Penthera, a startup that specializes in software that manages the secure downloading of video to mobile devices, has tapped media industry vet Daniel Taitz as its first COO.
Taitz, who is late of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Univision Communications, will also serve as an EVP at Penthera, service on its board and report to company president and CEO Michael Willner.
Penthera’s announced customers include Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications. Among that group, Comcast is using Penthera’s Cache & Carry system for downloadable titles offered through its Xfinity TV go app and the “check out” capability offered through Comcast’s cloud DVR for its next-gen X1 video platform.
Penthera said it is adding Taitz to the team amid a growth surge and as it broadens its global scope.
“We doubled our customer count this year and built a very strong client pipeline,” Willner said, in a statement. “To maintain this trajectory, Penthera is enhancing its sales strategy, casting a wider net to reach the entirety of the very large universe of businesses delivering video direct to consumers both in the U.S. and internationally. Dan, with his breadth of experience in corporate and business development of all aspects of traditional and digital media, will be a key player in the development and oversight of this expansion.”
Taitz has served as interim CEO for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, was an SVP of business affairs at Univision, and was general counsel and chief administrative officer at Oxygen Media Corp. Before that, he was a partner at the Friedman, Kaplan & Seiler, LLP and an associate at Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Earlier this year, Willner noted that Penthera was working on a next-gen version of its platform that will enable its partners to switch out ads in TV shows that have already been downloaded.
Those capabilities, covered in several patents that have been granted to the company, will ensure that the ads in downloaded shows are kept fresh and should position MVPDs to secure additional rights that enable them to expand the amount of titles they can offer in a downloaded fashion.