RTL Group acquires United Screens

RTLThe RTL Group has fully acquired United Screens, the leading multi-platform network in the Nordic countries. The transaction, which closed on 2 January 2018, provides for a price of SEK 120 million (€12.4 million) on a debt and cash-free basis subject to usual post-closing adjustments. Additionally, RTL Group plans to invest SEK 25 million (€2.6 million) to fund the company’s growth plan across the Nordic region.

United Screens generates over 500 million video views a month on YouTube and represents hundreds of influencers in music, lifestyle and entertainment across all social media platforms. The company was founded by Malte Andreasson, Stina Bergfors and Bonnier Ventures in 2013 and is based in Stockholm, Sweden, with offices in Oslo, Norway and Helsinki, Finland. Bonnier Ventures financed the company since the early start. Before the foundation of United Screens, Malte Andreasson worked as Scheduling Director for the Swedish channel TV4, while Stina Bergfors was the Country Director for Google and YouTube in Sweden. Malte Andreasson continues to head United Screens as CEO.

RTL Group CEO Bert Habets, who has become Chairman of the Board of United Screens following the transaction, said: “This acquisition is another step in accelerating our ‘Total Video’ strategy, as United Screens strengthens our MPN presence in Europe. With our highly popular creators and leading market positions in each territory, RTL Group is the only European company to offer advertisers pan-European digital video campaigns in premium and brand-safe environments.”

Luxembourg & Sweden, Stockholm

Related articles

WPP to acquire Teein in China

WPP’s wholly owned operating company VML, a global digital network, has agreed to acquire Teein, a leading social media agency in China.

Established in 2004 in Shanghai, Teein is a full-service social media agency offering social listening, social marketing and social CRM. The agency also provides online media planning and buying, online public opinion monitoring and social media application development. Key clients include Danone, Estee Lauder, Google, Lenovo, SAP and Unilever.
For the year ending 31 December 2013, Teein’s unaudited revenues were RMB 43.5 million, with gross assets of RMB 13.3 million, as of the same date. The agency employs approximately 170 people.

UK, London & China, Shanghai

Viggle Acquires Wetpaint

viggleViggle, the television and music loyalty service launched in 2012, has acquired Wetpaint, an entertainment media and technology company focused on television fans, for approximately $30 million in cash and stock.

Wetpaint provides original content to over 12 million monthly unique users and provides a way for fans to stay connected with celebrities and TV shows.

“Wetpaint is the perfect complement to our business for users, TV network partners and advertisers,” said Greg wetpaintConsiglio, President and COO of Viggle. “This combined company brings together Viggle’s proven promotion, entertainment rewards and monetization capabilities with Wetpaint’s reach, social distribution technologies and best-in-class content. Wetpaint leverages the power of social media to ensure TV fans are getting the latest news and commentary about the shows they love, and enables us to expand our offering to before, during and after the show airs.”

For marketers, this acquisition creates significant opportunities to reach a passionate audience with targeted messages across an “always on” entertainment experience that now includes multiple touch points and platforms. Marketers already benefit from Viggle’s extensive reward program, as well as in-app advertising, and that will now be extended through Wetpaint’s online content and social media streams.

Related articles:

USA, New York, NY

Livefyre acquires social storytelling platform Storify

livefyreLivefyre has acquired Storify, the drag-and-drop storytelling tool. Livefyre will integrate Storify into its StreamHub platform.

Founded in 2010, Storify was created to help journalists sift through the massive amounts of social content around news events to create multimedia stories that can be embedded anywhere. PR agencies use the social curation tool to hand-select social content for websites, microsites and advertising campaigns. Storify is  used by nearly one million journalists, agencies and brands to tell stories online, including the BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, EA Sports, Ford, GE, HBO, IBM, Microsoft, Marc Jacobs, Samsung, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

storify“Acquiring Storify made perfect sense,” said Jordan Kretchmer, founder and CEO of Livefyre. “Livefyre powers social media and user engagement on the largest media properties and brands on the web. Storify also delivers a unique and vital curation tool for journalists and editors at many of those same companies. Now our enterprise users will be able to manage Storify content from the same centralized Livefyre dashboard where they’re already managing all of their social and user-generated content. With the addition of Storify, StreamHub is now the only real-time platform that enables both editorial and automated content curation from all the major social networks including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.”

Storify currently offers three levels of service to its users: Free, Business and VIP. With this acquisition, the Storify Free product will continue to be offered as it is now. The teams will merge Storify’s multiple paid tiers into a single enterprise offering that will include additional new features such as single sign-on to create stories, centralised story and editor management, Storify galleries, user participation tools, automated media filtering and engagement analytics.

