Adconion Media Group plans to announce Thursday the spinoff of the Joost Video Network into a stand-alone business unit. The newly launched digital media company will provide premium branded solutions for advertisers and brand marketers seeking to target audiences with in-stream and in-banner video advertising.
Nick Higgins will lead the new unit as executive vice president. He previously held the position of head of global video at Adconion Media Group. Prior to joining Adconion, Higgins was at MSN, where he held several senior positions during the past 10 years.
Adconion acquired the assets-digital rights management, video player, and content distribution of Joost from ex-Skype founders in November 2009, and then launched the Joost Video Network in February 2010 across North America, Europe and Australia. Since then, Tyler Moebius, CEO of Adconion Media Group, says the company quadrupled revenue to $30 million and expects to triple digital growth in 2011, making it the largest global video player operating in more than seven countries.
Joost is not the top video destination site but was No. 2 early last year in terms of reach, Moebius says, citing comScore. The company serves display ads to more than 400 million viewers monthly. The opportunity to become aggressive and capitalize on the video market led Adconion to spin off the network into a separate business unit.
Moebius believes the move will position the company to capture more of the video market. Unlike other pure-play video networks, he says this will allow Adconion to reach across a broader suite of products such as pre-roll, in-banner video, expandable ads, road blocks and custom skins and integrations.
Joost also offers branded entertainment services through its partnership with RedLever, a global studio specializing in developing and producing brand-integrated content for the Web. The stand-alone business unit plans to leverage its core strengths in its owned-and-operated site, and non-exclusive and exclusive partnerships.
Moebius says Adconion gives advertisers access to premium inventory through exclusive content deals. But the company still has a way to go.
Video ads reached 49% of the total U.S. population an average of 36.8 times in November, according to comScore's latest stats. Americans viewed more than 5.4 billion video ads in November, with Hulu generating the highest number of video ad impressions at more than 1.1 billion. Tremor Media Video Network ranked second overall and highest among video advertising networks, with 477 million ad views, followed by adap.tv at 446 million, and Microsoft Sites at 427 million.
The plan to hire about 30 employees to support the new division this year will increase the dedicated Joost sales staff to about 80 people. The company basically serves agencies such as Fortune 500 and 1000 companies, those buying video solutions from Hulu, ABC, Microsoft, and portals.