Annotation Startup Genius to Introduce Advertising

Business Genius, the music-lyric warehouse and budding Web annotation platform, has actually accumulated countless visitors and a stockpile of venture capital cash. Now the company is preparing for its next step in startup maturation: developing an advertising business.

To that end, the company has hired Ronen Shapiro as its first chief profits officer. Mr. Shapiro, who previously operated in advertising sales at Vice Media, Pandora and video start-up Fuisz Media, will be tasked with ushering brand names toward Genius, which began as a website for music fans to collectively decipher the references in rap lyrics.

More recently, the company, previously called Rap Genius, has actually broadened into other topics such as sports and news. A tool now enables users to download a plug-in or include genius.it in front of a URL to highlight text in pages across the Internet and make remarks in the margins. The goal, according to Genius co-founder Ilan Zechory, is to construct toward a completely annotate-able Web.

Genius says it brings in more than 40 million special visitors a month who browse its chest of music lyrics and other texts like poetry and literature. The internal figures differ from those of digital measurement specialist comScore, which pegged Genius traffic at about 12 million regular monthly uniques.

While the information of exactly what Genius will provide for marketers remain to be seen, the company says it plans to develop for marketers customized content and data products underpinned by its innovation.

We re taking a look at our possessions of traffic, neighborhood, artist relationships, live experiences, and bringing brand names into that, stated Mr. Zechory.We re going to be leveraging this mountain of information we have about music and knowledge of composed text, Mr. Shapiro stated.

Collaborations with music-streaming services likewise present big chances for revenue, Mr. Shapiro said. Genius just recently revealed a deal with Spotify to bring lyric annotations straight into the music-streaming app so users can read along as they listen. Genius and Spotify would not discuss the financial structure of the arrangement.

Genius raised $40 million in Series B financing in 2014 from Andreessen Horowitz and Quicken Loans creator Dan Gilbert, bringing its total financing since it was founded in 2009 to $56.9 million.

The company likewise seems to have a knack for controversy. A Genius co-founder left in 2014 after publishing talk about the written manifesto of Elliot Rodger, the shooter in the Isla Vista rampage.In current days, Genius has actually dealt with criticism, including from a member of Congress, over the plug-in that permits annotation over any short article as some authors say they look for to prevent the wrath of Internet commenters.

We re definitely not here to construct a platform for trolling, Mr. Zechory stated.He included that Genius is similar to other venues for online conversation such as Facebook and Twitter but is more exact because you can highlight and annotate certain text. Our company believe annotation is going to add a lots of value to journalism and writing on the Internet more broadly, he said.

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That three months of picking bananas was considered more valuable to the Australian economy than three months working at a high-growth start-up "makes a mockery" of the Turnbull federal government's "ideas boom" rhetoric, Mr Elphick said.

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