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Acquisition

Social Marketing Firms Unite: Spredfast and Mass Relevance Merge

Merger

Social TV leader Mass Relevance, the Austin-based social experience company we’ve been covering since 2011, has merged with fellow social marketing firm Spredfast. The two will consolidate under the Spredfast name.

Spredfast CEO Rod Favaron will become the CEO for the combined company. “If you’re in the business of helping brands and media do social, you better have relationships with the biggest social networks in the world,” he said in a joint Mass Relevance-Spredfast video. Favaron says combining Mass Relevance’s knack for Twitter and Facebook social experiences with Spredfast’s relationships with dozens of social networks creates a company others can’t compete with “from a capability perspective.”

“By teaming up, we’ll give marketers access to every piece of social data submitted in real-time, so they can uncover conversations that matter to their brand and build shared experiences that allow them to interact with their audience, both one-to-one and one-to-many,” Founder and CEO of Mass Relevance Sam Decker said. Jesse Redniss, who became Chief Strategy Officer for Mass Relevance last year, says the merger helps meet the content and storytelling demand out there.

“Our partners will now have a unified platform to not only listen, learn and analyze, but to reach out and touch their fans and viewers everywhere with impactful, relevant, compelling content which drives a deeper, more emotional connection. ”

Here are the combined stats for the two companies, now merged as Spredfast.

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CNN Sells iPad News App Zite to Social Magazine App Flipboard

cnn-logo_304x200As our sister-site TVNewser reported earlier, CNN has sold iPad news app Zite to social magazine application Flipboard after it acquired Zite just three years ago.

The deal includes CNN and Flipboard parterning on custom magazines for shows hosted by avid social media user Jake Tapper as well as Fareed Zakaria and John King.

“We all have an idea of where the media world is headed – where everyone gets news immediately on their smart phones and tablets, and accesses it on their own timeline, so it’s important to me and my staff to try to be ahead of the curve when it comes to new technologies and ways to engage our audience and share news,” Tapper tells Lost Remote.

“From politics, to sports to pop culture, we want our viewers to have numerous opportunities to explore issues and topics addressed on The Lead – even if they’re in traffic or in a meeting or spending time with their children at 4 pm ET/1 pm Pacific,” Tapper added. “People cannot always be in front of their televisions, so we aim to provide as many other useful digital platforms as possible—from my twitter feed, to the The Lead blog, to The Lead Facebook page, and now Flipboard.”

His new Flipboard page has everything from political news to birthday photos. Read more

Scripps shells out $35 million to buy video news startup Newsy

newsyIn an effort to beef up its video and mobile efforts, Scripps has acquired Newsy for $35 million in cash — one of the largest tech acquisitions in the local media space in recent memory. Newsy produces video news reports across web, mobile and connected TV platforms for partners like AOL, Microsoft and Mashable. Many of the “mobile first” startup’s clips are focused on viral video, capitalizing on the growth of social sharing.

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CBS acquires TVGuide.com and mobile apps

CBS announced it has acquired TV Guide Digital, buying up its remaining 50% share of the company from Lionsgate. The deal folds TVGuide.com and its mobile apps into CBS Interactive, which already runs TV.com and other entertainment brands like GameSpot and Last.fm. “It’s a brand that has a nice-size audience, and a highly monetizable category that has a lot of relevance going forward,” CBS Interactive President Jim Lanzone told the LA Times. “That’s why it fits so well with our strategy.”

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Samsung acquires Movl to bring devices and smart TVs closer together

Atlanta startup Movl says it’s been acquired by Samsung Electronics for an undisclosed sum. Just two years old, Movl began by creating games that interacted with TV — like “We Draw,” which won Samsung’s top developer award in 2011. Then the startup created a platform for iOS and Android developers to seamlessly integrate their apps with smart TVs, starting with Samsung and Google TV — with more on the way.

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Twitter: Bluefin Labs acquisition ‘reflects our commitment to the social TV market’

It’s a done deal. Twitter confirmed reports of its Bluefin Labs acquisition on Tuesday night, doubling down on the company’s efforts to own the social TV space.

“This acquisition reflects our commitment to the social TV market, and builds on our exclusive partnership with Nielsen announced in December to develop the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating, the centerpiece of social TV measurement,” explained Twitter COO Ali Rowghani. “We believe that Bluefin’s data science capabilities and social TV expertise will help us create innovative new ad products and consumer experiences in the exciting intersection of Twitter and TV.” Read more

Report: Twitter buying Bluefin Labs

Updated: It’s a done deal.

Earlier: Business Insider is reporting that Twitter is buying social TV analytics company Bluefin Labs. We’ve reached out to Bluefin and Twitter for comment. So far, no official confirmation, but it sounds like the deal is close to finalizing. Read more

Viggle acquisition not happening, says GetGlue

Updated: Back in November, Viggle announced it was acquiring GetGlue for $25 million in cash and 48.3 million shares of stock, forming a social TV powerhouse. But there was a condition: $60 million in new financing from an investor, yet to be announced. The goal was to close the new financing round in December, but a new SEC filing this month revealed the two companies were “discussing an extension of such date and other potential modifications.”

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Current, the first ‘social TV network,’ sells to Al Jazeera

Current TV, which launched with a user-generated social strategy that was way ahead of its time, has been sold to Al Jazeera. The network, co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore and his business partner Joel Hyatt, has for the last year and a half been a liberal commentary network, but before that had some very innovative approaches to programming.

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What the Viggle-GetGlue acquisition means for the battle over the second screen

Another Monday and another big acquisition announcement in the social TV world. As we reported earlier today, Viggle scooped up GetGlue, combining to form a second screen powerhouse in an increasingly competitive space. GetGlue has the bigger audience, but Viggle has the deeper pockets, a publicly-traded company (VGGL) founded by former American Idol exec Robert Sillerman that acquired Loyalize and quickly ramped up an aggressive team.

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