Content-ID Software Provider Vobile Buys Blayze to Enter YouTube Market

/ Mar 6, 2014


YouTube analytics and marketing startup Blayze has been acquired by Vobile, a software company that specializes in audio and video content-recognition solutions.

Financial terms were not disclosed, though a source close to the deal indicates that it was in both cash and stock, and the price was in the eight figures.

With the acquisition, Vobile hopes to carve out a space for itself among companies that administer rights-management services for major brands and media companies on YouTube.

Up until now, the company’s solutions have largely been employed by Hollywood studios and TV networks internationally, on platforms such as Youku, Sohu, and Rutube. Vobile’s clients include all four of the major broadcast networks, several top cable networks including Comedy Central and IFC, and film studios ranging from New Line Cinema to Disney.

Vobile is hoping that Blayze, with its existing relationships in the US YouTube ecosystem, can help bring Vobile’s technology to major clients who continue to search for and monetize copyrighted content on the world’s biggest video site.

Founded by Ben Smith, a former executive at Google and YouTube, Blayze has focused on building a suite of analytics tools and marketing services for the YouTube market. As part of the acquisition, Smith and fellow co-founder Bennett Neale will join Vobile. Smith’s new role will be SVP of business development, while Neale joins as director of platform. The duo will be responsible for launching a new Vobile office in LA, and seeking out new business opportunities for the company in the market.

This means that Vobile will soon be competing for market share against companies like ZEFR, which just raised $30 million to continue doing what it’s doing, as well as an array of MCNs that pledge similar services for their media and brand clients.

It’s an early exit for Blayze, which has only been around since 2012. The startup, born out of the LA-based accelerator program MuckerLab, had raised a seed round from MuckerCapital, Machinima chairman and CEO Allen DeBevoise*, and Social Leverage, among other investors.

* Allen DeBevoise is also an investor in VideoInk

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