Wurl, a Silicon Valley startup that specializes in streaming online video to the growing number of hybrid IP/QAM pay-TV set-top boxes, is launching a new ad-tech service that lets online content owners and pay-TV operators monetize this streaming.
AdSpring is the company's new cloud-based service that provides video hosting, transcoding, ad sales, ad management and distribution of streaming content to enabled pay-TV set-tops. Video streams onto the set-tops of participating operators can be fully integrated with ads. Wurl said it doesn't charge set-up fees, but does take a percentage of each add impression. The rest of the ad revenue is split between content owners and pay-TV operators.
The service "delivers a fully monetized stream" to these set-tops, said Sean Doherty, CEO and co-founder of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Wurl. Wurl expects to announce content owners participating in the program shortly.
While major SVOD services including Netflix and Hulu have found their way onto the program guides of major pay-TV providers, big online programmers like Maker Studios, Machinima and AwesomenessTV have been looking for ways to expand their businesses from YouTube to the pay-TV ecosystem.
These online programmers "are very anxious to get onto pay-TV set-tops," Doherty said to FierceCable. "But AwesomenessTV is not going to get channel 47 assigned to it on Comcast."
Doherty said AdSpring uses a combination of technologies from companies including BrightCove, SpotXChange, Google, Amazon and Operative, among others.
The pay-TV connected set-top market, he said, only totals around 50 million right now. But by 2019, Doherty expects it to grow to more than 135 million.
According to the last update provided by AOL-owned venture-capital tracker Crunchbase, Wurl is privately funded with $6.5 million in venture capital.
Wurl already has middleware deals with pay-TV vendors including Arris and Nagra. Wow! is just one of the cable operators that uses Wurl-enabled set-tops to stream online video to its subscribers.
- read this Wurl press release
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