Tribune, Fox TV lead investment in social media ratings firm

Social media marketing
Share Rocket follows and publishes social ratings in markets around the U.S.

Tribune Media, Fox Television Stations and Capitol Broadcasting are leading a $5 million investment round for Share Rocket, a social media ratings measurement firm.

Share Rocket follows and publishes social ratings in markets around the U.S. In a recent blog post, the firm noted that local TV news Facebook pages were actually growing faster than the platform as a whole.

“Our proven social ratings solution has been validated by some of the largest local broadcasters in the U.S.” said Share Rocket CEO Chris Kraft in a statement. “We are excited for the growth opportunity ahead of us and we’re committed to working alongside our clients to enhance our real-time solution to drive improved performance and social ROI.”

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“Share Rocket has become the trusted benchmark of comparative ratings that allows us to measure and monitor the reach and influence of our content, our journalists and our stations overall,” said Larry Wert, president of Tribune Broadcast Media, in a statement. “Our investment in Share Rocket is a testament to our collective vision of the strategic importance of understanding, measuring and managing the value of our rapidly growing social audiences.”

For Tribune, the new investment in Share Rocket comes after the station group in 2015 expanded its use of the Share Rocket platform to 27 of its broadcasting stations.

RELATED: Sinclair CEO: Broadcasting isn’t a growth business, but ATSC 3.0 can change that

In announcing the investment, Fox Television CEO Jack Abernethy got in what looked like a shot at Nielsen.

“It is clear that going forward, our data needs will be met by scrappy startups like Share Rocket, rather than margin-driven monopolies.” said Abernethy in a statement.

Abernethy’s enthusiasm for alternative TV data analytics coincides with comments he made in November during the NAB Show New York. On a panel discussing ATSC 3.0, Abernethy remained worried about whether the improved OTA signal quality inherent to the standards might escalate cord-cutting but said the new audience measurement systems that 3.0 would allow for might be the “most valuable” aspect of the new standards.

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