Betawave Launches New Ad-Supported Video Platform

Betawave, the new iteration of the digital media company formerly known as GoFish, has launched Betawave TV, an ad-supported video platform and ad network focused on “family-friendly” programming.

The company, with former Tribal DDB Worldwide CEO Matt Freeman as its CEO and former Yahoo, Warner Bros. and Time Warner executive Jim Moloshok as its executive chairman, expects to have about six million monthly viewers at launch. That number is derived from the monthly viewership of sites that are carrying Betawave video content, including Cartoon Doll Emporium, Piczo, Minyanland, Hallpass, GameGecko and Urbaniacs. Betawave TV will also be available to “select” sites not within the Betaware publisher network.

Programming on Betaware TV will include animation, youth-oriented news, sports, movie and video game information, special events, celebrity interviews, fashion and segments on health and beauty. There will also be branded video programs from MGM, CookieJar, MRC, Entertainment Premieres, Kabillion and Young Hollywood, according to a launch announcement.

In December, Betaware secured $22.5 million in private placement financing led by Panorama Capital, Rustic Canyon Partners and Rembrandt Venture Partners.

Moloshok said the company designed its video platform to integrate seamlessly onto partner sites. “It’s a white label approach, so on each one of our sites, while there’s a standardized infrastructure built on the Brightcove platform, on each site the player is customized, re-skinned and re-named… The sites are contractually obligated to not just put a player in there but to integrate it into their navigation.” He said the partner sites “are also obligated and have agreed” to use editorial placements to send traffic to the appropriate video channels.

“Betawave TV allows us to provide advertisers and publishers high-quality video programming,” said Freeman in a statement. “Broadband advertising represents a growing share of online revenues despite the fact that there is a shortage of programming in environments that conform to high editorial standards.”

As for the name change from GoFish to Betawave, Moloshok said the move reflects the company’s goal of presenting immersive content that viewers, including adults, find pleasurable. “A beta wave is the wave your brain has when you are in the highest level of active concentration,” he explained. “The name GoFish sort of suggested it was just for kids… We are still actively selling youth, but we are also actively marketing against women and moms.”

Betawave, with headquarters in San Francisco and New York and sales offices in Los Angeles and Chicago, has a domestic reach of more than 25 million unique domestic users and 69 million worldwide. Moloshok said Betawave has climbed “within the shadows” of Disney and Nickelodeon in terms of users.

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