Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

DirecTV Bets on Web Video Ad Manager FreeWheel

make it rainHere’s more money going into Web video ads — or, more accurately, to the people who bring you Web video ads: Satellite broadcaster DirecTV has led a funding round for FreeWheel, the company that serves and manages video ads for many big sites and programmers.

FreeWheel won’t spell out the funding amount for this round, but says that it’s less than the $17 million round it raised in 2010, and that it doesn’t need as much money now, because it is “closing in on profitability.”

Prior to this round, FreeWheel had raised about $30 million over the last four years.

DirecTV has also signed on as a FreeWheel customer, which means it is one of the many big broadcasters, cable networks and Web companies that use FreeWheel to manage their video ad business, like Comcast, AOL, Viacom, etc. DirecTV will use FreeWheel to manage the ads it runs on its “TV Everywhere” services.

Over time, FreeWheel has also moved into display advertising, which means it’s not only the “DoubleClick of Web video,” but is often competing with Google’s DoubleClick, as well.

Not coincidentally, FreeWheel’s founding team, lead by CEO Doug Knopper, are DoubleClick veterans.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik