In these days of video on demand everywhere from cellphones to tablets to Wi-Fi enabled devices for watching at home, Durham-based Digitalsmiths continues to cash in on its technology that takes VOD to a different level.
Its proprietary “personalized video discovery” technology that enables TV watchers to quickly find programming through search and even fits their mood has now landed the company seven of the top pay TV providers in the U.S.
As a result, the company founded by Ben Weinberger and Matthew Berry continues to expand its headcount (“north of 70”) and is pushing ahead with its recently announced operation in Denver.
While the company is privately held and won’t discuss details of its finances, it does acknowledge reaching “continued profitability.”
The Skinny caught up with Billy Purser, vice president of marketing, to get an update on all that’s happening at Digitalsmiths.
- How is the expansion in Denver proceeding? How many employees there now? Will more be added?
We continue to make great progress with our Denver office expansion. This expansion includes the hiring of additional employees to expand our current Denver staff. We have already made a number of key strategic hires and continue to recruit for our Denver office.
- Can you list who the seven clients are among the top 10?
We are working with our customers to identify the right timing for these announcements.
- What are the key factors driving your growth – more consumers wanting more but better choices and they in turn putting pressure on their providers to deliver enhanced services?
Video service providers are looking for solutions that get their subscribers to the content that interests them as fast as possible, which ultimately drives increased engagement from the subscriber.
- Is there a particular market segment demand helping drive growth (Your mood selection product, for example)?
All Digitalsmiths Seamless Discovery customers are leveraging its TV Everywhere video discovery platform that consists of three fundamental layers:
- Personalized video discovery applications, (search, recommendations, mood, social and sports),
- Strategic business needs (this is our business console that allows them to boost and promote content),
- Robust data management (this is our User Data Management).
Video providers are seeing a clear pathway to increase viewer engagement and reclaim viewer satisfaction and loyalty through our Seamless Discovery platform.
[In a quarterly update about the state of business, Purser provided some additional details. He noted that the company’s seven pay TV customers represent 94 percent of U.S. subscribers and 86 percent of all North American customers. “Due to the United States being such a lucrative pay-tV market this geographic region was Digitalsmiths’ primary focus before moving internationally,” he added.
[In September, Digitalsmiths announced that Australia-based Foxtel had signed on to use its technology. Foxtel will utilize Seamless Discovery across broadcast and Internet Protocol-based TV properties.
[Digitalsmith clients include: Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Cisco, Foxtel, Warner Bros., Paramount, Technicolor, Univision, Turner Sports, the NBA, the PGA, NASCAR, zeebox and i.TV.
[According to Purser, Digitalsmiths technology is now licensed for use in more than 100 million households with international growth now the “largest area.” He also points out that Digitalsmiths’ technology is more widely used “than any other solution, including: iOS, Android, Roku, Xbox, Playstation, and multiple set-top boxes models.”]
- Are new products under development? If so in what areas, and when are they planned to launch?
We continue to release additional features to our software-as a-service platform and our engineering team has a number of new products they are developing.
- Is the company seeking additional financing at this time? Is it profitable?
We are not actively seeking any funding at this time. Digitalsmiths is not seeking any additional funding. Digitalsmiths has reached continued profitability.
[Note: Digitalsmiths launched in 2006. The company last raised funding in 2011, according to SEC filings. It has raised some $30 million to date. The Series C round in 2011 included a new investor, Technicolor, which led the round. Also participating were Digitalsmith’s existing investors, including Cisco, Chrysalis Ventures, Capitol Broadcasting, .406 Ventures, and Aurora Funds. Capitol Broadcasting is the parent company of WRAL Tech Wire and WRAL.com.]