MarketCast Buys Invoke, Research Firm Featured in MPN’s 2021 Power Marketing Issue

Invoke, a Boston-based market research company featured in last year’s Power Marketing issue of Media Play News, has been sold to MarketCast, another research firm.

Invoke is a research and content testing platform that serves many of the world’s top video streaming services and broadcasters. MarketCast in a press release said the acquisition allows it to expand its media and entertainment research into audience testing for pre-release streaming and broadcast content, including series concepts and episodes.

“The acquisition of Invoke is transformative for MarketCast and the media and entertainment research segments we serve, helping the industry move fandom research for streaming and TV series completely online where speed and scale wins,” said John Batter, CEO of MarketCast. “With Invoke, we continue to invest in research innovation to provide our clients the very best platforms and tools to conduct research and advanced analytics smarter, faster and with more depth to meet the needs of a dynamically changing entertainment business.”

Invoke moves entertainment content research beyond physical screenings, allowing hundreds of audience members to participate in concept and episodic online screenings together in real-time. The platform includes chat and discussion features supported by advanced AI to interpret and analyze fan feedback and commentary. Combined, Invoke provides studio leadership and creative talent near-instantaneous feedback about how their content is performing and resonating with fans, allowing them to make more informed greenlighting, storyline, character, and marketing decisions with speed. 

“MarketCast’s focus on fandom research and entertainment and advertising content testing makes it a natural home for the Invoke team and platform,” said Gigi Wang, CEO of Invoke. “We are confident MarketCast can innovate and drive growth for Invoke’s people, products and platform, and will continue to realize our vision of leveraging technology to transform streaming and broadcast research.”

MarketCast currently screens and tests more than 3,000 movie, streaming series, and TV ads annually with millions of fans around the globe. Invoke’s product, technology, and research teams will join a growing MarketCast organization, which includes former leaders from Netflix, Nielsen, Gracenote, NRG, LRW, Dreamworks and Comscore.

Last year, MarketCast integrated its acquisitions of data science leader, Deductive, social digital opinion measurement firm, Fizziology, custom research and insights leader, Insight Strategy Group, and Turnkey Sports Intelligence under the MarketCast brand and leadership team. 


Netflix’s Zoë Friend Joins MarketCast

Zoë Friend, VP of consumer insights at Netflix for the past five years, has joined U.S. research firm MarketCast as SVP of Custom Research and Insights. Prior to Netflix, Friend was SVP of worldwide research and strategy at Paramount Pictures.

At Los Angeles-based MarketCast, Friend will focus research efforts around the company’s entertainment platforms, film, sports and lifestyle brands. At Netflix, Friend helped develop a team of 40 researchers and was part of co-founder/CEO Reed Hastings’ senior management team.

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Friend join a MarketCast organization, which includes former executives from Nielsen, Gracenote, IACNRG, Inscape, DreamWorks and Comscore. Earlier this year, MarketCast acquired data firm Deductive and integrated its previous acquisitions of social digital opinion measurement firm Fizziology, custom research and insights firm Insight Strategy Group, and Turnkey Intelligence (sports) under the MarketCast brand. 

“Zoë’s experience building a high performing research team at one of the world’s most tech forward media companies will be invaluable as we continue to aggressively grow and transform our business,” CEO John Batter said in a statement. “Zoë brings the right balance of research acumen and client service expertise to our lineup, and we are thrilled that she has chosen MarketCast as the next chapter in her life and career.”