There are already a number of big YouTube networks, but the number of videos they’re producing and the number of views they’re racking up continues to increase at a rapid pace. But what if you’re Machinima or BigFrame or Awesomeness TV and want to get even bigger? Now there’s a new analytics and audience development platform that will help YouTube content creators and networks to better understand the people who are viewing their content and to better market to them.
Enter Saas-based analytics and audience management startup Tubular Labs. The company just closed a $2.5 million round of funding from FirstMark Capital, High Line Venture Partners, SVAngel, Lerer Ventures, and Bedrocket Media Ventures. That comes on top of $650,000 in seed financing from investors such as Machinima’s Allen DeBevoise and Philip DeBevoise, LowerMyBills founder Matt Coffin, former Badoo COO Ben Ling, MerchantCircle founder Ben Smith, 77 Ventures general partner Corbin Day, former YouTube exec Dean Gilbert, former Yahoo exec Hilary Schneider, Inadco founder James Walker, Brand In Hand founder John Hadl, Amplify.la managing partner Paul Bricault, and former YouTube and AdMob exec Tony Nethercutt.
Tubular provides a dashboard for understanding audience demographics, based on information that viewers share publicly throughout YouTube. That includes audience demographics, preferences, viewing habits, and consumer behavior, but also the ability to figure out who the biggest fans are, as well as key influencers.
The dashboard provides a platform for responding to comments so community managers can easily find inquiries from superfans and write to them. It also provides a way to determine which topics users talk most about, and which other creators or networks users subscribe to. That will allow creators to better target content for their audience. It could also help highlight some interesting cross-network collaborations between creators, which could help boost viewership for both.
Tubular is currently in private beta, so there’s no pricing for its platform yet, but it’s already being trialled by networks such as Awesomeness TV, Bedrocket, BigFrame, Cartoon Hangover, DanceOn, DECA, Machinima, and StyleHaul. Some famous YouTubers — like Taryn Southern and Chester See — are also using its product. The company plans to launch the product in Spring 2013.