Comcast to Acquire FreeWheel for $320M
It looks like Comcast has a few dollars left over after offering $45 billion for Time Warner Cable: News broke over the weekend that Comcast is close to acquiring online video monetization company FreeWheel for a price of $320 million. An official announcement is expected to come soon.
Well known in the online video world, FreeWheel works with content owners to serve ads on online content. The company is based in Silicon Valley, and works with NBCUniversal, Fox, AOL, Dish, and DirecTV (which is also an investor), among others.
Insiders say that Comcast will run FreeWheel as a standalone unit, as it does thePlatform, which it acquired in 2006. If so, FreeWheel would continue to work with Comcast competitors with no conflict.
This move is part of Comcast's efforts to expand its online video offerings, the Wall Street Journal reported. It notes that Comcast has been a proponent of increasing online access to cable TV programming for subscribers. Having FreeWheel technology in-house will make it easier to monetize that content, and to convince partners of the benefits of offering greater online access.
Last month, FreeWheel announced that it is working with Amazon to deliver ads within search results and within some TV episodes streamed to Kindle Fire tablets.
After years of long commercial breaks on television, viewers are willing to accept the same experience on streamed content.
Authenticated video impressions saw strong growth, although 87 percent of cable customers don't know their authentication credentials.
Using its IP video development platform VIPER, Xfinity TV Go offers next-generation products and services for on-demand and live linear content.
From Samsung buying up Boxee to multiple acquisitions by Verizon and Yahoo, the past year was loaded with M&A activity that reflected streaming's ever-shifting landscape.
According to FreeWheel's Q4 2013 Video Monetization Report, ad views on long form content are exploding, and completion rates are strong.
By inserting product information and how-to videos into relevant search results, Amazon wants to enhance the shopping experience.
TV Everywhere and mobile viewing showed strong growth in the past year, says the latest FreeWheel quarterly report.
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