LocalResponse acquires Philo for interactive TV

Ronny Kerr · August 4, 2011 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/1d79

Social media advertising platform to expand its boundaries to 20th century technology

Social advertising platform LocalResponse announced Thursday that it has acquired Philo Media Corporation, a business focused on making television more interactive.

When Philo first secured some institutional investors (North Bridge Venture Partners, DFJ Gotham, ENIAC Ventures and Stephen Lambert) almost exactly a year ago, the company had an explicit goal of making TV social by offering iPhone apps enabling users to “check into” whatever show they happened to be watching. There was also a Web-based social TV application accessible at PlayPHILO.com.

Eventually, however, the company pivoted to become Reach.tv, a social media marketing company for television.

"Philo's pivot into the social advertising space was so interesting we had to take a close look," says LocalResponse CEO Nihal Mehta.

That close look turned into today’s announced acquisition.

LocalResponse, which launched its social media-measuring advertising network in May, has always been eager to distinguish itself from the rest of the competition in the social advertising space. One way it had achieved this was by actually analyzing social user submissions like status updates and check-ins, which could help advertisers feed those users contextual-based ads based on time and location.

The company so far seems satisfied with its successes, boasting today that it just recently signed its 25th “major” advertiser, though it doesn’t name names. It also claims that July data shows campaigns to be performing "100 times better than traditional online media buys,” though it doesn’t cite in what way.

Its acquisition of Philo today is supposed to give LocalResponse further leverage against other social advertising platforms by connecting the dots between social media and television.

As part of the acquisition deal, former Philo CEO David Levy will become an advisor to LocalResponse. Former Philo CTO Jessica Lowe will continue on as CTO at LocalResponse and developers Christopher Sanson and Brian Renzenbrink are to join the company’s engineering team in New York.

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