Piano Acquires SocialFlow To Build A Social Media Optimization Service For Publishers

Piano is tuning up its plan to become a bigger player in the social media sphere.

On Thursday, Piano, which provides analytics and subscription services for publishers, announced its acquisition of social media revenue optimization platform SocialFlow.

Piano declined to share what it paid, but the deal was a cash purchase, with funding coming from Updata Partners, Rittenhouse Ventures and Sixth Street Partners.

The plan is to use SocialFlow’s expertise in revenue optimization for social platforms to bolster Piano’s existing service offerings for publishers, said Piano CEO Trevor Kaufman.

“Not only does SocialFlow provide us with another way to service publishers, but it’s also a really rich source of data that gives them more insight into audience behavior and preferences, which is exactly what they need,” Kaufman said.

SocialFlow’s retention-focused offering, for example, will allow Piano to provide publishers with more detailed data on the performance of their subscription business, which should help them to further drive their subscription revenue.

“As a Piano publisher, you’ll be able to know, specifically, what social behaviors lead to higher levels of engagement, what types of content people were interacting with before they wound up becoming habituated to the website and what kind of subjects in social lead to subscription conversions or newsletter sign-ups,” Kaufman said.

Piano was also sold on the strength of SocialFlow’s paid media business and how it could be used to target lapsed subscribers and reduce audience churn, as well as bring in new subscribers.

“We have a likelihood to subscribe propensity score on every single visitor, which we can map to look-alike audiences on Facebook,” Kaufman said. “Piano has always acted purely in the owned-and-operated space of publishers. Now, we can help publishers get new customers and we can help them retain their subscribers by activating those users in social.”

Next up, becoming part of Piano will help SocialFlow expand its product offering to a more global user base.

“The vast majority of SocialFlow’s revenue is in North America, and we saw the opportunity to take their product to the broader stage,” Kaufman said.

Piano currently has about 650 employees worldwide, and it plans to retain a majority of SocialFlow’s 20-person team. SocialFlow’s leadership will take on consultant roles at Piano.

SocialFlow will continue to operate as an independent brand for the short term. Piano has set a timeline of about six months for integrating their respective tool sets into a single user interface.

Piano also has plans to use SocialFlow as the foundation for growing its social media business through further acquisitions that are currently in the works, as well as continuing to invest in SocialFlow’s platform.

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