arrix, chief revenue officer at Viggle, New York. 

?Our Viggle Live play-along experience continues to give users the ability to participate at home in a way they can?t on any other platform, and be rewarded for it with entertainment they love,? he said. 

Movie trivia
In addition to being able to earn points for watching TV, users of the Viggle smartphone and tablet app can also earn points for listening to music and shopping. Points are redeemable for a variety of items, including movies, TV shows, music, ebooks, electronics and home furnishings. 

During the 87th Academy Awards on Sunday night, Viggle users earned a total of 64 million points by checking in to the broadcast, a 439 percent increase over the 12 million points earned last year. 

Players of the Viggle Live real-time trivia game answered 29 percent more questions than in 2014. 

Additionally, users spent an average of 70 minutes checked in to the app during the show. 

The upward movement is in contrast to how the Oscars performed for broadcaster ABC and on Twitter. Viewership was reportedly down 16 percent while the number of tweets sent about the Oscars was down 47 percent. 

Marketing opportunities
The strong engagement levels on Viggle point to the opportunities for brand marketers to leverage second-screen apps to reach mobile users while they are watching TV. 

Viggle had an average monthly total reach of 26 million for the three months ended December 2014. 

Advertisers can target Viggle users by age, gender, ZIP code, TV provider, music and TV history along with other interactive preferences provided in a Viggle profile.

While Viggle continues to build its presence with TV-to-mobile experiences, the app is also seeking to extend its reach with consumers to encompass other types of engagement. 

For example, Viggle and beacon platform inMarket recently partnered to inform shoppers at thousands of retail establishments throughout the United States when they are in the vicinity of relevant offers (see story). 

?Tent-poles allow advertisers to connect with our users while they are leaned in, playing along with the show,? Mr. Arrix said. ?The Oscars is obviously the biggest awards show of the year, and the time spent that we see on our platform allows advertisers to really connect with viewers for a fraction of their on-air spend, by getting in front of these users as they check-in, as well as by engaging with trivia questions and during breaks in the show.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York