Blip.tv Closes $10.1 M Funding Round
Web TV network blip.tv on Tuesday said it closed $10.1 million in its third round of financing, led by Canaan Partners and existing investors Bain Capital Ventures.
The New York-based company said it will use the new funding to accelerate growth, expand its content services and ad sales staffs and develop new products for viewers and producers.
Launched in 2005, blip now claims to help over 44,000 independent video producers get their work out. It presently distributes more than 50,000 original Web shows, which draws more than 90 million video views a month.
This marks the biggest funding round yet for blip, which most recently raised $5.2 million in late 2008. Bain Capital Ventures, one of blip's earlier backers, also participated in this most recent round. The startup has now raised just over $18 million.
The company says 85% of those views are accompanied by advertising from such brands as AT&T, Chevrolet, PepsiCo, Samsung, Scion, and Starbucks.
"We started in 2005 with a simple mission: to change the entertainment industry by making independent show production sustainable and scalable," said blip.tv co-founder and CEO Mike Hudack.
Along with hosting its own shows, blip.tv syndicates material to outlet partners including iTunes, YouTube, Vimeo and AOL Video. Its partnership with YouTube, for example, enables show creators to send episodes directly from blip.tv to their YouTube account. Blip.tv, meanwhile, can traffic ads on shows syndicated to YouTube, with a revenue share back to content creators.
"We're making more shows sustainable every single day, and now we're going to accelerate that change even faster," Hudack added. Using a custom dashboard, content creators can "batch edit" and reorder show episodes, reply to comments and friend requests from different Web sites directly from the dashboard, track video and advertising views and see, in near real-time, along with how much revenue their shows generate across every distribution channel in the blip.tv network.
This year, U.S. online video ad revenue is on pace to exceed $1.3 billion, according to research released this week by Parks Associates. The report attributed the healthy numbers to steady growth in online video viewership, combined with the ability to target specific viewers based on preferences and viewing history.
Younger consumers are proving particularly receptive to targeted ads -- creating openings for cross-platform ads and other opportunities for advertisers, according to the international research and consulting firm.
According to Parks Associates, over 50% of heads-of-household 25-54 watch online video at least weekly, and the percentage jumps to 75% for ages 18-34.