Published On: Wed, Mar 5th, 2014

Comcast Nears $320 Million Buy Of Jonathan Heller’s FreeWheel Media

Heller, along with his  partners Doug Knopper and Diane Yu are set to receive around $320 million for FreeWheel Media which specializes in embedding ads in Web videos.

 Jonnathan Heller

Jonathan (Jon) Heller, joint CEO and co-founder of  FreeWheel Media, the San Mateo, California based high-tech company is reportedly in advanced stages of negotiation with what will be America’s undoubtedly largest cable and media company, Comcast.

FreeWheel Media,  founded in 2007,  have developed a technology which provides invaluable assistance media companies who want to deliver short ads embedded into Web video, an option which is  especially appealing to Comcast who have become increasingly interested in expanding their interests into the increasingly lucrative online video niche .

FreeWheel

In recent years, Comcast’s cable operation division has invested heavily a number of in creating online video portals and applications to offer their massive client base of cable-TV subscribers, and you see a number of methods  to allow their clients to  stream TV programming on devices onto their desktop computers as well as tablets and Smartphones.

By taking advantage of  FreeWheel Media’s  technology, which is currently being utilised only by traditional TV networks’ websites and online-only outlets, Comcast will be able to ensure their clients that the advertising they will be pointed to a very specific market with FreeWheel Media providing them with the ability to take into account a number of other variables , such variables as a subscriber’s location and well as their most recent viewing habits and history.

The last few years FreeWheel has become increasingly regarded as one of the most  important data providers in the rapidly growing online video sector with most industry onlookers pointing out that they will be a perfect fit for Comcast who have long been known as supporters of the effort to offer cable-TV subscribers access to cable programming online.

According to industry reports, if and when the deal is completed, Jonathan Heller and his partners will continue to run FreeWheel as an autonomous unit within the Comcast framework, with the company’s management team and key employees, remaining in place. Headquartered in the Silicon Valley FreeWheel  also operates from regional offices situated in New York, London and Beijing.

Since  founding FreeWheel media, Jonathan Heller, along with his partners, has succeeded in raising around $37 million in venture funding, with the last round coming in 2012. Among those companies who  have  invested in FreeWheel  media are Battery Ventures, DirecTV, Foundation Capital, Steamboat Ventures and the Turner Broadcasting System,

Comcast, operators of the largest cable network in the United States are on a major growth drive having recently acquired what was the second-largest rival,  Time Warner Cable Inc for the considerably larger sum of $45.2 billion, with the takeover still pending government approval.

Jonathan Heller,  regarded as one of the leading pioneers in the addressable marketing sector , graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the Wharton school later going on to earn his Masters from the University of Chicago where he focused on  Strategy and Finance.

After graduating  Heller spent ten  years working as a management consultant with international management consulting firm Oliver, Wyman, leading them to join another management consulting company Booz Allen and Hamilton based in Fairfax County, Virginia. Jonathan finished his stint in conventional management consultancy working with  Accenture, where he continued to gain considerable experience in the management of large scale systems integration among a variety of other.

Jonathan left  Accenture in 1997  to  join  Double click, at that time one of the first  application service provider companies to be found on the Internet internet providing “ad-serving”, services, in those in early days primarily through banner ads. Heller rose rapidly through the ranks of Double click reaching the rank of Group Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Double click’s Global Media division, which at its peak, reached turnovers of around $300 million annually, with a client base numbering in the thousands from no less than 23 countries.

During the 10 years that he spent at double click, Jonathon Heller is regarded as being a key pioneer in the definition and use of data and addressable media for customer relationship marketing.

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