Where it’s based: San Diego, Calif.
When it was founded: 1995
Investors: Privately held, no venture capital
Why it's Fierce: Video encoding stalwart Sorenson Media has been around since, well, online video's Dark Ages, and it's done something few of its competitors have managed to do: it's made money. Its Sorenson Squeeze has been the industry's encoding software of choice through a number of upgrades (currently on Squeeze 6), and is in use by editors and other video pros at some of the world's largest media outlets, including NBC, Gannett and Hulu, as well as a chunk of the Fortune 500 companies.
"We've been self sustaining for a number of years and have a very strong balance sheet without the need for VC funding," says Peter Csathy, Sorenson CEO. "Sorenson Squeeze is the 'best-in-class' technology to the point that in a (recent) USA Today story they wrote: 'Every time you watch a video online, you probably have Sorenson Media to thank.' We appreciate that we have been the gold standard." So much so, Csathy said, that the company is determined to maintain its position by improving its product.
Squeeze 6 just recently launched with a laundry list of features designed to ease some of the more annoying pain points in video editing; it wants to provide an end-to-end solution in a single piece of software. And, it does. Squeeze does things like sending you an email or text message when it finished encoding a video, so you no longer have to "hatch" it; it makes it easier to share videos with clients during the approval process, including making annotations on clips simple and shareable ... and you get notifications of those, too. It's already won awards as the best encoder under $1,000.
Sorenson also in May launched its own Video Delivery Network, Sorenson 360. It's designed to be a quick and affordable route to the Internet for high-quality video with a white label video player. It comes free with Squeeze 6.
The company's roots go deep; it introduced the first video codec in 1997, used by YouTube, Macromedia Flash and Apple, and it's determined to maintain its video currency for the long haul.