Unreel.me CEO says AVOD is picking up steam

Unreel.me just launched its 80th Roku channel. (Unreel)

As Unreel.me celebrates its addition to Roku’s preferred developers program, Unreel Entertainment CEO Dan Goikhman said he’s seeing ad-supported VOD on the rise.

He said Unreel sees demand for AVOD and SVOD, but that there are more people thinking about AVOD today and there’s more momentum in the OTT advertising space.

eMarketer predicts that OTT ad spending will increase in 2018. The firm said this year, Roku’s U.S. ad revenues, which are mostly video, will hit $293 million, up 93% annually, and Hulu’s U.S. ad revenues will rise13% to $1.12 billion.

Unreel, which has been around of three years, is an end-to-end OTT publishing platform that builds both owned and operated apps and apps for syndicated distribution. Although Unreel can assemble OTT apps and channels for a variety of smart TVs, streaming devices and mobile platforms, the company has been especially busy on Roku. The company just launched its 80th Roku channel.

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“Working with Roku is a strategic decision. The Roku platform has the right mix of monetization tools and engaged users to help grow Unreel and also deliver excellent content to more and more audiences,” Goikhman said.

He said Roku is a very important distribution channel for Unreel and being added to the preferred developers list—which includes Brightcove, Comcast Technology Solutions and JWPlayer—is “recognition and validation of the work we’ve been doing” to get OTT apps to market quickly with monetization out of the gate.

Unreel’s customers range from Popcornflix, Studio 71, Broadway HD and publishers like the Enthusiast Network and Bonnier, which publishes Popular Science, and Field & Stream. Goikhman said Unreel works both with companies looking to kick off an OTT strategy and those looking to expand existing efforts. He said his company’s philosophy is to off content management system that simplifies the management multiple brands and multiple distribution channels.

“We want to provide content companies with a single dashboard to manage cross-platform OTT strategies,” Goikhman said.