Blog Post

NewTeeVee’s Next Big Thing List for 2009


HQ: San Mateo, Calif.
Founding date: 2006
Funding: $12 million Series C round led by Foundation Capital and including existing investor Battery Ventures, which provided its two previous funding rounds of undisclosed amounts
Employees: 65

DoubleClick’s DART revolutionized web advertising by automating online ad buying and inventory management. Now, with Freewheel, three former DoubleClick execs are trying to do the same thing for video. And it’s working. As premium content becomes more widely accessible online, and the intersections of ownership, ad sales and distribution become more complicated, FreeWheel has already shown it can get other people’s ducks in a row. Though the startup — which competes with companies such as Auditude — works with what seems like everyone in the space, its most notable partner is YouTube, which enlisted it to help unite the ads content owners show on that site with the ads they show next to their content everywhere else it lives on the web. The result is that YouTube is less of an island and more of an integrated part of sales for premium publishers like CBS, Warner Bros. and Next New Networks, all three of which have obtained the right to sell their own ads from YouTube and also work with FreeWheel. (L.G.)

24 Responses to “NewTeeVee’s Next Big Thing List for 2009”

  1. Life sure would be simpler if there was 1 breakout winner… after years of Tivo doing my thinking it’s hard to remember which shows are hulu or netflix or network sites or… sigh. I know it’s the content providers all wanting their cut and afraid of change but I can still whine can’t i? :)

  2. Great list, Liz!

    A company I hope you’ll also eyeball for future lists like this is Retrofit Films, digital production company, directors of the recent Sprint/NBC Heroes “tagged media” integrated web series campaign who also produced and directed the teaser web series for The CW’s Vampire Diaries and the animated web series for the The CW’s Smallville entitled Kara & The Chronicles of Krypton, among many others.

    We’ve worked pretty closely with the major networks and studios to date, although we wouldn’t say that’s our only niche.


  3. Len Feldman

    I’d also include Kaltura. They appear to be the leading open source video management platform, at least in the U.S., and they’re getting a lot of design wins. They integrate well with Drupal and WordPress, and the price for the software starts at zero.

  4. Scott Bowman

    I just got an invite to and think it’s the most impressive new site I’ve seen since Hulu. The interface is beautiful and it makes it extremely easy to find shows all over the Web.

  5. @gonzo90017:

    the technology for both Sunday Night Football on and is the same. Inlet powers both. infrastructure may vary, but both begin as HD signal.

  6. gonzo90017

    So these are the guys we have to thank for the crappy

    The Philies game was unwatchable today. I already submitted my refund request. Every playoff game is nothing but constant buffering. Today during the 7th inning the video went out! These guys should watch Sunday Night Football on to see how it’s done.

    The few minutes that the SNF player was on one 1 bar it was superior to Postseason’s player on 4 bars. 95% of the time I was able to watch the SNF game in HD.