From a media perspective, the cryptocurrency brand Coinbase is trying to regain its media footing after an initial skyrocketing media debut in 2013 that plateaued only 12-months later. April’s media numbers show the brand might just have gotten that difficult first foothold as the media ratings for the popular Bitcoin merchant are up +9 points or +18 percent at a 49 rating position.
Coinbase is still rebuilding a lot of lost media momentum, but the brand achieved a difficult Fast Mover classification within its sector for passing more then 10% of its peer brands over the prior 30-day period (moving up +16 positions to #12 in the Online Payments Brands Sector). The good, but humbling media news is the brand essentially regained its lost position from 2013, i.e. Coinbase was ranked #12 in April 2014. Year-over-year media prominence is slightly off -2 percent, but cumulative 4-year weighted growth (CUME) is up +39 percent.
The primary media driver in April was an expansion storyline outside the US markets, initially into the UK with plans to expand further into India (May). Traditional or mainstream media coverage is much stronger then the brand’s position in social media. Mainstream media ratings are up +11 points at 58 versus social media segments, which were up but by a lesser margin at +2 points at 41. Combined with a search volume media rating of 53 (off -4 points in April) the final top line media rating is just shy of the 50 point market at 49.
For the uninitiated, Coinbase was founded in June 2012 (when the price of bitcoin was just $6, compared to $225 today), The brand has won the support not just of the bitcoin establishment, but also of the wider tech industry. In January 2015, it successfully raised $75m in its third fundraising round, valuing it at $400m, the biggest of any bitcoin firm. But more than the money, it is the investors backing Coinbase that give it the credibility to try and take bitcoin mainstream.
Backing Coinbase in the series C funding round were a number of large US banks, Japanese phone company DoCoMo and the New York Stock Exchange. Now, the company offers services throughout the bitcoin economy. It handles payment services for merchants who want to accept the currency, stores bitcoin for consumers who want to spend it easily and, following NYSE’s investment, runs a foreign exchange for traders who want to buy and sell bitcoin in bulk.
Overall the brand is in an envious media sector position – a strong brand leader with the highest CUME to month growth ratio among its peers. May 2015 media numbers will help confirm whether Coinbase is on solid media footing as it attempts to re-build credibility back into the Bitcoin currency markets.
Speaking of Bitcoin, here’s a brief media metric profile on the underlying currency itself.