An innovative Toronto-based technology company known as YANGAROO is fast becoming known as one of the industry’s premier secure digital media management companies. Recently YANGAROO announced it had signed an agreement with Pacific Media Technologies Inc. (PMT) of Los Angeles, a leading television post-production and digital services company serving the direct response and political advertising TV industries. The partnership will incorporate YANGAROO’s cutting-edge distribution technology – YANGAROO Advertising – into PMT’s current platform that it offers to existing and new clients. By creating a new pathway for clients’ ads to be delivered to broadcast and cable media outlets in the United States and Canada, the partnership will serve to drive growth and revenue for both firms.
Powered by the company’s patented Digital Media Distribution System (DMDS) platform, YANGAROO Advertising is a Web-based and hardware-free service that enables senders to deliver high-quality audio and video files to broadcasters around the globe. It includes the industry’s first fully-automated traffic management system called “Reporter”, which merges personalized traffic instructions with a signed and date-stamped confirmation that traffic instructions have been received, providing a significant competitive advantage. DMDS is a leading secure B2B digital cloud based solution focused on the music and advertising industries. All software has been designed in-house and is proprietary to the company, which has a staff of about 30 employees.
DMDS Music delivers the highest quality new music and music videos to radio programmers, broadcasters, journalists, and other industry influencers anywhere in the world. It’s lightning fast and very secure.
PMT in southern California is a digital video services facility with more than 18 years of experience serving the direct-response industry, dedicated to customization, duplication, and distribution of short and long-form paid programming to broadcast, cable, Internet, and mobile video platforms. It handles analog and digital ad distribution, covering 7,400 television destinations, for more than 100 clients, including major direct response TV companies and political advertisers, seeking a targeted audience and has made more than 750,000 deliveries. Additionally, PMT provides world-class encoding, digital asset management, and content storage solutions. Its comprehensive end-to-end digital workflow and confirmation process includes: customized editing, repurposing content, archive preservation, and multiplatform international distribution.
“PMT has emerged as one of the most well-known post-production and distribution houses in the direct response advertising industry,” Gary Moss, President and CEO of YANGAROO tells CBJ in an interview. “As a result of this partnership, they’ll now be able to build upon that reputation by offering YANGAROO Advertising as part of their services. This deal will generate immediate new revenues for YANGAROO and we expect additional growth as the direct response business continues the transition to HD broadcasting.”
“With the TV advertising landscape continuing to change, we sought a partner whose technology would be of the most benefit to our clients,” says Bill Hynes, President of Pacific Media Technologies. “By adopting YANGAROO’s DMDS technology, we can now improve the effectiveness of direct marketing campaigns through the enhanced tune-in of HD advertising. YANGAROO Advertising is a market leader in effectiveness of HD spot distribution.”
“The agreement with PMT is the first major deal brought to the company by Lee Salas, our recently-appointed Vice President, Sales, West, based in Los Angeles,” said Karen Dealy, YANGAROO President of Advertising Operations. “Given his extensive industry knowledge and experience, this will no doubt be the first of many deals to contribute to YANGAROO’s continuing growth.”
“We’re delighted with the deal,” adds Moss. “Lee Salas joined us about six weeks ago and he comes to us with a very strong network and we closed the deal with him. It’s a significant deal for us and our first major client on the west coast. From a business standpoint it’s significant because Pacific Media is focused on direct response, which is obviously a medium that is very advertising intensive in terms of the number of deliveries and spots that are delivered to radio and television. They’re also focused on political advertising, which as you know when that kicks in will be very significant. I think the mid-term advertising in the U.S. will start in the next eight to 12 months.”
The alliance between YANGAROO and PMT has been described as a way to create a new pathway for PMT client ads to be delivered to broadcasted cable media outlets throughout Canada and the U.S.
“Our specialty is in helping clients deliver high-definition (HD) content to the broadcasters,” Moss says.
The direct response industry interestingly enough is predominantly standard definition at the moment and one of the reasons is it’s a very price competitive industry.
“To this point the price of delivering high-def has been reasonably expensive,” Moss offers. “We’ve developed a low-cost, efficient delivery model so that we can help customers like Pacific Media become competitive on the HD side, so we’re going to help them migrate their customers over to HD and we’re taking that price barrier point away.”
Typical clients are either advertising agencies or a production house, such as Pacific Media. Another client, Horizon Media falls more on the agency side.
