Tool of NA Invests in Interactive Live-Streaming Platform Hovercast
Tool of North America announced an investment in the interactive live-streaming platform, Hovercast.
With the explosion of virtual events and live streaming broadcasts for brands, the company sees a significant opportunity to advance audience participation and engagement within those experiences, allowing brands to elevate their events and shows.
In a move to help the company remain at the forefront of virtual and hybrid experiences for the advertising industry, Tool has taken an equity stake in Hovercast, a proprietary SaaS live-streaming platform that allows brands and ad agencies to:
- Add professional real-time graphics directly into the stream (e.g,. polls, chat features, fundraising meters)
- Layer interactive audience participation hooks that elevate broadcasts, making them more participatory, done through an easy to use web based dashboard that gives brands and agencies total control over their live streamed broadcast event
- Host the platform on custom branded white-label websites with ticketing, chat, and more, or Hovercast graphics can be integrated cross-platform with most major live streaming platforms, ranging from YouTube to Facebook to Twitch to Reddit.
- Successfully target, connect, and engage with younger, Gen Z, audiences by fulfilling their demand for engaging, personalized, and interactive content.
“Combining the software approach of Hovercast with Tool’s creative and production expertise means we’ll be able to provide a differentiated offering to brands, allowing them to get more active engagement from their audiences. Ultimately our clients will have access to more meaningful data,” said Dustin Callif, President of Tool of North America. “Brands will have the advantage to stand out from other live streams with the ability to integrate real-time graphics and audience participation hooks.”
Since 2010, Tool has been at the forefront of producing interactive live streamed events and shows for brands and agencies (Twitch, Target, Tourism Melbourne, HBOMax) and partnering with Hovercast for clients such as Amazon and Samsung. With first-hand experience using Hovercast, and seeing the benefit it can bring to virtual experiences, Tool made the decision to take the partnership one step further and invest.
The investment further differentiates Tool’s business, giving the company a software foothold outside its core service business of creative ideation and production.
Hovercast’s founders Eli Stonberg and Jeff Greco previously worked as the directing team Fourclops and co-directed award-winning interactive videos such as Portugal. The Man’s hit “Feel It Still” and Foster the People’s “Sit Next To Me.” After making a string of successful branded interactive live streams like “The Old Spice Nature Adventure” and Audi’s “Think Faster,” the pair decided to create Hovercast in 2018 to enable new forms of audience engagement during live broadcasts. Ever since, Hovercast has powered high profile interactive events such as Donald Glover’s 3.15.20 album release, Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign, the Original Cast of Hamilton’s fundraiser for Georgia Democrats Jon Ossoff + Reverend Raphael Warnock, and many more.
“Hovercast unlocks the possibility of co-creating live experiences with your audience. This feedback loop works best with strong creatives and filmmakers brave enough to be reactive to the audience,” said Hovercast Co-founder & CEO, Eli Stonberg. “This is why we’re pleased to partner with Tool, who have proven interactive chops, and can take our live stream productions to the next level. Together, we’re eager to work with agencies to invent the future of hybrid events by enabling experiences with truly meaningful audience participation.”