Published on February 9th, 20170
Digital investment for VR platform Blend
The co-founder and CEO of The LADBible Group, the co-founder and former President of Maker Studios and senior management executives from ITN Productions, Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) and Bell Pottinger are amongst the investors backing media entrepreneur Damian Collier’s latest digital venture Blend Media.
A Boom! PR client, Blend Media is an innovative 360° video and Virtual Reality content and creator platform founded by Damian Collier, founder of viral video management consultancy Viral Spiral. Damian is joined in this new venture by co-founder and COO, Chris Helm, a rights management expert and former Finance Director of Sony Music and EMI Music Publishing.
The business has been created as a complete immersive content solution for brands, agencies and publishers seeking to capitalize on the burgeoning new immersive digital media format. Blend Media reduces the time, costs and risk involved in creating or licensing premium quality immersive video. The company has already supplied immersive content for a number of commercial clients including the Orange VR 360 app.
Through the marketplace business model, Blend Media also provides valuable revenue and networking tools for creators of immersive content around the world.
Blend Media’s Facebook page, operated under the sub-brand 360-Vidz, has already become the world’s largest 360° video page on Facebook globally with over 600,000 followers and is responsible for the management of the world’s most viewed 360° video of all time, a time lapse video of the Northern Lights from Alaska which has been viewed over 35 million times (with a reach of over 120 million people) on Facebook alone.
Damian Collier’s previous venture Viral Spiral was acquired in 2014 by Rightster PLC (now Brave Bison PLC). Collier was responsible for management of the most-viewed viral video of all time, ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’, licensing clips to brands including Sprint and Google and creating consumer products based on the phenomenon. Viral Spiral also supplied content and consultancy to brands and agencies including Coca-Cola, Samsung, Razorfish, Poke, T-Mobile, P&G, and Saatchi & Saatchi.
Blend Media’s investors include:
David Beck, COO, Bell Pottinger
Mark Browning, MD, ITN Productions
Paul Cooper – Partner, Clarity
Ben Donovan, Co-founder and former President, Maker Studios
Alex ‘Solly’ Solomou, Co-Founder and CEO, The LADBible Group
Chris Waters, Commercial Director & Partner, BBH
“Until now there has been no organized marketplace for brands, agencies, studios and publishers who are looking to license and repurpose existing, premium quality 360° video or Virtual Reality content, or seeking creators who are skilled in the complex production and post-production techniques to create new productions. We’re launching Blend Media at a time when immersive content has moved into the mainstream following its implementation by the key social networks. Having built a cutting-edge tech platform with a range of 360°/ VR ad products also in development and the world’s largest network of expert immersive content creators signed up we’re set for an exciting 2017” said Damian Collier, CEO Blend Media.
“With considerable appetite for VR and 360 content from advertisers and consumers, it’s exciting to see a new market emerge. Damian’s track record in developing digital media businesses with a focus on content licensing makes this an ideal opportunity. We’re all looking forward to working closely with Damian and the team, and will make further investments in innovative companies like this.” commented co-founder and CEO of The LADbible Group, Solly Solomou.
“Damian was one of the first people in the world to commercially license viral video content, which is why we were excited to partner with him early on at Maker Studios. Through Blend, he’s now solving a real problem in the video marketing and digital publishing industries, as they stand today. Brands and publishers want to take advantage of the benefits that 360 video and other immersive content offers, including deeper engagement and retention rates, but until now they have had nowhere to go, to ensure a premium result. I am thrilled to be backing Blend Media alongside some real industry heavyweights”, said Ben Donovan, co-founder and former President of Maker Studios.
Ben Donovan will also join Blend Media’s strategic advisory board alongside Vinay Solanki, current Head of Channel 4’s Commercial Growth Fund and former Director of Strategic Development at Getty Images.