Terms of the cash-and-stock deal weren’t disclosed. As part of the acquisition, the combined companies will operate under the name Whip Media Group led by CEO Rich Rosenblatt (above, left). TV Time will remain based in Santa Monica, Calif., and Mediamorph will stay in New York City and continue to be headed up by Mediamorph CEO Rob Gardos (above, right), who will become president of Whip Media.
According to the companies, the combination of TV Time’s consumer insights with Mediamorph’s content management system will let customers distribute their content more efficiently.
“Literally, from our first meeting, we realized together we’d have a really powerful way for our customers to get a smarter way to license and expand their content in 150 countries and across thousands of different platforms,” said Rosenblatt, TV Time’s co-founder/CEO and former chief exec of Demand Media and chairman of Myspace.
The companies first initiated deal talks in January and the acquisition officially closed Oct. 11. Whip Media will have around 135 employees total, comprising 40 from TV Time and 95 from Mediamorph. There will not be any layoffs with the merger, according to Rosenblatt, and in fact the new company expects to make more than 50 hires in the next 18 months.
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“This deal is set up for growth, not for any cost savings,” he said.
Rosenblatt said the merged company will invest in Mediamorph’s Content Value Management (CVM) platform to develop new features, ultimately planning to release a unified system by mid-2020 that integrates TV Time and Mediamorph platforms.
Gardos said Mediamorph’s customers — which include major Hollywood studios and broadcasters — had been saying they wanted more insight into how and why people are consuming their content. TV Time provides that piece of the puzzle and Mediamorph makes that data actionable, he said: “Netflix’s innovation based on data from their direct-to-consumer experience is a powerful model, and we’re going to take it to the next level.”
Mediamorph’s client base includes Disney, Warner Bros., NBCUniversal, Paramount, Sony, Lionsgate, BBC, HBO, AT&T, T-Mobile and Liberty Global.
TV Time has raised $65 million from investors including WME, Eminence Capital, IVP, Raine Ventures, Greycroft, and industry execs including Ari Emanuel, Peter Guber, Steve Bornstein, Scooter Braun, Gordon Crawford and Ron Zuckerman.
Mediamorph had raised about $50 million from investors including Advance Vixeid Partners, the independent investment arm of Advance Publications and Conde Nast; Liberty Global Ventures; Smedvig Capital; Baker Lee.
According to Mediamorph, its Content Value Management platform tracks more than 2 trillion TVOD, SVOD and AVOD global transactions per year across more than 1,200 platforms. The company was founded in 2008.
TV Time says its app has nearly 1 million daily active users (and 12 million registered users), who use it to keep track of the shows and movies they’re watching, discover what to watch next and engage with other fans. The company says it has tracked some 14 billion TV episodes and 100 million movies to date. Based on those data points, TV Time sells research and analytics to media companies, talent agencies and advertisers through its TVLytics product. Data aggregated by TV Time is self-reported, not a passive measurement service that tracks actual behavior.
TV Time was founded in 2014 as Whipclip, which created a social app for TV fans to share short clips of their favorite shows. That didn’t pan out — the startup had difficulty obtaining rights to clips — and in 2017 Whipclip changed its name and business model. The social features of the TV Time app are based on technology developed by TVShow Time, a small Paris-based startup acquired in December 2016.
Pictured above: Richard Rosenblatt (left), Rob Gardos