Announcing the deal, Coty described Beamly – which first launched in 2012 as a second-screen TV app called Zeebox – as a “cutting-edge digital marketing firm.”
The company said it will use Beamly’s focus on driving audience growth and engagement around media to “provide a significant step change in Coty’s own digital engagement capabilities.”
Coty, which is responsible for well-known fragrances from the likes of Calvin Klein, as well as cosmetics and skincare products, said the Beamly team will work across its in-house marketing operations and provide “enhanced digital marketing campaigns.”
In particular, Coty said it will tap into Beamly’s data benchmarking, content creation, content optimisation and consumer engagement tools.
“The acquisition of Beamly will address the accelerating consumer shift in time spent from traditional media to real time digital and social media channels,” said Camillo Pane, Coty’s executive vice-president, category development.
“Beamly will help us to accelerate the growth of our e-commerce business, and be a positive contributor as Coty advances toward becoming a highly focused, pure-play leader and challenger in beauty.”
Beamly will continue to be led by CEO and ex-Time Warner Cable executive Jason Forbes, but he will now be supervised by Pane. Beamly’s New York team will be based in Coty’s New York office, while the London team will remain in their current offices.
Beamly was rebranded from Zeebox last year in a bid to “capture the zeitgeist” of its core target audience of 16 to 24 year-old millennials. At the time, Zeebox’s founders – former EMI exec Ernesto Schmitt and former iPlayer boss Anthony Rose – described the move as an evolution of the service, in line with shifts in the wider second screen TV market.
“Zeebox was all about TV, Beamly is all about the show,” said Rose at the time, with the revamped app becoming a destination that provides value “even if you’re never in front of a TV.”
Following the rebrand, both Rose and Schmitt took a “step back” from the firm and in May Rose launched a new social networking app designed to connect people with shared interests, called 6Tribes.
Global beauty firm Coty was founded in Paris in 1904 and claimed net revenues of US$4.4 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015. The firm’s brand portfolio includes Calvin Klein, Chloé, Davidoff, Marc Jacobs and Rimmel.
The Beamly deal was agreed for undisclosed terms.