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JW Player, a video streaming and analytics platform for major enterprise and publishing companies, has raised $100 million in a series E round of funding from LLR Partners.
JW Player was launched in 2005 as an open source product that went on to power one of the early versions of YouTube. While JW Player is no longer open source, instead being offered under a creative commons license for non-commercial use, it has emerged as one of the top digital video players, with enterprise and media customers such as Viacom, Zoom, Newegg, and Tag Heuer.
The New York-based company claims 1 billion people view a JW Player-powered video each month, spanning 2.7 billion devices.
According to data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), digital advertising revenue surged 12.2% to nearly $140 billion in the U.S. alone last year. Digital video advertising, specifically, saw the highest growth, rising 20.6% to over $26 billion. JW Player offers an HTML5 video player that enables companies to embed their videos (replete with ads) on any website, with software development kits (SDKs) for adding JW Player to their native mobile apps. Additionally, the company offers tools such as “article matching,” which automatically inserts relevant videos into online articles across the JW Player network.
Moreover, marketers and advertisers like to justify all those ad dollars spent and maximize the return on their investments — which is where data comes in. JW Player offers analytics to surface real-time video activity, such as which videos are proving most popular, as well as insights into how videos are performing across different platforms and devices.
JW Player had previously raised around $46 million, and with its latest cash injection the company is now well-positioned to capitalize on a booming digital video market that has helped it attain “record video streaming growth and strong profitability” over the past year. Similarly, publicly traded JW Player rival Brightcove saw its valuation triple in the 12-month period starting in March 2020 — the digital video economy, it seems, is thriving.
The latest funding comes hot on the heels of JW Player’s first acquisition, after it snapped up Vualto last month to extend its reach into live and on-demand video streaming, including digital rights management (DRM). In the days after this acquisition was announced, JW Player noted a “material uptick and influx of sales,” particularly across Latin America and Asia-Pacific regions.
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