Investors are betting big on video streaming provider Move Networks. The Utah-based company just announced that it raised $46 million in a C round of venture financing. The round was led by Benchmark Capital, and also included Cisco, Comcast Interactive Media, Televisa, Steamboat Ventures and Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. That brings the total raised since December, 2006 to $91.3 million. (Competitor Brightcove has raised $86.2 million and Maven Networks was bought by Yahoo for $160 million in February).
When it comes to streaming HD video on the Web, Move Networks is becoming one of the preferred video streaming partners for many major media sites, including ABC.com, Discovery.com, ESPN.com,and Fox.com. According to the company, it collectively streams videos to 6.5 million people a month, who average 50 minutes of viewing time per session. But Move requires that viewers install its own proprietary video player as a plug-in to their browsers. So in a way it competes with Flash, which is getting better all the time. (Brightcove is taking a different approach by experimenting with BitTorrent and other technologies to create high-quality video experiences through a Flash player). High-definition streams still tend to run into network bottlenecks and slow connection speeds at people’s homes. Whoever can solve or bypass these problems will become adopted by more video sites as the demand for HD video rises.