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NBC's WatchBack video app rewards you for sharing viewing habits

Are you willing to trade some data in return for watching free shows?
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
October 7, 2018
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NBCUniversal

The rumors of NBCUniversal launching a rewards-based streaming video app were true. The network has released a free, currently iOS-only WatchBack app that offers a chance to win prizes if you create a profile (complete with viewer preferences) and watch certain full-length shows, such as E!'s Ashlee+Evan. At the moment, each featured episode gives 10 viewers $100 worth of points they can redeem at outlets like Amazon, Best Buy, Macy's and Target.

You'll also find internet-only content from the likes of BuzzFeed and CollegeHumor. The feeds are personalized to your tastes in addition to promoting the latest shows.

This isn't yet another streaming video service, at least not in the usual sense. Rather, it's both a promo tool for NBCU's latest programming and a way of garnering input that wouldn't normally be available with conventional TV. The network is using Nielsen's measurement tools to track viewing habits, for instance. While you're not providing extensive detail about yourself, you're effectively volunteering to feed data to NBC and open yourself to its marketing efforts.

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