Move Networks raises $46 mln round, solidifies leading position

John Shinal · April 14, 2008 · Short URL:

We first told you about Move Networks back in November, when I saw them demo their Web TV streaming technology at the NewTeeVee conference in San Francisco.

It was clear then that the company, which has signed deals with more than a half-dozen major cable and broadcast providers, would be a major player in the market for watching video on the Web.

Founded with a bunch of engineers formerly with Novell, they've created what they call an adaptive streaming platform that results in a smooth viewing experience -- even for hour-length HD files. 

Since then, the company has been busy signing up more customers, increasing subscribers and, given its latest funding announcement, reviewing a wide selection of term sheets.

This week Utah-based Move has raised another $46 million in a Series C round, including from previous marquee investors such as Benchmark Capital, Hummer Winblad and the venture arms of strategic partners Comcast and Disney (through its Steamboat Ventures).

The company has now raised a total of $91 million, including an $11.3 million round in February 2007 led by Hummer Winblad and a $34.1 million round in October led by Benchmark.  

The company has served up 35 million downloads, up 50% since November.

Given that most of its content consists of popular network and cable shows, its average session is now more than an hour long. That means Move has essentially recreated the television experience over the Web, giving content owners the ability to sell the same type of branded ads that they do through their cable and broadcast systems.

While a lot of attention has been focused on whether YouTube and other user-generated video sites will be able to monetize their content, Move shows that most of what consumers watch on the Web will be similar to what they watch now.

That means the bulk of the early ad dollars will come from premium advertisers buying spots for content they've already created. 

With this kind of momentum for its platform, it's only a matter of time before Move goes public or gets taken out by a major content provider. 

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