Extreme Reach Tries Video Ad Distribution Once More, With the Cloud
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three or four years ago. I can even scale to the degree. It’s an interesting time we’re living through.”
Extreme Reach has been growing speedily, attracting at least three funding rounds this year from investors Greycroft Partners, Village Ventures, and Long River Ventures. The company said at the time of its launch in January that it had collected a $1.5 million Series A round in January. Two more funding rounds, of unspecified amounts, followed in March and July. Roland says the company has raised $6 million altogether in the last year. While the company doesn’t need as many employees as FastChannel had to succeed, Roland says the plan is to use the money to expand the staff to at least 50 over the next six to 12 months.
Extreme Reach’s central tenet is that companies who advertise through video need help getting that video to all the places it needs to go—which, in an era of media fragmentation, can mean not just hundreds of cable networks and TV stations, but thousands of independent websites. (Web video advertising is only a $1 billion business so far, compared to TV’s $60 billion, but it’s “growing at a good clip,” Roland says.)
Luckily, it’s often the same video footage that needs to go all of these endpoints. But while there are plenty of ad networks whose job is to connect advertising agencies placing ads with the Web publishers who have space to sell, “there aren’t a lot of companies focused on the infrastructure of digital video and moving it from point A to point B,” Roland says.
Within a couple of months, Extreme Reach won’t even have to send copies of video ads directly to Web publishers. Roland says the company is about to upgrade its architecture so that it can host the videos on its own (or rather, Amazon’s or Nirvanix’s) servers; then, all publishers will have to do is embed code in their sites that invokes an external media stream.
That will be a big help for big clients like Geico Insurance, Roland says. “If they’re delivering video to 10 different Web properties, they may have trouble getting performance data back from all of them, and then aggregating and normalizing it,” he says. “If Extreme Reach has the assets and streams them, they are going to have 100 percent of the information about who saw each ad.”
I asked Roland whether he ever gets a sense of living his FastChannel life over again at Extreme Reach. “There’s a little bit of déjà vu, simply because we’re in a lot of the same markets, and it’s a very similar business that we have a lot of expertise in,” he says. “But what’s really interesting is that Extreme Reach is a much bigger vision—a more valuable vision, with a big future.”