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Author: Emiah Gardner

Watch and Earn with Viggle, Our Social TV App of the Week

By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Viggle, the TV check-in app that gives you rewards for watching. In just over a year, Viggle raised enough industry interest to warrant a $70 million deal with GetGlue, but the deal fell through, and GetGlue suddenly got some snazzy (and long-awaited) updates that make it even more of a social TV heavyweight. It now includes a “rewards” system that seems to be encroaching on Viggle’s turf. So does that leave Viggle in second place? First, a little refresher for those who are shaky on what Viggle does. The heart of the app is an audio recognition function that can tell what you’re watching on TV, just by having it “listen” for a few seconds. Sure, Shazam had been doing the same thing with songs for a year or two when Viggle debuted at the beginning of 2012, but it’s a big deal to have an app that could do it with TV shows. The benefit for social TV was immediately obvious; a “frictionless” check-in means that viewers don’t need to waste time typing or clicking multiple buttons. Just one tap, and you’re checked in. You can opt to automatically spread the news to your social media circles, or you can jump into the built-in show chat right on the Viggle app itself. You also get the ability to sync your viewing guide...

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Social Media’s Affect on Televised Political Events

The recent presidential election provided mountains of material for a case study on the effect social media can have on political events. Twitter and Facebook have created outlets for everyone to share opinions on political events, from Egyptian protesters to the Bielibers to trailer park dwellers in West Virginia. While millions of tweets and Facebook posts circulate the globe regarding elections and political events, we have to wonder: does this increasing amount of social talk sway opinions or simply add noise to the conversation? Several things are clear about how Americans and politically active people around the world are using social media and the concrete change that they are affecting: Millions of Internet users are sharing, learning, connecting, and engaging in conversations via social media in ways that were previously impossible. With 140 characters and a hashtag, like-minded individuals can find each other while opening the conversation for those with opposing thoughts to join in. Protesters are uniting through the rapid circulation of text messages, Facebook pages, groups, and twitter lists. People are even petitioning (though unsuccessfully) for the construction of a Death Star. And people who disagree are engaging in debate to try to change minds through instant online forums. But the question remains: while it’s clear that social media extends the voice of the individual, how much power of persuasion does that voice have when it comes...

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Does Binge Viewing Have an Effect on Your Brain?

The Prevalence of Binge Viewing and its Effects on Your Brain TV binge-watching isn’t a new phenomenon. Shutting out the world for a long weekend of small screen companionship has been a favorite pastime of social outliers for years. Whether sick, heartbroken, hungover, or a marathon-movie junkie, devouring full-season DVD sets over a weekend is not a new practice. The reason media outlets are circling this story like rapacious vulchers is because TV binge-watching has finally hit the mainstream. With streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video, consumers now have more viewing options readily at their fingertips than ever before and their appetite is insatiable. Unlike years past when network television executives doled out helpings of entertainment like gruel, today’s television viewers aren’t simply begging for more, they’re demanding it. Television shows have become feasts to be gorged upon, their content consumed in mere hours. I admit I’ve lost a few weekends to binge-watching. I devoured the first two seasons of Homeland in anticipation of the season three premiere, and I developed a love/hate (mostly love) relationship with Lena Dunham binge-watching the first five hours of Girls in one sitting. And you know what? We’re not alone in our affinity for serialized cable TV viewing; most of our friends and coworkers binge-watch too. Why We Binge-Watch Time is not equally distributed Unlike the sitcoms we like to...

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Why are Premium Channel Shows So Good?

Real life isn’t censored. It’s complicated, gritty, beautiful, perplexing, sad, and tragic at times. These things can’t be helped because we are living, breathing beings with strong emotions and feelings, and a desire to conquer and explore. This isn’t to say all of life is R-rated. Plenty of it is as wonderful as George Bailey sharing a Shirley Temple with Shirley Temple. However, if we were to give life an honest movie rating, it would land somewhere between R and NC-17. Honesty is the Best Policy How have Showtime and HBO managed to string together one critically acclaimed show after another? How have they managed to continue winning the most prestigious awards in every relevant category? They depict life honestly. Network television executives decided a long time ago that viewers of their content don’t want depressing endings, don’t want non-traditional families, and certainly don’t want situations that can’t be resolved within the timeline of the show. A shocking twist here, a saddening turn there (I am still an emotional wreck about Opie’s death on Sons of Anarchy), but more often than not favorite cast members on popular network television shows don’t die and the will-they-or-won’t-they couples end up together. Premium channels have the freedom to take risks and give viewers a look into the realistic complexities of each character. Take Showtime’s House of Lies as an example. Marty Kaan (Don Cheadle)...

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Search, Discover, Find: Our Chat with Plizy Founder Jonathan Benassaya on the Future of Video Discovery

The web is overflowing with video content. From homemade cat videos to go-pro filmed action media to Oscar worthy movies and our favorite TV shows, users have access to an enormous amount of content on the web. With all of these options, decision paralysis often sets in, as users jump from YouTube to Amazon to Hulu and back again searching for entertainment. Say goodbye to the days of hopping between video services and hello to a fun, easy way of discovering and enjoying video content. Meet Plizy. Plizy promises to be the “media center in the cloud”, and with over 100,000,000 videos available, plus social and personalization components, that statement could not be more true.  Plizy streamlines the search, discovery, and viewing process by aggregating content from dozens of video services all on one platform. We recently had the opportunity to chat with Plizy founder, Jonathan Benassaya, and got the inside scoop on how Plizy has developed, where it is going, and most importantly, why you should be excited about it. What is Plizy? Plizy is the media center in the cloud that allows users to search, organize, watch and share any video content that is available online from dozens of video services including Amazon Prime, Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, Dailymotion, HBO Go, Hulu, Hulu+, iTunes, Netflix, Vimeo, and YouTube. Plizy aggregates more than 550,000 movies, 200,000 shows and 100,000,000...

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