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Digital Dealmakers: Matt Wasserlauf

Jan 15, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The player: Matt Wasserlauf, CEO of Broadband Enterprises

The play: Broadband Enterprises is an online video network that sells advertising to brand marketers across 1,700 Web sites, such as Lycos, iFilm, Foxnews.com and Marthastewart.com.

The company also operates as an online video syndicator by sharing the video from those 1,700 sites in its network with each other. In that business, Broadband Enterprises competes with big players such as NBC Universal, Google and Brightcove, which syndicate video programming online.

Syndication expands the amount of video ad inventory on the Web. Online video ad spending should grow 89 percent this year, following 82 percent growth last year, according to new-media research firm eMarketer.

The pitch: Broadband Enterprises said its 1,700 sites collectively drew 15.8 million unique streamers in October, according to data from audience measurement firm Comscore. Broadband Enterprises sells ads in those video steams to advertisers such as Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, General Motors, American Express and Honda.

“It’s impossible for advertisers to send beta tapes of their brands to 1,700 different sites. The more sites we roll up, the better for them,” Mr. Wasserlauf said. “Now they send one tape to us for each brand and we send it to those 1,700 sites.”

What’s next: Broadband Enterprises will renew original online makeover show “Cube Fabulous” for a third season. The show has drawn 20 million unique viewers, Mr. Wasserlauf said. He also said the company will introduce later this quarter a set of new advertising tools that lets publishers and advertisers check out marketplace activity, such as streams served, in real time.

Numbers: Mr. Wasserlauf said Broadband Enterprises delivers more than 800 million streams per month for its affiliates.

The money guys: Mr. Wasserlauf started the company in 2004 with $50,000 in personal savings. He inked a deal with Procter & Gamble a few weeks later, so the company didn’t need venture funding. Broadband Enterprises earned $30 million in revenue in the last 12 months, a quadrupling of the 12 prior. The company has been profitable since 2004.

The backstory: When Mr. Wasserlauf started the company in 2004, he set up shop in the attic of his apartment in New Jersey.

Pros: Online video advertising is a red-hot business and should grow to $775 million in revenue this year and $2 billion in 2009, eMarketer said.

Cons: The biggest challenge is identifying the next best content.

“We are working with top producers to identify the next breakout hit. We want to distribute the `Seinfeld’ of broadband,” Mr. Wasserlauf said.

Who knew:

Mr. Wasserlauf, 37, was born in New York and grew up in New Jersey. He earned a degree in marketing from Indiana University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He’s worked with Warner Bros., CBS.com and The FeedRoom. He’s married with two young sons. He said that a few of his closest friends built a Web site called lookslikemattwasserlauf.com “with pictures of several international men that he looks like, in his honor.”