Comcast has finished deal to buy FreeWheel, the Web video ad-serving company. Comcast will end up paying $360 million for the seven-year-old startup. If you throw in employee retention bonuses and other comp, the number could hit $375 million, noted Recode.net.
FreeWheel helps media companies deliver ads in Web video. The company’s technology, which is used by traditional TV networks’ websites and online-only outlets, ensures that ads are seen by viewers they are aimed at, based on location and recent viewing history.
FreeWheel has specialized in locking up deals with big media companies like Viacom, Fox and Comcast’s NBCUniversal. It had raised more than $30 million, and last year it booked $22 million in revenue, according to the story, which also noted sources say the plan is for FreeWheel to run as a standalone company within Comcast, similar to the way video software company thePlatform has operated since Comcast bought that in 2006. All of FreeWheel’s employees, including CEO Doug Knopper and his two co-founders, are expected to stay with the company.
RBR-TVBR observation: With TV Everywhere offerings booming with MVPDs, having an in-house means of hyper-targeting on demand video viewers is going to help Comcast’s bottom line tremendously down the road.