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Viggle and Verizon bring check-in’s to mobile TV

While check-ins are nothing new (social networks have been doing it for years), content producers are discovering that mobile TV is the latest landscape to drive engagement by not only offering a way to check-in to your favorite show, but also earn rewards at the same time. Viggle and Verizon have teamed up to try to drive the next new branch of entertainment activation, arriving at your TV show instead of just viewing it.

The concept is simple. Customers use Viggle to check-in to their favorite shows while they watch them, wherever they watch them. Each check-in generates points, and the more points earned, the more options for prizes can be had. The prize packages include gift cards, wireless accessories, music, movie tickets and more.

Viggle is even upping the ante this week with a 1 million-point daily giveaway; each day members of the service get a chance to win 1 million points that can be instantly redeemed for prizes. The app to join in can be downloaded via the Verizon Mobile App storefront, as well as on Google Play and Apple’s iTunes.

But is another form of engagement too much? Will consumers make the step to check-in to yet another network? Viggle and Verizon is betting they are and have invested heavily to make sure it happens. The concept is a perfect way to show off Verizon’s 4G service, while steering users to watching live and on-demand TV on mobile devices; check-ins would seem like the next logical step.

Also, each check-in generates important information that is immediate about viewing patterns, which can be used directly for advertising. The free app produces a low barrier to join in. Customers remain passionate about their personal favorite shows, while at the same time they can generate points for prizes with little effort.

One bonus option of the program is that if customers don’t want to trade in their points for prizes, the points can be converted to charitable donations. This is a great plan for those who want to donate to their favorite charities with little effort aside from checking off what their favorite TV shows are.

One core goal in mobile TV has been to produce synergy between the mobile device as well as every other screen while mixing in aspects such as web content. Viggle has sought to mix it all together while allowing the plan to act as a social network for TV shows. Its tagline — “Watch TV. Get Rewards.” — is simple and clean, and easily understandable by most. Time will tell is the company will succeed over the long haul, if the numbers can be driven to break it out from the pack and get people to think as they watch TV on mobile or in the living room: “Wait, I better check in first …”