i.TV Gets GetGlue

The latest attempt at acquiring GetGlue is expected to stick this time.

i.TV last week inked a deal to acquire GetGlue, a developer of second screen apps and affinity-based TV “check-in” features that touts a registered user base of 4.5 million users.

The deal begins the expected consolidation of what’s become a fragmented market of second screen app developers that includes Viggle, ConnecTV, BuddyTV and Dijit. Shazam, meanwhile, is expected to pursue an IPO as its exit strategy.

The i.TV/GetGlue deal is the second time at the alter for GetGlue, which has raised about $25 million. About a year ago, rival second screen firm Viggle struck a deal to buy GetGlue for $25 million plus stock that would’ve pushed the value of the deal beyond the $70 million mark, but the deal was called off in January 2013 because Viggle failed to raise the necessary funds.

Financial terms of the iTV/GetGlue deal were not disclosed, but i.TV CEO Brad Pelo told Multichannel News that his company plans to maintain and improve GetGlue as an independent product, and integrate GetGlue and its “superfans” with the i.TV backend platform, which powers second screen and social TV apps for several brands, including AOL, Huffington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Telus, and Nintendo TV, the service bundled into the Wii gaming console.

i.TV, a fi ve-year-old company that claims to have 15 million people using its common backend system, said the addition of GetGlue will expand its overall audience and its advertising business model.

Pelo said it has not yet been determined how many of GetGlue’s 48 employees will join i.TV, but acknowledged that there will be a “reduction in force” due to overlapping functions.

GetGlue will remain in New York, but among execs who will not stay with i.TV post-merger are GetGlue CEO Alex Iskold and Evan Krauss, the former Shazam exec who was named president of GetGlue in June.