SeaChange boosts OTT social with Timeline deal

Multiscreen video software SeaChange International has increased its ability to extend social news to multiscreen television service providers by agreeing to acquire California-based SaaS company TLL, LLC which does business as Timeline Labs in a cash and stock deal rising to $24.5 million.

Timeline Labs enables local broadcasters, local and national news organisations, cable news channels and other media companies and brands to analyse social media messages in real-time, find and broadcast newsworthy social trends and insights, and measure viewing audience engagement across television, mobile and PC. Timeline’s customers include FOX Television Stations, Sinclair, Media General and Tribune broadcast television stations, as well as online providers such as 120sports.com.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, SeaChange will pay $14 million in cash, $8 million in shares of SeaChange stock, and up to an additional $2.5 million in deferred performance-based consideration payable in shares of SeaChange stock.

Timeline Labs provides a rapidly deployed content management platform that enables its customers to discover, curate and display geographically targeted news stories that are trending across social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) with visualisations that are ready for air on television and over-the-top. Timeline’s major investors include former executives of television networks ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, Sinclair Broadcast Group, and Guggenheim Digital Media.

Acording to SeaChange CEO Jay Samit,Timeline Labs’ success demonstrates that social media can be captured for the advantage of the television industry, bringing concrete, new value by truly reflecting and serving the current mindset of their specific audiences. “While the broadcast segment represents an accretive growth opportunity for SeaChange, the Timeline Labs platform will allow us to extend the social news paradigm to multiscreen television service providers, so they can easily launch ready-made and differentiated live or on-demand content packages tailored to the interests of their subscribers,” he explained.

Timeline Labs CEO Malcolm CasSelle said that unlike its competitors, Timeline Labs provides best-of-breed search capabilities across multiple social networks to surface breaking and trending news for top media organisations. “It also features visualisation tools that let broadcasters and other news teams do what they do best: tell stories and break news. Our teaming with SeaChange is an exciting stage for Timeline Labs. We anticipate cross-selling opportunities that will help us to extend our platform to new customers including multiscreen and OTT service providers in new geographies,” he advised.

Through their shared focus on innovating to enhance television service providers’ effectiveness, the pair began collaborating to enable the NewCoin local TV audience measurement venture announced last week with FOX Television Stations, Tribune Media and Univision. NewCoin’s mission is to harness the data-gathering power of currently available and emerging technologies in order to create a broader based measurement tool that will accurately measure audiences across the entire spectrum of linear and digital platforms.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close on February 2, 2015. All Timeline Labs employees, including the CEO and senior leadership team, will join SeaChange as part of the transaction. In addition, SeaChange has agreed to name one person designated by Timeline Labs’ equityholders to theSeaChange board of directors, effective as of closing of the transaction.

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