Looks like those fundraising efforts were successful, with sky announcing that it has raised $10 million in successions a funding led by S3 Ventures, with participation from Capstar Capital.
“I have yet to meet someone who enjoys watching closed-captioning or talking heads at their beloved establishments,” said S3 Ventures partner Charlie Plauche in a statement. (Plauche is joining sky’s board of directors.) “Yet, that is the best option most businesses have to entertain patrons. That all changes with sky, who offers engaging content to viewers of all ages with no audio needed.”
Chive Media team is known for its namesake website, theChive, which focuses on amusing and viral content. Chive co-founders (and brothers) Leo and John Resig told me that when the company decided to move into video, it didn’t have the cash to create a big production arm.
“We stuck to our roots of what we do best: Seek out and curate and package existing content,” John said. As a result, the company was able to license “a beautiful big IP library of short-form, mostly amateur viral videos,” which it then offered to bars and other out-of-home locations as Chive TV.
Chive TV still exists, but it’s now just one of the channels that sky offers, with Leo noting that sky now includes more polished videos from partners like Red Bull and GoPro.
“Everyone’s creating content these days,” John added. “We’re a shiny brand-new distribution vessel for a lot of that content.”
In general, Leo argued that sky content is acceptable tailored than constant TV to the needs of (say) a restaurant or a doctor’s office.
“It’s ambient TV,” he said. “It’s not episodic, it’s not character-driven, you can pick it up and leave it without missing a touchdown.”
Plus, as Plauche mentioned, it’s designed to be watchable without audio.
The company says Chive TV is already streamed in 4,300 bars, restaurants, gyms and other locations. And it’s adding around 450 venues every month.
At the same moment, the Resigs said sky has been construction up a technology backend, with the analytics and ad serving that you get with online video.
Until now, Chive and sky have been giving the content away for free while monetizing with ads, but Leo said they’ll soon begin charging a monthly subscription fee of around $10 or $20, which he suggested is “not a lot of cash for what the venues are getting,” particularly compared to their cable bill. There’s a more product that venues can pay for to insert their own messages and house ads.
The Resigs actually hold the same title at both companies, but Leo (CEO) suggested that he’ll be spending more moment on sky, while John (president) said he’ll be “straddling” the two organizations.
Leo said sky has around 20 employees — with another 20 who are currently splitting their work between Chive Media and sky, but will ultimately go work for one of the two organizations.