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Acquisition

Social TV consolidation: wywy acquires Second Screen Networks, ConnecTV acquires Tweet TV

wywySocial TV startup consolidation continues to heat up as a new era of innovation takes on the industry. “wywy, a Germany-based cross-screen advertising and real time TV-ad tracking company, has completed the acquisition and integration of Second Screen Networks, a New York-based social TV company that allows TV broadcast ads to sync in real time with mobile devices and websites. Also, “ConnecTV, a leading social TV video network that lets users of its free mobile app watch, clip and share the best video “moments” on television, announced today that it has acquired TweetTV, a social analytics and TV guidance company that makes it easy to discover what’s trending on TV in real-time.” Here are the details. Read more

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Viggle Continues Adding to Social TV Patent Portfolio

screenshots_304x200Viggle last week announced that it received a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) for “Portfolio Optimization for Media Merchandising.” The patent is for the company’s proprietary technology that “analyzes content distribution patterns over time to recommend the most optimal time and channel for distributing content to achieve higher levels of engagement.”

While the news may not have an immediate impact, the patent is a major victory for the company, and it will give marketers another tool to better engage with TV fans.

The Viggle portfolio includes the company’s eponymous mobile app, which listens to what is on TV and rewards users with points for watching, and the recently-acquired Wetpaint, an entertainment and social media platform. Read more

Social TV Analytics Company Seevibes Announces $1 Million Seed Round

Screenshot_5_28_14__11_08_AMContinuing a trend of acquisitions, mergers, and funding rounds for social TV analytics companies, Seevibes has announced a $1 million seed round led by Polytech Ventures

The Montreal-based Seevibes gives networks and advertisers insights to better manage social media campaigns along with corresponding TV initiatives. The company provides a Seevibes Score comprised of six distinct social media metrics to help customers make better optimizations. Read more

New York Times: Comcast, Time Warner Cable Merger Could Make Netflix Pay More

ComcastTWCThe New York Times editorial board came out with an op-ed yesterday urging the FCC and U.S. Justice Department to block Comcast’s $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. In it, the Times cautions against the ill effects a merger could have on Netflix.

By buying Time Warner Cable, Comcast would become a gatekeeper over what consumers watch, read and listen to. The company would have more power to compel Internet content companies like Netflix and Google, which owns YouTube, to pay Comcast for better access to its broadband network. Netflix, a dominant player in video streaming, has already signed such an agreement with the company. This could put start-ups and smaller companies without deep pockets at a competitive disadvantage.

In April, Netflix came out against the Comcast/TWC merger, arguing that it would give the company unprecedented power over high-speed Internet access, with that power creating “anti-competitive leverage.”

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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

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