Adconion Acquires 'Certain Assets' From Joost
Online advertising and content syndication network Adconion Media Group said Tuesday that it acquired "certain assets" from beleaguered Web TV startup Joost. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Initially known as The Venice Project, Joost was the talk of the town back in 2007 when it was founded by the same entrepreneurs -- Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis -- who brought the world Skype and Kazaa. Utilizing peer-to-peer networks, the highly anticipated startup launched with top-tier content partners, including Viacom, Warner Music and Endemol -- a Dutch production company responsible for "Big Brother."
"Video is a top priority for our company," said Tyler Moebius, CEO of Adconion Media Group. "Through the acquisition of the Joost assets we will be able to provide advertisers, content owners and Web site publishers with an end-to-end global video platform and cross-channel video and display ad-serving solution."
"This acquisition immediately brings additional scale and content to the Adconion video pre-roll network for clients," added Moebius. "We'll also continue to operate Joost.com, providing clients with a destination site to showcase and distribute their branded entertainment content."
In June, Joost announced plans to restructure as a provider of white-label online video platforms for other media companies, including cable and satellite providers, broadcasters and video aggregators. Adconion says it plans to continue pursuing this strategy.
Also in June, the company said its CEO, Mike Volpi, was stepping down as part of the reorganization.
In September, The Register reported that Volpi was forced out as Joost's chairman, and was being investigated by the company. The probe is centered on Joost's peer-to-peer technology -- the same technology used by Skype under license from Joltid, which is owned by Skype's founders.
Adconion just announced its first long-term licensing partnership as the exclusive display and video ad-serving solution for the Goldbach Media Group in Europe.
Founded in 2005, the independently owned Adconion has raised $80 million to date. Headquartered in London, the company has offices in Los Angeles, New York, Germany, France, Spain, Canada and Australia.
Prior to the acquisition, Adconion offered targeted distribution of content, including video and television commercials, to audiences around the world via Adconion.TV. It also served customized branded entertainment solutions for clients through an exclusive relationship with the digital studio RedLever.
Through the Joost acquisition, Adconion.TV will add to its library of professionally produced video content available for targeted pre-roll advertisements across 2,000 publishers.
Janus Friis, co-founder of Joost, said: "Over the past few months we have been actively exploring strategic options for Joost, and have concluded that the sale of certain of its assets to Adconion is in the best interests of Joost."
The June reorganization came on the heels of research from media analyst firm Screen Digest, which concluded that third-party platforms like Joost -- which have no direct vertical affiliation with major rights holders, or direct access to premium content rights -- would increasingly struggle to aggregate ad-supported movies and TV shows.