Delivery Agent’s bankruptcy filing illustrates perils of t-commerce in video world, but not its demise

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Delivery Agent, which provides t-commerce capabilities to media and entertainment companies, sports organizations device manufacturers and brand advertisers, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday with the hopes of finding a buyer. The voluntary filing underscores the idea that nothing is guaranteed in the shifting online video world, particularly when it comes to monetizing content.

The company will continue operating during the bankruptcy process.

“Through these proceedings we’re initiating a process that preserves company value, allows the company to reorganize its business affairs, and establishes a necessary foundation for future growth and profitability,” said Mike Fitzsimmons, founder and CEO, in a prepared statement.

Transactional commerce has been a key part of Delivery Agent’s business model since its founding in 2005; the San Francisco-based company has built a roster of entertainment and sports companies, manufacturers and advertisers, like HBO, Roku, UFC and others, that sell products to customers online, and incorporates a number of functions into its owned-and-operated e-commerce platform including audience analytics.

However, should the company close its doors, what kind of signals does it send to the overall transactional business that continues to grow in the online video space as an added revenue source for ad-supported OTT providers?

“I fear a lot of people will say this is the death knell of t-commerce, that it proves viewers don't want something like this,” said Terena Bell, CEO and founder of TVRunway, a service that provides machine learning-based, t-commerce capabilities to online video creators and distributors, in an email to FierceOnlineVideo. “But if you look at the business specifics, they basically spent more money than they had because the way Delivery Agent approached t-commerce was very, very expensive. It wasn't scalable and the exact item approach is set up for failure. So it--and not the concept of t-commerce itself--is what failed.”

Amazon earlier this year launched a t-commerce initiative with its live-streamed, shoppable fashion show, Style Code Live, which features products that viewers can then purchase through the retail giant’s website.

For more:
- see this WSJ article

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