Client Profile: Unruly Media
Unruly Media Ltd distributes and tracks the performance of video advertising campaigns across popular online platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. It has delivered, tracked and audited successful social video campaigns for global brands, including Evian’s Roller Babies and Heineken’s Open Your World. It has also helped the comparethemarket.com meerkat campaign and T-Mobile’s Life’s for Sharing series. In January 2012 Unruly secured $25 million in funding from leading technology investors. It was the largest ever investment for a private company in the social video sector.
It is easy to see how Unruly attracted such a record-breaking investment. Its award-winning global platform for social video advertising can reach an audience of over 725 million, who choose to click on and view their videos online. Unlike television ads, this form of advertising is not delivered to a distracted viewer or an empty room. In 2011, online advertising expenditure beat television to the number one spot for the first time. Social video is now widely recognised as a valuable advertising format able to strengthen brands and make meaningful connections with viewers. It has attracted 100 percent growth in advertising spend year-on-year since 2008.
Sarah Wood, Scott Button and Matt Cooke founded Unruly in January 2006. They started out collating popular viral video content from around the web using a blog-scanning engine to discover which videos were being shared most rapidly and who was doing the sharing. They launched www.viralvideochart.com in September 2006. Unruly’s Viral Video Chart is now syndicated to a number of national newspapers and advertising industry publications, including The Guardian, Mashable, BuzzFeed, Campaign, the IAB, AdWeek, Marketing magazine, Die Welt and Brand Republic. It is the ultimate source to discover the most popular videos online.
Unruly was the first to scan social online media effectively and gain a unique data source. Its global platform makes it easy for brands to distribute and track their content across the social web.
Today Unruly is headquartered in London, with offices in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Sydney, and employs over 100 people. Sarah Wood, co-founder of Unruly and Chief Operations Officer, explained: “We didn’t need to raise capital. We’re growing incredibly fast and have been profitable for the past three years.”
Unruly turned over more revenue in the last quarter of 2011 than it did in the whole of the previous year. Turnover in 2010 was £1.8 million: in 2011 it had more than trebled to £5.9 million.
Sarah added: “The extra capital will enable us to accelerate our international expansion. We’re set on becoming the dominant player in every major advertising territory within the next two years and this will help us get there.”
The success of Unruly has not just attracted significant investment. It also achieved a hat trick at the 2011 National Chamber of Commerce Awards winning ‘Business of the Year’, ‘Finding New International Markets’ and ‘Outstanding Business Achievement Winner of Winners’ awards. Sarah was awarded the ‘Female Entrepreneur of the Year’ in the 2011 Fast Growth Business Awards and the company was recently named 27th in the Sunday Times ‘Top 100 Small Companies to Work For’.
Michael Cook, Partner, and the team at Reeves have worked with Unruly for three years now handling its audit, corporate tax, financial accounts and the directors’ personal tax. Sarah commented: “Reeves keep our finances in tip-top condition. Everything runs smoothly and seamlessly, with minimal effort from us. We rely on them to do whatever is necessary, quickly and efficiently. With a new office opening every three months, we have to work with people we trust. Speed is always of the essence at Unruly. Last year we needed our audit completed in record time as we were being approached by investors. Reeves delivered it. I would happily recommend them.”
Sarah concluded: “Everyone here really cares about what we do. We simply want to deliver the most awesome social video campaigns on the planet.” In 2012, with an unprecedented level of investment from technology specialists to support them, Unruly seem perfectly positioned to succeed.”