Early in the online video technology market, Movie JW Player – before Google acquired it and made it its own, launched YouTube’s first video player – has long been profitable through the business model of providing multiple video streaming equipment to bring videos into their own online experience, to publishers and others who want, without creating technology from the ground up, nor looking at companies that can benefit from their own videos and customer data generated through video views. Now, after a year of strong growth in online video from Covid-19, the New York-based company is announcing a huge funding round – $100 million – to expand its technology, and go where it believes the video is going.
The capital is coming from a single investor, LLR Partners, and the valuation of the JW Player is not being disclosed, we understand it is not yet around $1 billion, but it has reached fast. It comes in the heels of a company that has achieved some growth despite being a relatively quiet player in the industry. Dave Otten, CEO and co-founder of the company (named after another technology founder, Jeroen Wiesering, who developed the initial technology), told TechCrunch in an interview that the company’s video streaming traffic grew nearly 200% by the end of the year, with live streaming at 400 during that time. % Is increasing.
With over 600,000 apps and sites running videos powered by JW Player, there are about 10,000 of those premium users; the rest use his software for free, Otten said. It’s enough of a balance that the company has been profitable for several years, he said. And while the software is being used for free, some of the many customers who use JW Player’s equipment are being “paid”, including Sesame Street, Time, Hearst, Insider, IMDB and Chelsea Football Club.
It’s a long way from the early days of YouTube’s power – a screenshot of how it looked above – but unlike so many examples of activists initially slowing down to innovate later, JW hopes that the fact that it was the first video in the mover doesn’t mean what’s happening in the future. It will end up being guessed. The current product challenge for JW Player mirrors its customers: monetization.