Brightcove Acquires Cloud Video Ad Insertion Leader Unicorn Media

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David Mendels's picture
David Mendels on January 6, 2014

I am very excited to announce that Brightcove has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Unicorn Media, the leader in cloud video ad insertion and video stream stitching technology. I am very happy to welcome the Unicorn Media team to Brightcove, especially the members of the leadership team who will be taking on very senior roles at Brightcove, including Bill Rinehart, Anil Jain, AJ McGowan, Jon Corley, Chuck Parker, and David Morel. We are going to do great things together.

Unicorn Media’s Once product line helps media companies to dramatically increase their digital revenue by dynamically stitching targeted ads into video content in the cloud, and then reliably delivering the resulting video stream to virtually any device with no third party video player technology required. This technology is currently delivering hundreds of millions of streams monthly for top media companies including ESPN, NBC News Digital, The Weather Channel, and many others. The company has been incredibly innovative and prolific in this and related domains, with many patents awarded and pending.

The Once product line will continue as standalone products that complement Brightcove Video Cloud and Brightcove Zencoder. Current and prospective customers can rest assured that we are fully committed to undisrupted success with Once products and services. There are no planned changes to pricing, capabilities, or service quality. We plan to accelerate investment in the Once product line.

We plan to integrate Once technologies with future versions of Brightcove Video Cloud and Brightcove Zencoder. Over time, Video.js and other Brightcove Web players and native player SDKs will integrate with OnceUX technologies to support instrumented playback of Once streams. In a similar fashion, Video Cloud will eventually integrate with Once for video on-demand streaming, and Video Cloud Live and Zencoder Live Cloud Transcoding will integrate with OnceLIVE for fully-monetized live event streaming.

With Once in our product portfolio, we will be able to offer the most comprehensive suite of cloud services for delivering and monetizing online video content to the broadest range of devices. We will continue to lead the market with the most powerful and flexible technology for cross-platform, customizable video players. And now we have the best technology for reaching hard-to-monetize devices, like PCs with ad-blockers installed, legacy / emerging phone platforms, gaming consoles, set top boxes, and other connected living room devices like Apple TV and Google Chromecast. Being able to reach these screens with live and on-demand video content that includes highly targeted advertising from all the leading ad servers and ad-decisioning systems is a real game changer.

The acquisition of Unicorn Media is part of a larger strategic initiative to increase our focus on delivering unbeatable value for television broadcasters, programmers, and distributors worldwide. As part of our increased focus on the media industry in the wake of today’s acquisition, we are forming a new Media Group to be led by Anil Jain, currently SVP of Business and Corporate Development at Unicorn Media. Anil will become SVP and General Manager of the Media Group, and the group will define and bring to market focused solutions that help media companies increase their revenue and decrease costs using the full range of Brightcove products and services. Several leading media companies are already using both Brightcove and Unicorn Media products in complementary fashion today, and we hope that today’s acquisition and the formation of the Media Group will help realize more of that synergy in the future.

One of the most attractive aspects of acquiring Unicorn Media is their deeply-talented and experienced leadership team. I am pleased to announce the following appointments of several Unicorn Media executives to senior leadership positions at Brightcove.

  • Bill Rinehart, founder and CEO of Unicorn Media, will work closely with Anil in the role of SVP, Market Development for Media, reporting to me. Bill is a longtime industry veteran with a wealth of experience that will greatly benefit our leadership team.
  • AJ McGowan, CTO at Unicorn Media, will become Chief Technology Officer for Brightcove, reporting to me. AJ has an inspiring vision for the future of television and a great history of innovation and we know he will provide amazing leadership in this role.
  • Jon Corley, Chief Product Officer at Unicorn Media, will become our SVP of Product & Operations reporting to me. Jon has been building and scaling cloud products for years at Unicorn Media, Amazon, and Limelight Networks, and we consider ourselves very fortunate to have him.
  • Chuck Parker, Chief Revenue Officer at Unicorn Media, will become Vice President of Media Sales reporting to Paul Goetz, SVP, Worldwide Field Operations
  • David Morel, Chief Strategy officer at Unicorn Media, will become VP of Customer Success, reporting to Anil Jain in the Media Group.

The Unicorn Media office in the Tempe, Arizona will become the Brightcove Southwest R&D Center. This R&D center will join our Boston, San Francisco, and Seattle R&D centers as hubs for development of Brightcove products and services.

I have never been more excited about our mission of revolutionizing the way organizations deliver video experiences. With Unicorn Media now part of Brightcove, we have more advanced technology, a stronger workforce, and more market momentum than ever before. We’re looking forward to great things in 2014.

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