Viggle, GetGlue abandon merger plans
Social TV application makers Viggle and GetGlue have called off their merger plans. The companies did not specify the rationale behind the decision; in a blog post announcing the decision, GetGlue founder and CEO Alex Iskold wrote "the two companies remain friendly."
Viggle and GetGlue first announced their intentions to join forces in November 2012, with Viggle agreeing to acquire GetGlue for $25 million in cash and 48.3 million shares of stock. Viggle announced it would operate both brands, with Iskold joining the company as a senior executive and board member. TechCrunch reports the merger was contingent on Viggle raising another $60 million in financing from an unnamed strategic partner. When the investment failed to materialize, the two companies last week filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicating they were "discussing an extension of such date and other potential modifications to the Merger Agreement."
Viggle, available for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, leverages the mobile device microphone to automatically capture and identify the show a user is watching, awarding them points when they check in to the broadcast. Viggle also supports second-screen interactions like real-time questions, polls and voting tied to the program users are presently viewing, and it distributes additional points for playing games, watching video clips and taking quizzes. Viggle's 1.2 million users can redeem their points for premiums from partners including Best Buy, Burger King, Fandango and Old Navy, or convert them into charitable donations.
GetGlue, also optimized for iOS and Android, leverages the check-in model to connect more than 3.5 million television and movie fans, also offering personalized recommendations as well as premiums like stickers and discounts. Brands like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Intel, Gap and Mercedes have sponsored GetGlue advertising campaigns.