COLOGNE-While few marriages are actually made in heaven, the union of FreeWheel and StickyADS.tv comes pretty close. On the eve of FreeWheel’s European summit, Co-Founder and Co-CEO Doug Knopper prefers to call his company’s acquisition of StickyADS.tv a “partnership” that melds the best of direct and programmatic premium video sales and provides a much broader global scale for the combined entity.
Finalized in April 2016, the partnership “really is two amazingly similar companies coming together,” Knopper says in an interview with Beet.TV.
FreeWheel is a core technology platform that facilitates the direct sale of premium video inventory, while StickyADS.tv focuses on premium video sold programmatically. And while FreeWheel’s customer base has been mostly in the United States, StickyADS.tv has primarily a Europe-centric clientele.
“Putting those together gives us a much broader global scale and a broader platform on both the programmatic and direct sale side of the house,” Knopper says.
FreeWheel powers the advertising businesses of the largest media and entertainment companies in the world, including AOL, Condé Nast, DIRECTV, NBC Universal, The New York Times and Turner Broadcasting in the U.S., along with Sky and Channel 4 in Europe.
StickyADS.tv powers more than 150 private exchanges controlled by major TV broadcasters, large media groups and premium syndicators. Its publisher-controlled platform allows publishers to build, run and operate their own video private exchange across web, mobile, and IPTV for direct monetization of their content.
Since 2014, FreeWheel has tripled its employee base, owing in part to the StickyADS.tv deal. Key to its business model is making sure that video content creators get paid for what they create, as opposed to what has happened as a result of the digitization of the music business.
“We feel like we’ve enabled the television and video industry to keep growing and to widen and broaden their distribution,” Knopper says.
Now with StickyADS.tv on board, “creating a consolidated, comprehensive platform for premium video regardless of the selling methodology has been pretty amazing and we’re very excited about it,” says Knopper.
We spoke with Knopper this week at the FreeWheel European summit in Cologne presented along with StickyAds.tv. Please visit this page for additional videos from Beet’s coverage.