The app allows users to clip up to a minute of live TV for sharing on Facebook, Twitter, or within the app itself.
On Tuesday, Whipclip, a platform for sharing favorite clips from TV shows and music videos, announced it had raised over $40 million in Series C funding. The funding round was led by Eminence Capital, a U.S. asset management giant that is valued at $6.4 billion. Other existing investors, Institutional Venture Partners and Raine Ventures participated as well.
Whipclip launched its iPhone app in March alongside the “Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber.” Viewers of the program were able to instantly — and legally — create and share clips of the show on their social networks. In addition to Comedy Central, Whipclip collaborates with television networks ABC, CBS, FOX, Turner, Viacom, A+E Networks, Bloomberg, Fusion, OWN, and Pop. On the music front, Whipclip works with Universal Music Group and Sony Music. This means that users can select snippets from such shows as Bob’s Burgers, Dancing with the Stars, NCIS: Los Angeles, New Girl, Once Upon a Time, and more.
Whipclip’s new funding will be used to accelerate app development, build upon its operations, and bolster content partner relationships.
According to Whipclip CEO, Richard Rosenblatt, “Whipclip offers a new way for consumers to legally share popular television shows and music videos, and for content owners to promote their programming, drive social engagement, and reach new audiences.” In addition, Whipclip functions as a service for publishers — it has partnered with 25 — that enables them to legally include clips in their stories or articles.
Rosenblatt, told the New York Times that the idea for Whipclip came from personal experience when he was unable to find a legally uploaded TV clip online to share with friends. He commented, “It’s amazing how broken the music-TV-online system is.”
Whipclip provides a platform to merge these media outlets in real time. The app comes as a response to sharing and consumption trends in the social media world. More people are sharing videos on social networks, with Americans alone tweeting more than 70 million TV-related messages per month. Whipclip takes this trend and pairs it alongside the rising appetite for easily digestible, short-clip media, like Snapchat stories, Instagram, or Vine.
What makes it special?
Although Whipclip differentiates itself from other social TV companies through its extensive partnership with content producers, the concept of clipping programs for online sharing exists in other forms. C-SPAN, for example, makes it easy to create clips of its news segments to be shared elsewhere on the Internet. The more entertainment-oriented ConnecTV had its own clip sharing app before being reincarnated as MemeTV, with an emphasis on memes. Grabyo also lets viewers edit and share live TV, but the app markets itself as more of an “instant replay” sports platform.
Though it has dipped into sports with Bellator MMA, Whipclip mainly takes clip sharing to other television genres. However innovative, its clip sharing platform is not exactly a wonder app that combines the full show capabilities of Hulu with clipping and sharing features. Users watching a show live can clip up to one minute of the program from only the previous three minutes aired. Users can also share clips from previously aired shows, but they can only choose from among the clips already shared by other users.
Whipclip has not yet disclosed its user base or revenue streams, but the influx of funds from Eminence Capital and its multiple partnerships with entertainment industry hot shots like talent agency extraordinaire, Ari Emanuel, suggest that the young company might be on to something, and more importantly that it has plans for making the big bucks sometime in the future.
Featured Image Credit: Whipclip