SAN MATEO, Calif., Dec. 18, 2009 — Conviva, Inc., an online video solutions provider, today announced the appointment of Darren Feher to president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. Most recently executive vice president and chief technology officer for NBC Universal, Feher succeeds company co-founder Dr. Hui Zhang who will assume the role of chief scientist, and will focus on driving product direction and innovation.
Feher, 37, spent nearly a decade at General Electric (GE) and NBC Universal and is regarded as the driving force behind the technical convergence of traditional television and digital media that helped position NBC Universal as a global leader. He is also credited with the company’s advancements in online video, viral and social communities, interactive television, games, and mobile experiences. Additionally, he was instrumental in the fight against digital piracy with extensive technical and policy work resulting in the widespread adoption of video fingerprinting. The foundation Feher built paved the way for many groundbreaking digital firsts for the $17B media giant such as the multi-platform coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic games, the launch of hulu.com, live voting on network and cable TV and the delivery of content to mobile carriers and iTunes. While at GE, he held several technology leadership roles and was a Six Sigma Quality Leader focused on delivering defect-free technologies using statistical process control. He also spent five years as an Army Signal Officer.
“While there have been tremendous strides in the advancement of online video enrichment, we are only at the beginning of an incredible growth period in which content companies will unlock the incredible business potential of the brave new world of online media,” said Dr. Zhang. “Darren’s deep media experience and unique blend of organizational leadership, technical acumen and entrepreneurial spirit is exactly what Conviva needs as the company continues to set the gold-standard of quality in the online video space.”
“At a time of significant change and innovation throughout the online video industry, new alliances are forming, business models continue to solidify and consumer behaviors are taking shape to support a continued increase in online video consumption coupled with a heightened expectation for the highest quality experience,” said Feher. “Conviva’s technology specifically optimizes both quality and economics of online video delivery while providing real-time audience insights to increase a content owner’s ability to adapt to the ever-changing environment.”
Long-Standing History in Online Video Industry
Based on nearly two decades of research and innovation in the online video space, Conviva was founded in 2006 by Dr. Hui Zhang and Dr. Ion Stoica to address the profound deficiency in video quality left by today’s streaming solutions. Backed by Foundation Capital, NEA and UV Ventures, Conviva’s express purpose is to safeguard a customer’s Internet broadcast from disrupted, delayed and grainy video—which often plague a user’s experience.
Conviva’s media control platform manages the distribution of media over heterogeneous resources with customized policies that enable broadcasters to deliver the highest possible video quality to viewers at any given point in time. In fact, no other vendor can detect, diagnose and repair quality issues throughout the online video value chain as quickly and cleanly as Conviva. Furthermore, the inherent technology of the platform delivers real-time insights faster than other solutions in the marketplace—on average 10 seconds or less.
Feher added, “As CTO for NBC Universal, I worked with countless technology companies and know firsthand that content owners will only trust their valuable assets to proven solutions based on both science and real-world experience. I am excited to join a company that not only demonstrates tangible results backed by hardcore data, but also provides customers with a clear path to online business profitability despite the complexity of their media landscape.”
The capabilities of the Conviva media control platform have resonated widely with customers and partners in the U.S. and Europe. For example, working with Microsoft Corp., Conviva will provide real-time insight on the experience of online viewers to NBC during the network’s coverage of the Vancouver Winter Games from Vancouver, February 12-28, 2010, powered by Microsoft Silverlight and Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) Live Smooth Streaming.
“Today’s online viewers expect high-quality, reliable and buffer-free video,” said Steve Sklepowich, director for Silverlight at Microsoft. “Conviva’s media control platform enables the management and distribution of high-quality online video to help deliver a stutter-free, HD experience with Silverlight and Smooth Streaming to online fans of the Vancouver Winter Games.”
Conviva is transforming the online video experience. Through its real-time, intelligent video platform, content publishers can manage a diverse set of resources to deliver high-definition quality, optimize economics and scale efficiently to accommodate increased growth. Conviva’s unique approach of blending the best of the Internet and traditional television has given customers such as Indy Racing League, NBC Universal and Yahoo! the ability to consistently deliver clear, crisp, reliable video to all of their audiences.