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Social TV analytics company Bluefin Labs today announced it has raised $12 million in a Series B round led by Time Warner Investments with participation from new investor SoftBank Capital and return investors Redpoint Ventures and Lerer Ventures.
"There are meaningful implications for the television and advertising industries as companies learn to leverage social media and big data for competitive advantage. We are looking forward to scaling this service further and continuing the transformation of how the industry understands consumer engagement with shows, brands, and commercials on TV."
Bluefin Labs first introduced its analytics service through a private pilot program in May 2011, and followed quickly in July 2011 with the launch of its flagship product, Bluefin Signals. Bluefin Signals is an analytics platform that analyzes and organizes social media conversations about US national television. Clients of Bluefin Signals leverage social data about TV shows and commercials to inform the buying and selling of TV media. Clients are a mix of television networks, marketers and agencies including CBS, Fox, Discovery Communications, MediaCom, MTV Networks, Starcom MediaVest Group and many more.
The new financing will be used to accelerate growth of Bluefin Labs' sales and client services efforts. The company will also continue to invest heavily in technology and R&D to lead further innovation in the field of social TV analytics.
"We are witnessing a huge shift in consumer behavior, as people now naturally turn to social media to voice their opinions about what they are watching on television. Our technology allows us to therefore provide deep insights into consumer mindsets," said Deb Roy, co-founder and CEO, Bluefin Labs. "We are continuing to build out Bluefin's services to provide enhanced data which enables our clients to glean more of an understanding of their audiences and target consumers."
Rachel Lam, senior vice president and group managing director of Time Warner Investments will join the board of directors. Ms. Lam brings her extensive experience in the media sector and venture capital, and has played an instrumental role in funding companies in the digital media and ad technology spaces.
"Bluefin Labs has created an innovative analytics platform that captures how people respond to television in real-time," said Ms. Lam. "There are meaningful implications for the television and advertising industries as companies learn to leverage social media and big data for competitive advantage. We are looking forward to scaling this service further and continuing the transformation of how the industry understands consumer engagement with shows, brands, and commercials on TV."
To date, Bluefin Signals provides enterprise-quality data and analysis of social media responses to more than 346,000 individual TV telecasts airing across all television dayparts and programming genres. For media planners, Bluefin Signals helps find placements on TV where brand receptivity and engagement is highest. And for media buyers, the data is a uniquely-differentiated metric in making media investment decisions to achieve high "earned" social reach, in addition to paid TV exposure.