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NZ tech firm Parrot Analytics secures Hollywood backing

Parrot Analytics, a tiny hatchling of a company that’s built a global system for measuring demand for TV content, has secured the backing of two notable Hollywood execs.

Joining the company’s board are Bruce Tuchman, former president of AMC Global and the Sundance Channel Global, and David Bishop, former president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and MGM Home Entertainment. Both also plan to invest in Parrot Analytics, but the size of their investment isn’t being disclosed; the startup says it’s currently in the middle of raising a round of financing.

“Bruce and David bring a wealth of business experience and leadership which will provide Parrot Analytics with the strategic insight we require as we become a global, brand-driven business and as we seek to establish successful partnerships across international markets,” said Wared Seger, CEO, Parrot Analytics.

Parrot Analytics uses a blend of data sources including video-streaming consumption, social media, blog platforms and online piracy — crunching more than 1 billion data points every day — spanning 249 countries. That data can then be segmented by TV show, geography or platform.

“Parrot was a solution to a problem I’d had for years, as someone working for companies acquiring hundreds of hours of TV content per year,” said Tuchman.

For example, according to Parrot’s algorithmic data analysis, for the week of June 19-25, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” had the highest overall demand in the U.S. with 79.1 million weighted “demand expressions” during that time period across all platforms, followed by Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” (39.6 million), Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars” (27.2 million), AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (20.7 million) and Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful” (18.1 million).

While much of the conversation around disruption in the TV business is about companies like Netflix shaking up the status quo, “the real disruption is old ways versus Big Data,” Tuchman said, noting that traditional panel-based measurement research from the likes of Nielsen are limited. “I can’t track billions of people per day talking about TV on the Internet, but a computer can.”

To Bishop, who has been working with Parrot for about a year, a big part of the startup’s appeal is that it offers “radical transparency, to let you access data in real time and understand what’s happening in the market at any given point. It promises to help executives, people who are on the ground, to have more clarity in making decisions going forward.”

Founded in 2013, Parrot Analytics is based in Auckland, New Zealand, with a U.S. office in Beverly Hills. Current clients include BBC Worldwide and Infinity, which is Mediaset’s Italian subscription VOD platform. The company’s long-range growth plan includes expansion in the U.S. and other markets, and it eventually could extend to cover demand measurement for media besides TV, such as film, music and video games.

Tuchman is currently an investor, adviser and entrepreneur in media and tech sectors. Prior to AMC and Sundance, he was president of MGM Worldwide Networks and prior to that was senior VP of new media ventures at Viacom’s Nickelodeon. He serves as chairman of the Americas Fund for the London School of Economics and is also a member of the executive committee and the board of Directors of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Bishop, who is based in L.A., played a pivotal role in the entertainment biz in introducing technologies like the DVD, Blu-ray Disc, 4K and 3D disc formats, as well as various digital distribution programs. He currently advises companies on revenue expansion and leadership strategies, and sits on the advisory board of the Annenberg School of the University of Southern California Third Space Initiative..

Source: Variety

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