Tremor Media announced this morning that it has raised a Series C round of $18 million, led by Meritech Capital Partners, with participation from existing investors Canaan Partners, Masthead Venture Partners and European Founders Fund. Tremor has now raised nearly $40 million to date. Tremor's CEO Jason Glickman gave me a short update on the company yesterday and a little more background on the financing.
Tremor believes it is now the largest video ad network, with 1,400 publishing partners aggregating 137 million unique visitors per month. Tremor focuses exclusively on premium video (i.e. non user-generated) and Jason said the company has access to 1 billion "advertisable impressions" per month. According to Jason, this critical mass has been a big source of the company's recent success as it has been able to appeal to advertisers by segmenting its network to target certain types of users.
Jason explained that as Tremor has grown and usage of broadband video has surged, the company has increased its efforts to shift traditional TV ad dollars over. Though it's hard to know exactly what budgets ad dollars were originally earmarked for, based on the size of the RFPs Tremor's responding to, Jason thinks this shift is indeed underway. And as he correctly points out, you don't need a lot of the $70 billion that's spent on TV annually to move over to make a big impact in broadband advertising. To help compete more effectively with TV, Tremor also recently announced that it would use comScore's Post Buy and Ad Effectiveness reports to offer GRP (gross ratings points) campaign metrics.
To give some sense of Tremor's relative size, comScore reported 14.3 billion total U.S. video views in Dec. '08. Of that YouTube accounted for approximately 5.9 billion views. If you assume that somewhere between half and two-thirds of YouTube's views are UGC (and don't even consider UGC views at all other sites), then premium U.S. video views might be somewhere around 11.3-12.3 billion per month. According to these calculations, that would mean Tremor has access to around 8-9% of premium U.S. video views per month.
While acknowledging the economic downturn has created new challenges, Jason said the company has met or beat all of its metrics, is still on track for profitability in '09 and had multiple financing offers. Meritech's media and advertising experience in other portfolio companies (e.g. Facebook, Quigo, Revenue Science, etc.) was a real draw. The funding will be used to build its network, enhance its Acudeo monetization platform and continue international expansion.
There's no denying the economic pain being felt these days, but Tremor's ability to raise, coupled with other market leaders' ability to do so, is solid evidence that the broadband video market is a rare bright spot in the media landscape today. I constantly remind people that the underlying fundamentals of broadband video consumption are only increasing each month. The companies that figure out how to capitalize on these trends will still be able to raise money.
What do you think? Post a comment now.
(Note: Tremor Media is a VideoNuze sponsor)