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Summary:

At least in terms of branding and industry recognition, Clicker is doing the best job so far of being a television guide for the web. That’s why the company — which only launched three months ago — just got $11 million in Series B funding.

Clicker, at least in terms of branding and industry recognition, is doing the best job so far of being a television guide for the web. The company — which only launched three months ago at our NewTeeVee Live conference — has been rewarded with an $11 million Series B round led by JAFCO Ventures and including previous investors Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures.

Now the mission is to attract Clicker users by the millions and score distribution deals to get to every screen. Clicker now has 750,000 monthly visitors to its site, and more through distribution on Boxee and other places, said CEO Jim Lanzone. That’s certainly respectable for a three-month-old site but a little low for a pre-revenue portal with $19 million in funding. Lanzone said he did the raise after significant interest from investors.

Clicker provides a very organized and nicely laid-out guide to legal venues for consuming content online. The idea is to save people the time and hassle of knowing where to find their favorite shows. “Our core asset is our database and the technologies to support, grow and maintain it,” said Lanzone. “It’s very agile, and can be deployed almost anywhere.”

However, the company faces a ton of competition, including other startups like SideReel and CastTV, existing large sites like the original TV Guide, as well as Hulu — which now has everyone but CBS in terms of major content, and directs its searchers to shows it doesn’t have. TV Everywhere-type projects from cable companies and other MSOs could potentially be good partners for Clicker but are perhaps as concerned with limiting access to content as they are with providing it. One advantage of Clicker is that it indexes web originals much better than any of those services.

Lanzone said this week that he plans for Clicker’s revenue model to be lead generation rather than video or display advertising. What he means by that is he will invite content producers and subscription services to target potential viewers of their shows (for instance, a cooking show would buy space against other cooking content) or their versions of shows (for instance, Netflix would try to attract viewers to its subscription stream).

Related research from GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d):

The Ultimate Guide to TV Everywhere

By Liz Gannes

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  1. [...] Clicker Gets $11M to Become Brand Name for Finding Web TV At least in terms of branding and industry recognition, Clicker is doing the best job so far of being a television guide for the web. The company — which only launched three months ago at our NewTeeVee Live conference — has been rewarded with an $11 million Series B round led by JAFCO Ventures and including previous investors Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures. Continue reading at GigaOM. [...]

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  2. “in terms of branding and industry recognition, Clicker is doing the best job so far of being a television guide for the web.” – I’m not sure that I agree with this statement. According to Quancast Clicker.com is getting 26,000 unique visitors a month while OVGuide.com brings in 11.5 million. That’s a pretty large discrepancy to be declaring Clicker the winner.

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  3. Davis – Great point. It’s not about the raise, it’s about the reach and profitability, right?

    As I commented on NewTeeVee

    “- Liz – great write up! I think your readers would be interested in hearing about Yidio.com in the context of this raise –

    We agree the online tv space is heating up – Yidio.com , whose funding you covered back in November (I am on BOD), has also been growing like a weed. Compared to the 750K users mentioned above they are doing about 11 million visits a month, 45MM or so page views, and are very profitable. “

    –Al

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    1. @Davis and Alan – I don’t disagree with you at all. Where Clicker is the kind of company that gets tons of meetings at CES just a month after it launches, OVGuide and Yidio are pulling in great actual numbers. That’s a disparity where Clicker will have to prove itself, and VC dollars alone are not going to do it. But both kinds of assets have value.

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  4. Gosh, even our half-built Magma site with no funding and no PR effort and has more traffic than Clicker.

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  5. It really amazes me how OVGuide goes under the radar in stories like this… they have mounds of traffic, and one of the few profitable companies in the space… They are impressive- yet, given little credit because they don’t give into the PR cash cows,

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  6. Hi,

    Clicker has a better competitor for quicker and more intuitive results in the form of boot-strapped start-up http://www.Setjam.com .

    If you’re looking for something to watch and just want to watch it, it’ll just get you there (like Google) in the minimum of clicks and across free streaming, download or integrated with netflix, etc.

    They’ve also got a cool TV Anywhere-compatible widget.

    However, while there’s definitely a market here, I’m wondering if it might be too early or too late at this specific point in time in terms of ‘normal’ users who are used to all the other branding touch-point opportunities of networks promoting their sites, established tv guides promoting themselves and extending functionality, the larger aggregators such as tv.com, youtube, hulu and the potential of IMDB/Amazon, and then the fall-back of Google/Bing?

    Just thinking aloud………

    Kind regards,

    Shakir Razak

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  7. [...] a few days earlier, Clicker, a service that in some ways appears inspired by TiVo, aiming to bring a TiVo-like experience to web TV garnered $11m in funding [...]

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  8. Roger Anderssen Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    I’ve been researching the webtv field for a university project.

    The developments are very interesting. There are 2 broad categories of websites/businesses in this field.

    The first consists of what I call “forerunners”/”visionares”. These were the first to develop webtv, taking advantage of abunding piracy. In terms of audience, they have a broader reach than the “legal” category. Examples: Watch-Movies, TVShack, SurfTheChannel.

    The second wave consists of (semi-)legal, mostly US entrerprises(LLCs): Yidio( abunding pirated content for tv shows), SideReel ( abunding pirated content for tv shows), OVGuide( linking to illegal content for movies/tv shows), TV-Links.eu ( tv shows), CastTV ( tv shows).

    US companies have an implicit high-risk due to the aggressive legal campaign against piracy that seems sometimes blind even to common sense.

    There are also a great number of lawsuits already open for the “visionares”.

    I expect a lot of drama to follow ( see the latest Veoh bankruptcy).

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  9. [...] TV episodes. The startup, which officially launched its programming guide last November, recently raised an $11 million Series B round led by JAFCO Ventures and including previous investors Benchmark Capital and Redpoint [...]

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