Social TV startup Loyalize has been acquired by Function(x), the company behind recently launched mobile app Viggle. According to former Loyalize CEO Todd Greene, the Loyalize product will remain a white-label platform for networks and content providers to build their own apps to increase engagement with TV programming as it’s being watched.
Loyalize launched last spring, with the idea of providing content providers with web and mobile widgets for polling, chat and other features on second-screen devices. But it entered a crowded space, and unlike other social TV app makers wasn’t focused on a consumer-facing offering.
Meanwhile, Function(x) recently rolled out Viggle, which is a social TV app that is aimed at providing real-life rewards for checking in and interacting with content happening on TV. Greene told me by email that Loyalize will continue to be offered as a white-label solution, while also being embedded within the Viggle app.
Greene is transitioning to CEO of PubNub.com, a cloud infrastructure company that Loyalize was a customer of. He’ll remain an advisor to Function(x). Meanwhile, everyone else working on Loyalize will transition to the Function(x) team.
I’ve been pretty bearish on the whole social TV phenomenon, so I’m not terribly surprised at this news. Loyalize wasn’t the first social TV app to be taken out — competitor Philo was acquired by LocalResponse, while IntoNow was acquired by Yahoo last year. Frankly, I expect more consolidation over the months to come, as funding dries up before app makers find a sustainable business model.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Sugar Pond