Friday, February 4, 2011

Kyte Brings Its Online and Mobile Video Experience to KIT digital

Kyte was founded in 2006, and offers advanced mobile distribution and social media integration capabilities through its cloud-based publishing platform for live and on-demand video. I've covered Kyte on this blog for several years and it has both a free UGC platform and a premium service for major brands and recording artists. 50 Cent was a early Kyte adopter, and with the Kyte player brands have been able to create a “micro websites” that are virally distributed on many platforms. Kyte has differentiated itself from other platforms as "an enabling technology" for branded mobile destination sites through Kyte’s multimedia chat, RSS, Twitter and Facebook notification services. Kyte was named Streaming Media Editors' Pick for its technological advances in the growth of the online video industry, as one of the “the most innovative, most important, and just plain coolest stuff in online video.”

I spoke with Gannon Hall, (who at the time of this interview was COO of Kyte and is now Executive Vice President of Global Marketing for KIT digital ), at the 2010 Online Video Platform Summit following his panel session on, Delivering Content to Mobile Devices. Kyte had just released its live streaming to iOS devices capability which fully enabled the ability to live stream to both the web and Apple iOS devices at the same time in native apps and over mobile web in HTML5. Kyte also released new monetization capabilities built into its HTML5 solutions to allow publishers to integrate with third party ad platforms like Doubleclick DART to deliver pre-roll and post-roll video advertising and companion ads.

Hall commented on the importance of mobile for video publishers and consumer:
"Mobile is important, because for one, it's become the fastest growing video segment of video consumption – it's not the largest by any means, but it's one of the fastest growing. So we're seeing increasing demand from our customers to be able to make it much easier for them to deliver full featured, high-quality video experiences to mobile platforms, both as native applications as well as just making sure that their websites playback and function properly on mobile platforms. This is actually something we've been doing for quite some time and we've had a mobile delivery capabilities as early as 2006. Some we were one of the earliest innovators in mobile video delivery and we're continuing to push the envelope as much as we can."
On January 25, 2011, KIT digital acquired the privately-held Kyte for approximately $5.7 million, including $3.1 in cash and $2.6 in KIT stock. It reported a $3.7 million revenue in 2010, primarily from SaaS platform fees and had raised more than $23 million.

In a post on the Kyte blog, Hall said the company was pleased to be joining KIT, and noted:
"We are confident that this partnership will give us the opportunity to bring even more value and exceptional customer service to your organization. More than ever, we are committed to helping you reach, engage and converge your audience with live and on-demand media, wherever they are. Merging the two businesses and our complementary technologies together will enable us to offer a more robust, end-to-end solution portfolio to better meet the full breadth of your video delivery needs."
KIT digital CEO Isaza Tuzman said:
“Kyte is recognized as having the most advanced mobile publishing technology in the marketplace, and has an aggressive and talented management team. We plan to leverage Kyte’s proprietary platform and application frameworks to serve and expand KIT’s global client base. The acquisition also adds a strong West Coast presence in the U.S., which we will use as a R&D and business development hub.”

About Gannon Hall
In his new role as Executive Vice President Global Marketing, Gannon leads KIT’s overall global marketing strategies. Gannon brings nearly two decades of entrepreneurial leadership experience within the emerging and established consumer Internet and enterprise software industries. Prior to joining KIT, Gannon was the COO of Kyte, a leading online and mobile video platform, where he led the company’s product strategy, marketing, business development and operations. (more)