Tegna, Turner Invest In Vizbee Data Firm

Turner and Tegna have made strategic investments in Vizbee, a crossplatform casting and data company, during Vizbee’s latest round of funding.

“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 said, it registered a 30% 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 of product marketing, Unicorn Media, and head of products at 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.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

“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, Tegna’s SVP of strategy. “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.


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Amneris Vargas says:

January 26, 2018 at 8:41 am

Interesting, as tossing a signal from a phone or laptop to a TV set is becoming a baseline expectation (like brakes or steering wheels on cars). Curious about what secret sauce (IP) this has, as casting is not new nor novel, says Chromecast. That said, so many apps lack casting ability and perhaps this is the enabler for the non-FANG platforms. Cool. Tegna definitely doubling down on OTT.


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