Julianne Pepitone of CNN Money reports, “The social TV space has been percolating for the past year or two, and its first big merger is here: startup GetGlue has been acquired by lesser-known Viggle. Viggle will buy GetGlue for $25 million in cash and about 48.3 million shares of the company’s publicly traded stock, worth around $53 million at Friday’s closing price. Viggle will run both brands and continue to employ GetGlue’s 34 employees. GetGlue founder and CEO Alex Iskold will take a senior executive position and a board seat at Viggle. Social TV software — also known as “second screen” apps or even the clunky phrase “simultaneous viewing” tools — taps into TV viewers’ use of mobile devices while they watch their favorite shows. More than a dozen startups have popped up to take advantage of the trend, with each platform taking a slightly different approach.”

She goes on, “Viggle, which bills itself ‘the first ever loyalty program for television,’ awards users points for “checking in” through an app when they watch TV shows. The app uses audio fingerprinting tech to identify automatically which show a user is watching. Then, Viggle users can cash in points for gift cards from partners including Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Chili’s, Apple’s iTunes and more. GetGlue offers a similar check-in system, though its platform particularly highlights social interactions and a personalized TV guide. GetGlue, which launched in 2007, says its user base is now at 3.2 million. Viggle’s platform currently has 1.2 million users. Its parent company was founded in June 2010, but the TV check-in service didn’t launch until January 2012.”

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy GetGlue