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January 24, 2013

FlixMaster Draws $1.125M in Funding for Custom Enterprise Media Platform

By Tara Seals, TMCnet Contributor

Enterprise video specialist FlixMaster has secured $1.125 million in additional funding, which it will use to drive sales and marketing for its video editing and deployment platform, geared to tailor brand messaging and craft video-focused portals for the online retail, corporate customer service and media markets.

The company focuses primarily on increasing consumer engagement with branded video. For instance, it was recently tapped by Time Warner (News - Alert) to develop an interactive online experience for Cinemax’ s first original series, Banshee.  The resulting online destination, Banshee Origins, provides audiences with an interactive video player that gives them an opportunity to explore the show and interact with its characters and themes. Last summer, FlixMaster’s technology powered a similar Web experience for the USA Network show, Covert Affairs.

“The promise of enterprise video has been high engagement that converts interaction into action,” said Erika Trautman, co-founder and CEO of FlixMaster, in a statement. “The problem is, most videos simply transfer a conventional TV-like experience to the Web, and even though most viewers go to the video first, they’re gone in a matter of seconds.”

She added that FlixMaster is addressing the growing need to improve content quality and increase viewer engagement, not just deliver cost-effective video distribution and content management. “Brands need to produce interactive video experiences that draw viewers in and keep them there,” Trautman commented. “And companies need to be able to produce those experiences at scale and at a reasonable cost. That’s what FlixMaster offers.”

Online retailers meanwhile constitute about 30 percent of FlixMaster’s enterprise customers, and this customer set has a unique group of challenges.

“About a third of all online retailers, for example, have hundreds and sometimes thousands of videos, some of which are productive, many of which are not,” said Trautman. “We’re delivering capabilities like clicking on products in a video and dropping them directly into a shopping cart or launching product specifications right from the video.”

She concluded, “The trick is to capture a viewer’s interest and get them to act without forcing them to another page. This is a subtle but fundamental shift in presenting video as an active medium vs. a passive experience.”

The investment round was led by New York-based investment firm Golden Seeds.

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