Canvs Banks $5.6M ‘A’ Round

Canvs, a New York-based startup that uses Twitter data to help its partners interpret the emotions of the TV viewing audience, has raised a $5.6 million “A” round led by KEC Ventures.

Rubicon Venture Capital, Gary Vaynerchuck and BRaVe Ventures, Social Starts, and Milestone Venture Partners also participated in the round. Canvs said the fresh funds are tagged to fuel product development and growth.

While ratings tell part of the story (how many viewers are tuning in), Canvs aims to go deeper by mining and analyzing social TV data to help its partners understand how a TV show is resonating with viewers. How do those shows make them feel from moment to moment? What’s the emotional temperature of the audience? Are they excited? Mad? Sad? Amused? Zoning out? Do they love or hate a newly introduced character?

Canvs, explains company cofounder and CEO Jared Feldman, uses social TV data to illustrate “how fans are connecting with [a show] emotionally…No one is measuring excitement.”

Canvs, which uses Twitter data captured by Nielsen relevant to TV programming, claims its platform can get a fix on the emotional responses and tone of the audience, filtering and sifting through data based on how people actual “speak” on social media using expressions (WTF?, OMG!, “on fleek”)  that don’t necessarily directly convey how a computer would determine if viewers loved or hated about a show or what’s happening during a show.

“It’s important that there’s data parity, and that we’re speaking the same language as the viewer,” he said. “We’re very millennials focused.”

Canvs then maps those reactions to 56 emotion-based categories, such as love, dislike, annoying, beautiful, and boring. The company believes that such information, when presented and illustrated in Canvs’s Web-driven dashboard, provides valuable feedback for producers and  writers as they maintain and tweak story lines based, for example. And there’s an advertising angle -- the belief that an audience that is emotionally charged is more likely to remember or be more receptive to spots that run during a show.

Canvs is a subscription-based, syndicated platform that currently specializes in analyzing traditional first-run TV shows. Feldman said Canvs will also expand into over-the-top video later this year.

Canvs’s partners and customers include NBC Universal, Sony Pictures, Fox, HBO, Viacom, Creative Artists Agency and United Talent Agency, among others.

More detail about Canvs and its technology/service will be featured in the January 25 edition of Next TV, a weekly section that runs in Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable.