Unruly, a social video distribution platform whose technology helped power viral campaigns like Evian’s Roller Babies and Old Spice’s “Man Your Man Could Smell Like”, just released its results for the fiscal year ending on March 31. The company says it tripled revenue from £6.0 million to £17.6 million (at current conversion rates, that’s about $27 million).
The Unruly platform is called MEME, which stands for Media Engagement and Measurement Engine. Brands and agencies come to Unruly with videos that they’re hoping to turn into viral hits. Unruly distributes the video to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, influential blogs, and other sites — the goal is to target the audiences that are most likely to help a video spread. The company says it has now delivered more than 2,000 social video campaigns and that comScore’s Media Metrix report for April pegged Unruly’s reach at 917 million unique monthly visitors.
While I’m trotting out all these impressive numbers, I should also mention one of the less triumphant things from the past year: Unruly’s involvement in a complicated controversy involving Google’s linking policies and rankings, though the issue seems to have been largely forgotten, at least from a press coverage standpoint.
I met with co-founders Scott Button (CEO) and Sarah Wood (COO) yesterday to catch up on the company’s plans, and they placed a big emphasis on Unruly’s global reach. The company is headquartered in London, but it also has offices in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Stockholm, and Sydney, plus it’s opening new offices in Detroit and Los Angeles. (The total headcount is above 125.) Button says having access to a global audience, while also having local sales teams across the world, is key when working with large brands.
As for Unruly’s future goals, the pair points to the company’s new social video lab, which Wood describes as an attempt to explore “the science of sharing.” Through testing and research, Unruly wants to predict the effectiveness and shareability of a video before a campaign is launched.
“With a movie’s box office, they don’t always know exactly how it’s going to do, but they have some idea,” Button says. In the same way, Unruly should be able to make some general predictions about whether an audience will like and share a video — after all, he says, people “just aren’t that complicated.”
Visible Measures, another company aiming to turn video content into viral hits, actually announced a $21.5 million round of funding this morning. Unruly raised its own $25 million round back in January.