NBC Universal Invests in EveryZing; CEO Says Media Companies Have Gotten Religion About Search

5/11/09Follow @wroush

EveryZing, the Cambridge, MA-based maker of search-related software for media companies, announced today that it has raised $8.25 million in Series C funding, including $3 million from Peacock Equity Fund, the venture investing wing of General Electric and NBC Universal. At the same time, EveryZing said NBC Universal will deploy its search technology across all NBC Universal Web properties, which include NBC.com, CNBC, Bravo, Sci-Fi, Telemundo, iVillage, and more than 80 other sites.

NBC Universal is by far the biggest customer EveryZing has ever landed, and Peacock’s participation represents the first time EveryZing has collected a strategic investment from a media and entertainment company. It also shows how EveryZing has evolved from a podcast indexing service into a major provider of white-label search services to giant media organizations, including CBS Radio and Fox Sports.

Peacock was joined in this financing round by existing investors Fairhaven Capital, General Catalyst Partners, Accel Partners, and BBN Technologies. EveryZing is a 2006 spinoff of BBN.

Everyzing CEO Tom WildeLast week I interviewed EveryZing CEO Tom Wilde about the funding; a transcript follows. He had some very interesting things to say about big media companies, who have generally been slow to figure out how to monetize video and audio content on the Internet. EveryZing’s technology is designed to help them figure out what content they really have and how deploy it in new ways that will attract both consumers and advertisers.

Big media companies “watched Google build a $20 billion business by knowing more about their content than they did,” Wilde says. “But the media companies have really gotten religion now, and they want help knowing everything they can know about every content object in their archives.”

Xconomy: Congratulations on the funding round. How does it break down, in terms of new versus existing investors?

Tom Wilde: $3 million of this round is from Peacock. The rest is from existing investors. We’ve raised about $22.5 million altogether.

X: And does the deal with NBC Universal cover all of their web properties?

TW: This is a master service agreement that spans all of the properties on the NBC Universal landscape. That includes CNBC, iVillage, Telemundo, and the cable networks, including Oxygen.

X: So you’ll be helping those websites make their content more visible to search engines.

TW: As an update around the company in general, we’ve moved away from our initial positioning of doing video SEO [search engine optimization] and we’ve moved toward universal search and publishing. By universal, I’m talking about the ability to index not just audio and video but text and images. That unique ability that we have from our speech-to-text algorithms and our natural language processing, combined with text and image search, means that we can now deliver a single search box for all of your content. We can also organize your content into topic pages for SEO purposes, and build out what’s almost a complete site with this automated appraoch. PetSide.com is one of the sites that we’ve built with NBC; it’s a pilot product, an experiment in building mini-vertical sites around topic areas where they have a lot of content and advertising demand.

X: NBC Universal doesn’t have a cable channel about pets, but you’re saying they have enough content about pets across all their existing properties that you can build a website out of it?

TW: Think of it this way—across the world of NBC Universal they have all this content which can be centered around all these different topics, if only it could be collected, organized, filtered, and repackaged. The vast majority of their investment is in the initial production of a piece of media, an article or a TV program, which is where a media company should be putting its money. If you releverage that content, all the new revenue falls to the bottom line. The beauty of the Web is that … Next Page »

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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  • http://www.dailygrommet.com Jules Pieri

    Tom–I’m loving watching the EveryZing story unfold. I know you say consumers are second in your strategy and that makes perfect sense to me when framing yourself against Yahoo and Google. But I have to say, as a consumer, I am eager for a better search experience on my favorite media sites. It still often feels clunky to me–and too much work on my part. I am sure some of the poor experience is the publisher’s own outdated search taxonomies, but that is the point. Why should each media company have to be good at search? They are good at content. Search is an entirely different beast.

    Thanks also for the thoughts about “getting married too young” with an early strategic investment. Congrats on waiting until you were ready. :)

  • http://www.quintura.com Yakov

    This deal proves an emerging trend that online media companies should invest in their own site search engines, either buy or build.