Blip Raises $12M, Plans New Services

Giving its Web TV network more room to wiggle, Blip just raised $12 million in a mix of debt financing and equity. No flash in the pan, Blip has spent the past six years growing its audience -- until now under the name Blip.tv.

Dropping the “.tv” -- from its logo, at least -- Blip now plans to develop new tools and services for independent online producers; invest further in advertising and distribution platforms; and foster more syndication relationships.

Blip now claims more than 13 million unique monthly viewers domestically, and about 30 million worldwide. According to the company, its various series attract more than 330 million video views per month.

The company grew annual revenue by 100% in 2011, according to Steve Brookstein, chief operating officer for Blip, but he will not translate that into dollar amounts. “In 2012, we will further commit to our producer base by offering exclusive arrangements that will continue to drive our common goals,” Brookstein said.

Brookstein has served as Blip’s de facto leader since its co-founder and CEO Mike Hudack left last year. The company continues to search for a permanent replacement. 

Not unlike YouTube’s recent facelift, Blip relaunched last year as a curator of content. As such, Blip now considers itself the place to discover original Web series from both professional and up-and-coming producers. Rather than relying on some fancy algorithm or user voting system, Blip’s producers feature videos that they like. The company currently syndicates series to iTunes, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Roku, Verizon FiOS, TiVo, Sony TVs and elsewhere.

Per a joint study with Dynamic Logic, Blip recently reported that 35% of its viewers chose online banner ads as the preferred form of advertising, followed by 15% who said they liked pre-roll ads. 

Investors include Bain Capital Ventures and Canaan Partners.

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