Sometimes after a long day of work, I just want to sit back and stare at the TV.  The problem is, generally speaking, that’s not a good way to earn any money.  There are still no miracles out there, but Viggle aims to put a little something back in your pocket for telling them what you’re watching.  Plus, you can earn extra points for watching in-App advertising.  For example, they show new Burger King fries and movie trailers.  Viggle also provides links to ‘chatter’ or tweets about the shows you’re watching and links you to various other resources like IMDB, Wikipedia, iTunes, Amazon and more.

What is confusing to me is the point scale – the terms and conditions seem to give them pretty much free reign over how much they give you and how much bonus they provide.

“We reserve the right to determine, in our sole discretion, whether a particular action qualifies for points. We also reserve the right to offer different users of the Viggle service different quantities of points for the same qualifying action. We also offer certain point-earning opportunities, offers or rewards to certain users without offering them to all users. For example, we may offer certain users particular rewards based on their viewing history, their location or the rewards they have chosen in the past.”

Also, you should note that the max value you can earn in any a calendar year is $550

From their terms: “The aggregate value of the rewards (not including any prizes you may win in sweepstakes or in instant win games) that any individual user of our service may receive during a calendar year is limited to U.S.$550.”

The Ratings

Normally I rate an app for its value in business or productivity – since this app encourages non-productivity, I’ll call it “not applicable” this time around.

Ease of use – 3/5

On the positive side, it was easy to register and get going with the app.  On the negative side, I would often have to stand right next to the TV and try multiple times to get the system to recognize the show I was watching.  Comparing it to INTO_NOW (which looks similar to me in that they have the same error messages), Viggle recognized shows less often.  Maybe it’s server volume or some other growing pain, but either way it’s annoying.  Another problem is that it’ll only let you register LIVE shows.  I watch 90% of my TV programs prerecorded on the DVR.  Live TV just does not happen for me that often.

I also noticed that my time zone information was not correct.  You can set alerts that get added to your iPhone calendar but mine were 3 hours off which does not make a ton of sense since I have to punch in my zip code and television provider.  Another annoyance that should easily be addressed in the next version.

Likelihood of usage – 4.5/5

Despite the shortcomings, I will almost certainly use this app again.  They have done a nice job of putting out some carrots for me to chase and I want to get one (or more) of the gift cards they’re offering.  If I’m going to be watching tv anyway, why not share a little viewing habit information.   I’m sure they will be updating it more over time and work out the issues I’m seeing with the app.

Graphics and Sound 3/5

The graphics were acceptable, all the trailers I watched played just fine and the controls were easy to recognize.  I didn’t find any sound for any events in the app other than when the trailers are playing.

Overall 3.5/5

A 3.5 Seems low for something I’m almost certainly going to continue to use.  Once the usability improves I could see a much stronger recommendation.

Also, it’s an interesting approach for encouraging the sharing of personal viewing habits, while enticing users with the promise of rewards for watching advertising.   If Viggle have set themselves up such that they are earning more through the sale of advertising than the total cost of the rewards they are providing, they could have themselves a nice business and we should continue to see enhancements to the application over time.

I look forward to some rewards and for the coming enhancements.

Where to get it:

How much is it: Free