Traditional media publishers have been chasing the digital innovators like BuzzFeed, as they attempt to stay relevant at a time when consumption is largely online or on mobile and on each individual’s own terms. Legacy brands like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times were early to the party, launching highbrow travel, news and docu-style formats that complemented their readerships. And while many attempt to use their own players and distribute content everywhere as a strategy to gain audience and monetize, Mic, a relatively new-to-the-scene publisher that covers politics and pop culture, has decided to buy instead of build.
Today, the company announced it is acquiring mobile video startup Hyper, a very young company that just entered the market in Fall of 2015. A sort of Flipboard, Pocket or Pulse-like product, Hyper is a mobile application curating video that rose to the top of the app store on iTunes in the six months since launching.
“Our approach to trade abundance for quality has struck a nerve with millennials around the globe and made Hyper the top-rated video app in the App Store,” said the founders in a statement. Berlin-based Hyper raised $1.1 million in funding from well-known video tech funds Advancit Capital, Lowercase Capital, Mesa Ventures and Broadway Video Ventures.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Author and curation evangelist Steve Rosenbaum, who founded the video curation platform Waywire, said, “The sources of video are growing, and the audiences need for device-specific formats is also evolving. So it’s a smart decision to buy rather than build for the Mic team. That being said, Hyper is less than a year old. It launched in August of 2015, so I suspect they discovered that the video space has its own inherent challenges. If Hype can turn Mic’s loyal audience into video consumers and social sharers, then it’s a win. My guess is that you’ll see more publishers moving toward video curation as a way to meet the needs of growing video audiences.”
Originally founded as Policy Mic in 2011, Mic has expanded its coverage to include style, music, tech and the arts, among other verticals. It has taken $32 million in investment, to date.
“We are at the early days of a video revolution, it’s the new consumption paradigm and we are making a big commitment to it. At the same time, TV advertising is moving to digital while the cable bundle is coming apart,” said Mic CEO and co-founder Chris Altchek told VideoInk in an email. There are still many untapped opportunities to build consumer delight — and Hyper by Mic will go after them aggressively.”