Blog Post

Move Networks: The Story of a Failure

We’ve written about the struggles of Move Networks in the past, but with the news today that it has laid off all its employees and is looking for a buyer, we decided to do a roundup of the rise and fall of the once high-flying online video startup. Move Networks has had a long, strange trip from its early days of making network TV watchable online to its transition as a technology provider to ISP customers, and along the way, it has provided us with plenty of NewTeeVee fodder over the last several years.

Here’s a history of the company, through NewTeeVee links:

December 2006 – Move Networks Gets $11M for Streaming Video – Move raises $11.3 million of a $12.17 million Series B round in our first story about the then-stealth startup.

February 2007 – Move Networks Makes Web TV Watchable – NewTeeVee takes its first look at Move Networks technology, as it announces Fox Network (s NWS), the CW (s TWX), Televisa (s TV) and E! Online (s CMCSK) as customers.

October 2007 – Move Networks Raises Millions – During the big-money online video gold rush of 2007, Move Networks raises $34 million from Steamboat Ventures and Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. Fun fact: Dailymotion raises $34 million and Joost raises $45 million that year.

March 5, 2008 – Move Networks Makes Its Silverlight Move – Move gets its technology integrated into the newest version of Microsoft’s (s MSFT) Silverlight plugin.

March 26, 2008 – Move Crosses the Hour Threshold – Then-CEO John Edwards says end users are spending more than an hour per session watching content Move provides.

April 2008 – Move Networks Raises $46M – The company announces a $46 million Series C funding round from Benchmark Capital, Cisco (s CSCO), Comcast Interactive Media (s CMCSA), Televisa, Disney (s DIS) venture arm Steamboat Ventures and Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, bringing total funding to $70 million.

August 2008 – Microsoft Gets a Piece of Move Networks – Microsoft extends its strategic relationship with Move by adding an undisclosed amount of funding to the startup’s $46 million Series C round.

February 2009 – Move Networks Lays Off 30 Percent – In the first major sign that Move might be in trouble, the company cuts about 30 percent of its workers.

April 2009 – Move Networks Acquires Inuk for Broadcast TV on PCs – Move acquires Inuk to add a broadcast component to its ongoing efforts to distribute television over the Internet.

July 2009 – Move Networks Names Roxanne Austin CEO – The former president and COO of DirecTV takes over the helm in an attempt to transition Move from a company pitching high-quality video delivery to one selling IPTV services to ISPs.

October 2009 – Adobe to Finally Support HTTP Streaming – Adobe jumps on the adaptive bit rate streaming bandwagon, rendering Move Networks’ technology advantage moot.

December 2009 – Comcast Opens Up TV Everywhere Service – Comcast rolls out its TV Everywhere service using Move Networks technology despite the fact that most video sites have moved to Flash.

January 20, 2010 – Fox Drops Move Networks for Brightcove, Adobe Flash – One of Move’s biggest media accounts switches horses, goes to Adobe Flash.

January 26, 2010 – The Fall of Move Networks – Here we look at how Move went from being a high-flying video startup to beleaguered technology company in just a few short years.

February 2010 – Move Networks Lays Off About 15% of Workforce – Move Networks reduces its headcount by about 10-15 percent, leaving the company with 107 employees total.

June 2010 – Got $150M? Move Networks Could Be Yours! – In which the company announces it is for sale on Twitter and the CEO steps down.

6 Responses to “Move Networks: The Story of a Failure”

  1. I’ve had the subscription to EsMas (Televisa live video streaming with 5 channels to chose from) since 2006. They use the Move Networks Player to stream their videos. It worked well up until April 2010. The all of a sudden you can’t get stable video streaming. Move Networks only delivers streaming of 160kbps when it should be 720kbps! It’s ridiculous. Now the EsMas clients have to convince Televisa to end that contract with Move Networks and start a brand new one with one of the better technologies out there. It’s absurd to get 160kbps video streaming in the broadband era. Even the bad Youtube videos look better than the video streamed using Move Networks nowadays!

  2. Jimmy

    Too bad. At one time, these guys had the best quality anywhere. Only a matter of time before the folks at KIT Digital will swoop in and trade them some wampum for the remnants of their technology.

  3. The lack of success is painfully obvious. $70mil+ and nothing to show for it. No wonder no one knows anything about this company. It appears the only thing this company actually produced or created is a bunch of press releases. Content is and always will be king, so maybe the management team should have invested in new content instead of a smoke and mirrors.