As it approaches its fifth anniversary, online video provider Blip.tv has closed a $10.1 million third round. The round was led by Canaan Partners and previous backer Bain Capital Ventures. The new funding comes after a year in which Blip.tv was able to strike key ad-targeting and distribution partnerships with YouTube, Vimeo, NBCU Local Media NY, and Roku.With this latest funding, Blip.tv has raised a total of $18.2 million.
In essence, Blip.tv offers a do-it-yourself platform for online video producers what like publishing tools like WordPress does for bloggers. Blip.tv’s dashboard every day gives online video producers traffic stats, help in connecting with interested communities, as part of its distribution offerings.
The third round proceeds will go towards adding more independent web shows — the New York-based company claims it serves more than 50,000 original online programs with 85 million video views per month — along with plans to build up its content services staff. Blip.tv also plans to hire more people to run international sales. Lastly, the money will go to developing new products aimed at both viewers and producers, but the company was vague on what sort of hardware it was working on.
Blip.tv is different from the other online video providers, such as Next New Networks, which is in striking distance of 1 billion views, and Veoh, which declared bankruptcy and was eventually sold to sharing startup Qlipso last month.
Where those sites have been more narrow in terms of the original programming they run on their networks, Blip.tv has served as a wide open distribution platform, while offering narrower curation and promotional tools for video producers that have shown an ability to generate a sizable and engaged audience.
In an interview with paidContent, Blip.tv CEO and co-founder Mike Hudack discussed how the company sifts through the thousands of videos it runs to find the ones that are deserving of more attention. “We started with the mission of creating the next generation television network,” Hudack said. A lot of video sites just wanted to create TV programs for the web, he said. Blip.tv’s approach is about helping distribute web programs and provide the tools to get them seen, similar to what a traditional TV network does, but without self-consciously applying the old model to the new one. “If one of our shows gets 3,000 hits, that might not be a lot, but if the completion rates are high, we can tell we have something that is grabbing people,” Hudack said. “At that point, our content team gets involved and tries to find more ways of getting these videos in front of more viewers.”
In terms of building up the mix of technology and people, Hudack said that Blip.tv has no acquisition plans at the moment. However, he added that if some interesting technology that could be aid its show producers comes a long, “we would take a look.”
Disclaimer: We use Blip.tv for all of our video coming out of our conferences.