A number main a co-watching occasion on Scener throughout a film being streamed on-line. (Scener picture)Scener, the platform that permits streaming media viewers to look at and chat collectively in a digital movie show setting, has raised $2.1 million in seed funding, the Seattle startup introduced Thursday.
Spun out of RealNetworks, the 2-year-old firm is being backed by Seattle-based SeaChange together with Glaser Investments, the fund run by RealNetworks founder and CEO Rob Glaser. Jason Calacanis’ Syndicate, LAUNCH, RiffTrax additionally contributed, as did angel buyers together with RiffTrax CEO David Martin and tech govt Sriram Krishnan, in line with a information launch.
Scener makes use of a free Google Chrome extension and its Watch Occasion Platform permits anybody to host a screening with as much as 10 co-hosts on video chat and as much as 1 million viewers. As extra streaming suppliers experiment with their very own co-watching options — Netflix has “Netflix Occasion” and Disney+ simply launched “GroupWatch” — Scener was an early innovator and helps playback on at the least 10 main streaming companies, together with the aforementioned in addition to Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and YouTube.
Scener co-founder Joe Braidwood informed GeekWire that it’s “unbelievable” to see the trade lastly embrace social TV.
“After we began out a few years in the past, many within the trade informed us social TV experiences would by no means occur … that they’d been tried and failed. Now we’re seeing main leisure manufacturers embrace the idea,” Braidwood mentioned.
He added that the comfort of getting your whole pals, followers and content material sources in a single place helps Scener stand aside from the methods sure companies are “starting to lean in to co-watching.”
The corporate is poised to succeed in 500,000 lively installs of its product and nearly 14 million minutes of co-watching every week.
Scener beforehand reported substantial progress in the course of the pandemic as extra folks flip to at-home types of leisure. It’s extra than simply lacking film theaters. Braidwood credit folks’s need to search out new and interesting methods to attach on-line and mentioned watch events complement the standard methods of watching premium video.
“In the identical manner that video video games and different digital communities are booming, so are we,” Braidwood mentioned.
Scener, which employs 5, mentioned it can use the funding to speed up product improvement for its social platform and enhance its occasions and neighborhood of watch occasion hosts. Earlier this summer season, it was the unique watch occasion affiliate for San Diego Comedian-Con when that occasion went digital due to COVID-19. In October, Scener is debuting a watch occasion collection known as “Stream & Scream,” to convey collectively these obsessive about the horror style.