Q1Media, AdExcite Merge To Create Powerhouse Video Ad Network

Mobile-Video-TV-AQ1Media and AdExcite have merged to create a display network that serves video advertisements, regardless of the device or platform. 

AdExcite co-founder Phil Banfield will serve as CEO for the combined companies. Bill Wiemann, Q1Media's founder and CEO, will serve as president and COO. Q1Media supports more than 1,500 Web publishers and 150 million unique visitors, up from 65 million in January 2012. AdExcite, alone, grew to 130 million by the end of 2012, from 67 million in April 2012. The companies will announce the merger the week of March 18.

Upcoming research planned with data firm comScore will estimate the number of sites lacking the capability to serve video ads, according to Banfield, who claims AdExcite holds about one-third of the video advertising reach in the U.S. "In 2012, AdExcite grew 260%," he said.

Banfield see Q1Media as the missing link, allowing brands like CafeMom and ChaCha to reach audiences across the Web through video. Combined with mobile inventory, Q1Media can provide a "compelling" offer, even through programmatic buying.

While Q1Media got its start supporting movie studios and game developers wanting consumers to see trailers on desktop, the company plans to build out its mobile platform as it sees more traffic. The network saw a rise from less than 10% to more than 25% of mobile traffic about a year ago.

The company slowly began rolling out a mobile network in January, although the formats serve a bit different depending on the operating system. On a Droid the video ad slides up, covering about the 25% of the page, whereas on an iPad it serves similar to a desktop. On the iPhone, the video ad takes over the entire page. 

Americans viewed 9.9 billion video ads in February 2013 accounting for 23% of all videos viewed and 2% of all minutes spent watching video online, according to comScore. Still, Q1Media faces challenges. Google sites took the No. 1 spot for the month with 2.2 billion ads, followed by BrightRoll Video Network with 1.6 billion; Hulu with 1.4 billion; Adap.tv, 1.4 billion; LiveRail.com with 1 billion.

Hulu delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with an average of 61, while CBS Interactive and Google Sites tied for second with an average of 23 ads per viewer.

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