Storify co-founder Burt Herman added: “We created Storify to unite journalism and social media, helping to tell stories that come alive with eyewitness reports from where news is happening. Joining Livefyre means our users, including journalists and now brands and agencies, will be able to integrate social media easily across their websites, and also into mobile apps, ads and TV broadcasts. We can now also help publishers make more revenue through native ads.”

Co-founders Xavier Damman and Burt Herman will join the Livefyre team, along with Storify employees from product, engineering and support. Damman will continue to oversee the Storify product, and Herman will lead relations for all of Livefyre’s editorial users and partners.

Storify becomes the first acquisition by Livefyre since its founding in 2009.

USA, San Francisco, CA

Twitter acquires Spindle

twitter3Twitter has acquired Boston-based app maker Spindle Labs. Spindle was founded by Pat Kinsel and Alex lambert. Spindle helps you discover the best social updates from nearby shops, restaurants, bars, event venues, parks, museums and galleries, community organisations, and other attractions. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Spindle app has been removed from the App Store.

Here is the announcement on the Spindle blog.

We’re very proud to announce that Spindle has been acquired by Twitter.

We’ve spent the past two and a half years building a product that helps you answer the question: “What’s happening nearby right now?” Every time we’ve experimented and looked beyond local discovery, we’ve been amazed by the breadth and quality of content shared on Twitter. By joining forces with Twitter, we can do so much more to help you find interesting, timely, and useful information about what’s happening around you.

The Spindle team will be relocating and joining the Twitter team in San Francisco. As part of this change, we’ll be sunsetting the Spindle service today to focus on these new and exciting opportunities.

To our users, friends, families, investors, advisors, and everyone else: thank you for your support. It’s been an incredible journey and we couldn’t have gotten here without you.

– The Spindle Team

USA, San Francisco, CA & Boston, MA

Related articles:

Infusionsoft acquires social media marketing company GroSocial

infusion-logoInfusionsoft has acquired social media marketing software company GroSocial. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

GroSocial’s web-based software allows small businesses to easily build and track social media marketing campaigns that generate leads across popular social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. Earlier this month, Infusionsoft announced $54 million in growth capital financing led by Goldman Sachs.

“As we considered an acquisition in the social media marketing space we were looking for three key factors,” says Hal Halladay, Infusionsoft SVP of corporate development. “We wanted an affordable but powerful product that made social media lead generation simple for true small businesses and that could easily integrate with our software. We wanted a team that could bring to Infusionsoft grosocialdeep knowledge and expertise in social media marketing. Finally, we wanted a company that shared our passion to help small businesses succeed. GroSocial was the undisputed leader in all three areas. I don’t know if we could have found a better strategic and cultural fit than the GroSocial team.”

Founded in 2010 by Zach Mangum, Kevin Kirkland and Chris Wright, GroSocial currently has more than 30,000 users. The 19-person GroSocial team will join Infusionsoft and push the company’s total employee count to 370, but will continue to operate as a dedicated product team in Utah. Mangum will continue to lead the Utah operation and will oversee, with Kirkland, the social product strategy for GroSocial.

This is Infusionsoft’s second acquisition. In Nov. 2011, Infusionsoft acquired CustomerHub, an online membership site and customer portal tool.

Today, there are more than 12,000 small businesses that use Infusionsoft to attract and capture leads, nurture and convert prospects automatically, grow sales and referrals, and save time.

USA, Chandler, AZ & Orem, Utah

 

 

Nielsen, NM Incite acquires SocialGuide

NM Incite, a joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey & Company, has acquired SocialGuide, a leading provider of social TV measurement, analytics and audience engagement solutions.  Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

SocialGuide is a real-time social TV capture service covering programming across 232 U.S. TV channels in English and Spanish, and over 30,000 programs.  Built for linear TV, SocialGuide’s intelligent analytics and engagement platform provides insight on the social impact of TV, enabling networks to engage with the social fan base in realtime.

SocialGuide will be integrated immediately into NM Incite, the hub of Nielsen’s social media measurement and analytics efforts.  SocialGuide’s software technology and data streams complement NM Incite’s existing software and data solutions.  Together, Nielsen, NM Incite and SocialGuide will focus on efforts to quantify the relationship between social TV and TV ratings to enable advertisers to maximize the impact of their spend, and provide new research metrics to understand social TV’s impact on consumer behavior and viewing habits.

“The opportunity in social TV is too big to ignore and there is a need for standard metrics and research to uncover the effect of social TV on programming and advertising strategies,” said Andrew Somosi, CEO of NM Incite.  “TV networks are expanding their research, advertising and engagement efforts across social media. The powerful combination of Nielsen, NM Incite and SocialGuide will enable us to deliver unparalleled insights and capabilities to our TV and advertiser clients.”

USA, New York, NY

Related articles: