Vancouver-based BroadbandTV says it is now the third-most viewed online video purveyor in the world, behind only Google and Facebook.
The company released data from market research firm comScore Tuesday showing its platform, which has 74,000 partners including music giant BMG and the National Basketball Association, had more than 317 million unique viewers in February, well behind Google sites (more than one billion) and Facebook (602 million) but ahead of Vevo and Warner Music.
BroadbandTV is led by Shahrzad Rafati, an Iranian-born computer science engineer and one of Canada's most successful female tech entrepreneurs. She sold 51 per cent of the 10-year-old company to European entertainment conglomerate RTL Group in 2013 for $36-million (U.S.), but more recent deals in the space suggest BroadbandTV could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Verizon last week bought 24.5 per cent of rival YouTube content provider AwesomenessTV last week for $159-million, valuing the company at $650-million, double its value the last time a stake in the company changed hands 16 months earlier. That followed a May, 2014 deal by Walt Disney Co. to buy Maker Studios Inc. for up to $500-million plus bonuses worth up to another $450-million.
"We're now poised for another period of significant growth," Ms. Rafati said in a release. She said the company plans to expand the number of channels for distributing content "across more platforms, and further diversify revenue streams."
BroadbandTV recently vaulted past Maker Studios to become the largest "multiplatform network" in the world, and features prominently in RTL's annual reports as a driver of its digital revenue. Industry sources say BroadbandTV's annualized revenue now tops $100-million.