FreeWheel, a software service provider which allows online video publishers to manage their own ads, has made big news this week.
On Monday, YouTube announced that some content partners will be be able manage their own ad management with the company's tools.
Yesterday at the Blip.tv event, the company announced an expanded integration with Blip.tv.
At the event, I Interviewed co-Founder and co-CEO, Doug Knopper about his company.
Andy Plesser, Managing Editor
Douglas Knopper: So FreeWheel provides a technology that allows content owners, like CBS and Warner Bros., and content distributors to everything they need to do to manage their online video advertising wherever the content appears, whether it appears on their own site or on somebody else's site.
We're a technology provider. We provide technology for the content owners and the content distributers to be able to manage their advertising, again, wherever it goes. We do not sell ads, we're not an add network.
Andy Plesser: So your software is a solution?
Douglas Knopper: Mmmhmm [yes].
Andy Plesser: And a service?
Douglas Knopper: Our software is a service, exactly.
Andy Plesser: Alright, so tell us about the situation with YouTube and how people, how channel operators…I have my own on YouTube, let's say, or I know you can't speak for YouTube, but how does it work in terms of using FreeWheel for YouTube, this new arrangement?
Douglas Knopper: So, what we've announced with YouTube is a partnership where, it's just in trial right now, where we will help our customers, content owners, that want to display their content on YouTube and want to be able to manage their own advertising. So, in other words, it's sort of a "bring your own" model where they're bringing advertising to YouTube and therefore our customers, the media companies, can now manage and control and sell and account for the advertising in their content on YouTube. And YouTube is working with us to facilitate that.
Andy Plesser: Okay, so, who can do that now? I mean, are there just a certain number of channel partners or where does that stand and where might it go?
Douglas Knopper: Well to our knowledge this is the first time that YouTube has said that they'll allow another technology to actually manage advertising on YouTube.
Andy Plesser: Okay, and one last question. What is the scope of the tech…of the advertising units, if you will, that you guys manage in FreeWheel? Is it pre-roll, post-roll, overlay? Tell us sort of the scope of the media that you manage.
Douglas Knopper: All of the above. So essentially what FreeWheel does, because we're very open and we allow anything to be managed through our system–any kind of advertising–so it's pre-rolls, it's post-rolls, it's mid-rolls, it's two ads in a pod, it's four ads in a pod, it's overlays, it's the companion banners that go with it, it's all of the above, and we manage it as a package, so we look at the entire piece of content and find the right package of content, so we're not making the ads…making the ad decisions one at a time, we're looking at the best series, the best package of ads for the entire show.
Andy Plesser: So, just, uh, give me just a round about the company, about your funding, about your employees, about where it might go. Give us a sort of a…and where you hope it might go within a year, let's say.
Douglas Knopper: So we're focused on the biggest and the most visible content owners and content distributors. We work with Warner Bros., we work with CBS Television, we work with Veoh and Juice and Sling and Marvel and Blip and, you know, many many others that I haven't named. We've been around for about two and a half years. We have offices in New York, in California, and in Beijing, China, and we're very well funded by Battery Ventures and Foundation Capital and things are going very very well for us.
Andy Plesser: Great, well congratulations. Thanks for your time and for being on the show.