Digital Dealmakers: David Graves, PermissionTV

Sep 23, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The player: David Graves, chairman and co-founder of PermissionTV
The play: PermissionTV is one of a handful of companies inking deals with content providers to power online video. The company offers technology for Internet TV that lets media companies and publishers create a video player, channels, a playlist and other features online.
The pitch: The company’s “tool kit” approach lets clients’ in-house developers build their own video sites, Mr. Graves said. Users can opt to create channel guides, enable either streaming or downloaded video, and allow for various ad formats, such as five-second spots that jump, or telescope, to five-minute commercials. Customers can earn money from their content via ad-supported, pay-per-view and subscription-based services.
In the mix: PermissionTV’s customers include MyNetwork, Toyota, HereTV, Mitt Romney, FHM Magazine and Bob Vila, among others. BobVila.com has posted its archives online and has been able to turn Web video into a profitable business through Web advertising, Mr. Graves said.
The backstory: Mr. Graves founded the company in 2004 and has been offering the service commercially for more than two years. “We wanted to build the infrastructure to enable Web sites to create highly interactive TV experiences that would bring the best of the Web and the best of television into a single environment.” he said.
The money guys: PermissionTV raised $18 million in funding from venture firms including Castile Ventures, Inflection Point Ventures, Point Judith Capital, SAS Investors and Venture Capital Fund of New England. The company makes money by licensing its software.
The pros: PermissionTV’s toolkit is customized and doesn’t rely on templates, Mr. Graves said. The benefit of a tailored site is that it stands out and doesn’t feel like a cookie-cutter site that a Web visitor has seen elsewhere, he said.
The cons: Competition is stiff and comes from a range of companies including Brightcove, Maven Networks, thePlatform, Roo, NarrowStep, Extend Media, VideoEgg, Magnify and others.
Background: Mr. Graves was born and raised in Endicott, N.Y. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1970 with a degree in drama and taught himself Basic computer programming while there. He previously was senior VP of media at Yahoo. He also was president of Reuters Media and has worked for Westinghouse Broadcasting. He is 59 and currently lives outside of Boston with his wife and two daughters.
Who knew? Mr. Graves previously worked on the TV show “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” striking international deals. In that capacity, he once was seen walking in Cannes holding hands with a life-size Mutant Ninja Turtle.

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)