Inside Viggle

Viggle at TVnext Hack

April 29th, 2013

Our VP of Product Kyle Brink was in Boston over the weekend for the TVnext Hack – here’s his report:

A great crowd of developers showed up in Boston this weekend for the TVnext Hack, which Viggle co-sponsored. We showed off the Viggle API, introduced the Viggle platform opportunity, and came to play ourselves with a couple Viggle developers teaming up to compete.

As hacks go, this was one of the best. Hill Holliday provided a fantastic space in their beautiful 35th floor offices in downtown Boston. Breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner all provided on site. The room was surrounded by teams supporting the APIs from such heavy hitters as Viggle, TMS, ESPN, Univision, and WatchWith.

Devs especially appreciated the opportunity to get extra reach for their apps by having them appear within Viggle. When we explained Viggle’s platform and philosophy – “Build it in HTML5 and it will work within Viggle” – their eyebrows went up. Most common question: “What’s the catch?” Well, there isn’t one. If you write something cool for TV in HTML5, we want our users to enjoy it.

When an app is launched from within Viggle, it can access our API to enable additional features. Popular with many devs, for example, was the fact that without needing to write an ACR plugin, they could get show data through our API, then use that to get cool content from other sources (such as TMS and ESPN). But no matter what, if your app works on the mobile web, it works on Viggle. No special tweaks, just plug and play.

Developers came prepared to bring it, getting straight down to business and coding away into the evening and starting again early the next day. Some great apps we saw (each a category winner): 

“Twivo,” an app to pull relevant tweets from when a show initially aired and then replayed them in sync with a time-shifted broadcast.

“TV Time,” an app to gate access to TV on an iPad by making a child earn minutes by doing homework questions first.

“Who Am I?” the app from Team Viggle that lets you record a video “charade” of you acting as a character from a TV show, then posting it to a game within Viggle where your friends try to guess who you are.

“SmallTalkr,” an app that streams relevant clever opinions about a sports event (by using closed-caption info to crawl Twitter and ESPN data) surreptitiously to your phone so you can seem to know what you’re talking about even if it’s not a sport you understand.

“TeleBet,” an app that lets you wager Viggle points between friends about what will happen next on a TV show.

Every one of these could work on Viggle, and in fact two of them were demoed on Viggle right there at the hack – proving how easy it is to do with little to no preparation time. It was a perfect kickoff for the Viggle AppJam, giving developers on-site access to Viggle Labs team members and valuable hacking time to prototype their apps.