In a cross-country deal that will make big waves in the video blogging market, San Francisco's CastFire, the up and coming video publishing tool/ad network, will announce tonight a large deal to distribute and provide services for New York's high profile Next New Networks.
NNN was founded by former MTV exec Herb Scannell, has raised $8m in venture funding and publishes popular series JetSet and Talking Points Memo TV, among others. NNN has to date had a paltry video player and has not been able to monetize its content effectively - so it's no surprise that it's taken on another layer of services with another company. All the networks in NNN are reported to see a total of about 30 million unique visitors per month, but in the video world all metrics are in flux. For a look into NNN's vision of the future of internet TV, check out Shelly Palmer's excellent audio interview with the company's CEO Fred Siebert last month.
CastFire will add NNN to a roster that includes everyone from video blogging pioneers Rocketboom, to comedians Ask a Ninja, the new Boing Boing TV and a number of NFL football teams.
What Castfire Does
Castfire works closely with FM publishing, the ad network that provides ads for this blog, among many others. The FM/CastFire/videoblogger relationship is sometimes close enough to face criticism, as well; the video blog WebbAlert, for example, has been called an undisclosed FM blog echo-chamber in the form of a video blog.
Castfire offers a highly sophisticated platform for online video publishers to dynamically insert branding, promotional clips and ads throughout video blog episodes. The Castfire player calls back to the company's servers each time a show is played to see which ad insertion is desired by the show's publisher.
Castfire will first publish NNN's comics videoblog, PulpSecret, and then roll out across all the company's networks. The publishers will be able to test the performance of up to 16 different branding and advertising clip insertion combinations in order to select which are most effective.
Video blogging industry leader and GeekEntertainment.tv co-founder Irina Slutsky said about the NNN deal, "Castfire is emerging as the platform of choice. Relationships between non-consumer platforms like Castfire, an internet TV network like NNN and an established advertising network like FM are a perfect example of what's needed to succeed in the long term in this industry."
Among Castfire's competitors is Podaddies, who announced a $1million funding round yesterday and provide the advertising for Blip.tv.