In the Beginning
YANGAROO has been around for about 13 years now and was started by two men named John Heaven and Cliff Hunt, the latter of whom is still with the company today. The original intent for starting the business was to cater to the distribution of digital audio files, such as music files on behalf of music labels to radio stations.
“This was at a time when the world was going digital, music was being stolen and it was also expensive to service music to radio,” Moss says. “So the industry was looking for a solution that was cheaper in terms of distribution but also it was secure so the labels could lock down the music and the recipients would be accountable because the labels would know who’d received the music and when; everything was watermarked.”
This method served as the music industry solution for the first eight or nine years of its existence.
Moss has been on the board of directors for YANGAROO for about eight years. His original attraction was his intrigue with the company’s technological capabilities for the music industry both on the audio side and subsequently the video side.
“It wasn’t just what the company did it was how the technology worked,” he explains. “It was a very innovative way of doing things and we were the first company in this space to employ cloud technology and put a system in place that was dynamic and forward looking as opposed to a solution that was set in stone. I also thought there was a good team in place.”
As the relationship grew, Moss liked YANGAROO more and more and the company felt the same way about him, which ultimately led to his being brought on as chief executive.
“When the previous CEO left I had my own consulting company at the time,” Moss reveals. “The board called me and said the CEO has left; would you step in as interim CEO.” He had the capacity and time to do it, so Moss accepted the role. Prior to YANGAROO Moss spent much of his career in the media and entertainment sectors and other related industries that were combined with technology.
“I had a good idea on what the company was about and felt that the technology and the opportunity was wonderful, which is why I agreed to step in,” he says.
YANGAROO has continued on the same path since Moss has taken over the reins because it’s been very successful to this point, so there’s no cause for change.
“However, before I stepped on as CEO the company made a strategic decision about four or five years ago that, although the technology solution was something that the music industry had embraced, and we had wonderful partners and the music business – all the labels were on board – we have an agreement with MTV and Viacom, the company felt that the technology was being underutilized so we tried to see where else we could take the technology on a reasonably seamless basis. One of the opportunities that seemed to make sense for us was the advertising industry.”
Expansion to Advertising
Moss tells us that over the last four years YANGAROO has spent a lot of time and effort coming up with a similar solution for the advertising industry as they’d already successfully deployed for the music business. It’s a cloud-based system that doesn’t require any kind of dedicated hardware such as computer servers or satellites.
“It’s very user friendly and the design of the system is part of the customer’s workflow as opposed to us selling a canned solution,” Moss states. “When I came on board the advertising piece had been identified, the software had been developed and we had already struck a deal with Horizon Media in New York, the largest independent media buyer in North America. They’re about a $3.5 billion company.”
When YANGAROO first got into advertising, Horizon Media agreed to be both a customer and business development partner, which proved to be very beneficial when building the system from a user’s point of view.
“By the time we launched, we weren’t launching a product that we thought the industry needed, we were launching a product we knew the industry wanted,” Moss adds. “My mandate coming in was to stay the course and realize our objective of becoming a significant player in the advertising industry as well as maintaining and growing the business on the music side as well.”
Along with Toronto, YANGAROO has offices in New York, Dallas and L.A. New York is an obvious choice, as Moss notes the Big Apple is essentially the centre of the universe when it comes to advertising. Dallas is ideally located in deep southern state and fairly equidistant between the east and west coasts and Los Angeles is the other office location, with Hollywood right there.
Awards Show Platform
Moss is also very proud of a relatively new initiative taken on by the company.
“Something which we’ve developed that is somewhat of an off-shoot of the music business is our awards show platform,” Moss tells us. “We are the de facto standard for the management of the full award show process where those shows are managed digitally. The Juno’s people approached us a while back and said you’re distributing music digitally and seem to have that part figured out .”
This aspect was costing the Juno Awards a lot of money and so they were looking for a business to take over the responsibility of fulfilling the cumbersome task, which included mailing out CDs and collecting paper ballots and then collate it all. They desperately wanted a way to automate the process.
“We came up with a way of automating it for the Juno’s,” Moss proclaims. “It worked very well and we’ve been running the Juno’s for several years, but as a result of that and our association with Viacom in the U.S., we’ve rolled our awards show solution out across most of the music-related awards shows in the U.S. We certainly have the big ones, including The Grammy’s, The Country Music Awards, BET Hip Hop Awards, MTV Movie Awards and about two months ago we announced we had signed a multiyear deal with the Emmy’s to do three of four awards shows of theirs as well.”
By Angus Gillespie