Online content consumption has doubled since the onset of COVID, from 3 hours and 17 minutes to just under 7 hours per day according to DoubleVerify. Online video consumption is said to have quadrupled. JW player is a leading video infrastructure software platform that enables content producers to monitor, manage and measure their mobile, OTT and web video applications. The player is also now equipped with monetization options for video publishers which are coupled with company data analytics which provides advertisers with precision targeting options.
AisleWatch met the CEO and co-founder Dave otten to learn more about the evolution of the business from an open source solution that was used to fuel the initial YouTube platform, the company’s strategic plans, the last round of funding, bringing total funding raised to $ 145.7 million, and much more.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
$ 100 million in Series E financing from LLR Partners.
Tell us about the product or service offered by JW Player.
JW Player is the largest source for video games on the Internet outside of Walled Gardens. Each month, 1 billion viewers, or one-third of all people on the Internet, consume JW Player technology videos on 2.7 billion unique devices. This creates a vast mine of data and information that we can provide to clients to optimize the reach and engagement of their videos. For example, our article matching feature uses AI to automatically place videos from publisher inventory that are linked to surrounding article content, while the recommendation engine keeps audiences engaged with new videos. related to videos they have seen before.
JW Player also has robust monetization features to maximize video revenue. Part of this has to do with contextual targeting or the practice of targeting ads based on the content of the video they’re playing on, rather than the user watching the video. While most contextual targeting solutions only provide page-level targeting, JW Player uses AI and natural language processing to accurately categorize the content of the video itself. This allows publishers to monetize more of their videos that would otherwise be excluded from advertiser campaigns. JW Player also provides advertisers with real-time visibility signals, rather than historical signals, meaning advertisers can place videos on relevant videos while consumers watch them in real time. It also opens up more inventories of publishers who would be excluded using historical visibility data, generating additional revenue.
Which target market is JW Player and how big is it?
JW Player serves the traditional media market of digital publishers and broadcasters, but also a wider market of non-media companies using online video in industries such as faith, fitness, e-learning, e-commerce and sports. It also serves ad buyers looking to place ads on videos shown on over 12,000 sites using JW Player’s video platform. There is a huge opportunity in the market, which is expected to grow from $ 14 billion today to $ 50 billion by 2027 as more companies join the digital video economy and that consumers expect to receive video in their online interactions with brands.
What is your business model?
JW Player has a SaaS business model. Customers sign up to use the JW Player video platform to play videos on their website and take advantage of analytics and monetization features to optimize videos for engagement and revenue. JW Player’s services include video hosting and live streaming, OTT applications, content protection services, advertising and analytics that broaden our customers’ choice for products that enhance their video experience.
How did the funding process go?
Fundraising processes are always intense, regardless of the size of the round. And our E series was no different. However, what made this process different was that JW Player and LLR shared a very similar view of market opportunities. This was clear when we first met and really set a positive tone for the whole due diligence process. From our perspective, you couldn’t ask for anything more than that.
What factors related to your business caused your investors to write the check?
According to David Reuter, partner at LLR Partners, âJW Player has been at the forefront of digital video innovation since founder Jeroen Wijering created the original YouTube video player in 2008. Today, the company offers the technology, most comprehensive advertising and data analysis. platform in the digital video ecosystem. We look forward to partnering with the JW Player team as they expand their platform and continue to improve the way brands can host, stream and monetize video.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve over the next six months?
Over the past year, JW Player’s revenue growth has accelerated while maintaining profitability. Over the next few months, you will see us continue to invest and strengthen our video software and data analytics platform as we meet the ever increasing demands of the digital video economy. The pandemic has given us deeper entry into customer types such as e-learning, fitness, sports, e-commerce, and marketing organizations and you can expect growth to continue with these. types of customers, especially in APAC and LATAM regions. By the end of 2021, our goal is to be a â35% ruleâ or better company (% revenue growth +% EBITDA margin => 35%), with a view to achieving the “Rule of 40” (a proxy for the world – SaaS companies) shortly thereafter.
Over the past year, JW Player’s revenue growth has accelerated while maintaining profitability. Over the coming months, you will see that we will continue to invest and strengthen our video software and data analytics platform as we meet the ever increasing demands of the digital video economy. The pandemic has given us deeper entry into customer types such as e-learning, fitness, sports, e-commerce, and marketing organizations and you can expect growth to continue with these. types of customers, especially in APAC and LATAM regions. By the end of 2021, our goal is to be a â35% ruleâ or better company (% revenue growth +% EBITDA margin => 35%), with a view to achieving the “Rule of 40” (a proxy for the world – SaaS companies) shortly thereafter.
What advice can you give to New York businesses that don’t have a new injection of capital in the bank?
Money is king. My advice would therefore be to manage your expenses in a manner consistent with your cash flow. It is crucial to make sure that you have the cash track to pivot when needed, especially when you are in the start-up phase.
What is your favorite open-air restaurant in New York
If it’s NYC, it must be pizza. And if it’s pizza, it must be John’s of Bleeker.