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Eyeing Streaming, WideOrbit Acquires Abacast

Abacast's 14 employees join WideOrbit's 406

WideOrbit has acquired Abacast, expanding its digital offerings for radio and other media companies.

WideOrbit makes ad management software for media companies, while Abacast sells streaming, live and on-demand ad insertion and monetization solutions for digital radio operators. Abacast has 16 employees, all of whom join WideOrbit, bringing its total to 420.

The transaction closed Friday. Both companies are privately held; financial terms were not disclosed. The Abacast name will be retained, at least for now, as “Abacast, a WideOrbit Company.” Abacast will operate as a subsidiary of WideOrbit; its CEO Rob Green will become VP of streaming. John Morris becomes senior director of engineering, streaming and Jim Kott will be senior director of product management, streaming.

WideOrbit founder/CEO Eric R. Mathewson in the announcement cited Abacast’s “strong position in the market as a leader in streaming solutions for radio and … solid reputation for providing excellent support to its clients.” WideOrbit says it has seen a “distinct rise in demand” for digital solutions and spoke of the importance for radio clients of growing digital ad sales and “non-linear revenue streams.”

WideOrbit will be maintaining the Abacast offices in Vancouver, Wash., it stated. Abacast email addresses and phone numbers remain the same for now.

With this acquisition, WideOrbit’s stable includes more offerings for digital audio services including Clarity, a cloud-based service to provide online radio streaming for broadcasters and podcasters, as well as its WO Traffic–Internet Orders system. Its lineup also includes another recent acquisition, Fivia AdFront, for managing digital ad sales, inventory, orders and billing for media companies and ISPs.

“WideOrbit is committed to expanding its current linear software offerings to deliver a comprehensive solution set including non-linear ad operations,” it said in a FAQ accompanying the announcement. “This will allow major media companies to manage both linear and non-linear advertising operations on a single platform efficiently and profitably.”

The company noted that Borrell Associates recently predicted a 22% rise in digital ad revenue in radio by the end of 2014.