Wetpaint’s Fast-Twitch TV Gossip Grabs 2M Uniques, New Ad Deal With Alloy Digital Network
Seattle-based Wetpaint Entertainment, the social media-obsessed hive of TV fansites, is boasting a big jump in traffic and a new advertising deal to help it capitalize on a coveted demographic.
Founder and CEO Ben Elowitz says Wetpaint Entertainment’s sites reached more than 2 million unique users last month, better than double the traffic from December. The entertainment product is still pretty new—Wetpaint just rolled it out last September after an initial focus on a wide array of wiki sites.
Wetpaint Entertainment is going after the demographic of 18-24-year-old women, which is already well-targeted by advertisers who want their products on shows like “Glee” or “Grey’s Anatomy.” Wetpaint aims to please this category by serving up a combination of its own content produced in-house along with curation of content from around the Web aimed at specific TV shows, plus general entertainment news and fashion tidbits. (An actual headline from last night—”Miley Cyrus: I want to be Snooki.’”)
Wetpaint also is announcing today it has struck an exclusive advertising deal with Alloy Digital Network, which Elowitz says is a top firm in targeting ads for the young female demographic. Terms were undisclosed. Elowitz says Wetpaint Entertainment had been handling ads mostly in-house before.
Elowitz, who was a co-founder at Seattle-based Blue Nile, says Wetpaint Entertainment’s strength is its technology platform that lets editors find trends, rumors and celebrity news that their target audience is talking about and looking for online.
One thing I noticed right away about the site is its apparently aggressive culling of items from celebrities’ Twitter feeds, a potentially rich source of click-bait from stars (and pseudo-stars) that fans might not want to sift themselves.
“One of the things we’re super good at is understanding how you both find something good and get it out,” Elowitz says.
Elowitz wouldn’t discuss financial performance for the entertainment product in its first few months, but Wetpaint has shown an ability to raise plenty of investor cash in the past. The company has hauled in about $40 million since its founding from sources including Accel Partners, DAG Ventures, and others. Elowitz says Wetpaint still has about 35 employees, with about two-thirds in Seattle and the rest in New York.