TV Ad Intelligence Startup iSpot.tv Raises $5M from Madrona, TL

10/8/13Follow @bromano

Bellevue, WA-based iSpot.tv, which tracks television advertising in real time, has raised $5 million from Madrona Venture Group and TL Ventures, and is bringing new ad data to market.

The company aims to fill what iSpot.tv founder and CEO Sean Muller calls “a gap between what information advertisers and TV networks need and what is currently being offered.” Under the status quo, information about TV advertising—such as the number of times an ad is aired, on what programs, and when—can take weeks to make its way into the hands of advertisers. That’s too slow for companies that see advertising as a key competitive tactic.

What’s more, iSpot.tv is giving its customers a broader set of data on TV ads, including a description of the spot, the product being marketed, the ad agency behind it, and celebrities or songs appearing in the commercial.

(Much of this information is available and searchable for free at the company’s site, which helps explain why it attracts 1.3 million unique visitors a month. Consumers come to learn more about the ads they see on TV, and can also rate ads.)

ISpot.tv says it has “proprietary fingerprinting and tagging technologies” that allow it to present this information and more on some 36,000 commercials in real time. It sells packages including airing logs, spending estimates, and alerts broken down by industry or on an ad-by-ad basis. The company has signed up some 40 paying customers, including brands, ad agencies, and TV networks, since June.

Geekwire has a deep dive on iSpot.tv and its funding, including details on the competitive landscape and word from Muller that the company was nearing profitability, but took the funding to accelerate growth.

VentureBeat puts the company in the context of “a grand unified theory of advertising that will eventually illuminate how brands are spending both online and offline.”

Benjamin Romano is editor of Xconomy Seattle. Email him at bromano [at] xconomy.com. Follow @bromano

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