Desilu Studios Buys Israeli Video Streaming Company Vonetize

The paid in cash for a 10% stake in the Tel Aviv-listed over the top (OTT) premium content company, according to a market value of $50 million

Hezi Sternlicht 18:3618.03.18
U.S. film production company Desilu Studios Inc. acquired a controlling stake in Tel Aviv-listed over the top (OTT) premium content company Vonetize PLC, the companies announced on Friday.


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Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Tel Aviv, Vonetize’s technology uses big data to target individualized ads and recommend paid content to users at a specific moment in time. Vonetize operates in over 60 countries and has partnerships with companies such as Disney, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Sony, and Universal Studios.

Vonetize co-founder and CEO Noam Josephidis. Photo: Sharon Bareket Vonetize co-founder and CEO Noam Josephidis. Photo: Sharon Bareket


As part of the deal, Desilu will pay cash for a 10% stake in Vonetize, at a rate of $1.41 per share, reflecting a market valuation of $50 million. Desilu Studios has the option to buy another 44% within a year.


In a statement, Desilu said that the company's technology arm in Los Angeles will work closely with the Vonetize team to fully integrate Vonetize’s technology, which the studio plans to include as a driving force in many facets of its operations, from direct content offering, interactive experiences, and digital commerce.


"It has been my vision from day one to deliver our content direct to consumers via streaming or any other emerging and disruptive technologies,” Charles B. Hensley, Desilu Chairman and CEO, said in a statement.


Correction Monday, Nov. 5, 2018: A previous version of this article mistakenly stated that Desilu Studios Inc. is the same company as Desilu Productions, a U.S. production company co-owned by actors Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. The original Desilu was active between 1950 and 1967 and produced television series I Love Lucy, Star Trek, and The Untouchables.

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