Genius – the company formerly known as Rap Genius – has enjoyed a new prominence in the last year thanks to its ‘Behind the Lyrics’ partnership with Spotify, which pops up lyrics and other information on-screen as songs play.
But how is Genius doing as a business? Forbes has some details, including an exclusive on a new funding round for the company.
“Genius racked up 100 million unique views in December 2017, more than doubling the prior year’s December total,” it explained, referring – we think – to ‘views’ of lyrics.
“Its YouTube channel now boasts 2.2 million subscribers, with an additional 150,000 joining every month over the past half-year. And, for the first time, the company is actually monetising: it clocked $10 million in revenue for 2017.”
But who needs revenues when you’ve got people willing to pump even more money in as funding, eh? According to Forbes, Genius has just raised a new $15m round from investor Everblue Management.
That follows rounds of $1.9m in 2011, $15m in 2012 and $40m in 2014, taking Genius’ total funding raised so far to $71.9m according to tech-database CrunchBase, although Forbes pegs the total as $79m. However much, it’s a lot for a company that’s only just posted its first eight-figure turnover year.
Still, it seems Genius is shifting its focus even more back to music, after a period trying to be the platform to annotate just about everything on the web.
“The question is, as people listen to music in these new ways, how does Genius fulfil its identity as the ultimate companion to music?” said co-founder Ilan Zechory.
And check this: “The company is also debuting a new product that’s akin to Instagram Stories, but for songs: users can swipe up, down, left or right to learn more about tracks in real time as they play.” That would sit nicely within Spotify, or indeed any streaming service…