January 24, 2018
Turner and TEGNA Make Strategic Equity Investment in Tech Start Up Vizbee
"As we continue to shape the future of television, Vizbee's focus on fan engagement as well as data and advertising will help us grow our OTT efforts from both a business and technology standpoint," said Jeremy Legg, Turner CTO.
Turner first began incorporating Vizbee technology into its TBS and TNT apps when digital upgrades were made in May 2017. This enabled viewers to cast content from their mobile devices to any connected screen seamlessly without the need for a plug-in which, in turn, drove greater interest in application downloads.
As a result, Turner registered a 30 percent month-over-month gain in the number of "casts" between June and October of 2017 and accumulated 1.7 million "casts" during that same period. Casting of TBS and TNT programming is now possible via Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV and Samsung smart TVs.
Vizbee's patented technology is the invention of digital media veterans and co-founders Darren Feher (Former CEO, Conviva and CTO, NBCU) and Prashanth Pappu (Former SVP Product Marketing, Unicorn Media and Head of Products, Conviva). Vizbee combines a new approach to universal casting with a rich household device graph to allow content owners to segment the best prospective OTT viewers and reach them continuously through mobile marketing channels with "tap-to-TV" campaigns. At the core of Vizbee's innovation is "mobile and TV continuity" which treats mobile and TV apps as one synchronized experience.
"Vizbee's innovative technology will help Premion, TEGNA's first-of-its-kind local ad network for OTT content, better partner with OTT programming partners to help them grow audience, increase viewing, and create more valuable inventory on connected TVs," said Ed Busby, senior vice president, strategy, TEGNA. "In addition, it creates a valuable source of viewing data which, in combination with our partnerships with Madhive and 4Info, will enable Premion to leverage the most comprehensive OTT targeting data set in the industry."
Vizbee's continuity platform is already in deployment with major subscription and ad-supported OTT brands like TNT, TBS, EPIX, and PGA and the new financing will help grow the company to support the interest from other major content brands.
All the existing Vizbee investors, including Core Capital, Armory Square Ventures, Kinetic Ventures and NEA, also participated in this investment round.
Turner, a Time Warner company, is a global entertainment, sports and news company that creates premium content and delivers exceptional experiences to fans whenever and wherever they consume content. These efforts are fueled by data-driven insights and industry-leading technology. Turner owns and operates some of the most valuable brands in the world, including Adult Swim, Bleacher Report, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, ELEAGUE, FilmStruck, Great Big Story, HLN, iStreamPlanet, Super Deluxe, TBS, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), TNT, truTV and Turner Sports. To learn more about Turner visit www.Turner.com.
TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) is an innovative media company that serves the greater good of our communities. With 46 television stations in 38 markets, TEGNA delivers relevant content and information to consumers across platforms. It is the largest owner of top 4 affiliates in the top 25 markets, reaching approximately one-third of all television households nationwide. Each month, TEGNA reaches 50 million adults on-air and 35 million across its digital platforms. TEGNA has been consistently honored with the industry's top awards, including Edward R. Murrow, George Polk, Alfred I. DuPont and Emmy Awards. TEGNA delivers results for advertisers through unparalleled and innovative solutions including OTT local advertising network Premion, centralized marketing resource Hatch, and G/O Digital, a one-stop shop for local businesses to connect with consumers through digital marketing. Across platforms, TEGNA tells empowering stories, conducts impactful investigations and delivers innovative marketing solutions. For more information, visit www.TEGNA.com.
Vizbee is a B2B mobile to TV continuity platform that is the fastest way to acquire new audiences and increase digital viewing on all connected TVs and streaming boxes. With Vizbee, publisher mobile apps automatically detect TVs and with one tap, install and launch apps that stream to the TV where engagement is higher than on phone. Through its unique DeviceGraph, Vizbee further enhances marketing and promotion with targeted "Tap-to-TV" direct response campaigns in social that can include interactive ads or commerce opportunities on phone while viewing on screen.