& cplSiteName &

TiVo Buys OTT Video Search Firm

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
12/10/2012
50%
50%

TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) has acquired Zinc.TV, a company that uses metadata to locate and curate video from more than 500 Web-based sources, Light Reading Cable has learned.

TiVo has not announced the acquisition, but a spokesman confirmed that it happened "some time ago." The spokesman didn't say when the deal went down, but the Zinc.tv terms of service (ToS) was last updated on Oct. 24 and now directs all questions, complaints or claims related to Zinc.TV to TiVo's corporate headquarters in Alviso, Calif.

Update: Or did TiVo disclose it, but did not identify Zinc.TV by name? The TiVo 10Q for the quarter ended Oct. 31, 2012, does note the following: "On October 24, 2012, the Company completed another business acquisition for $5.3 million in cash." [Ed. note: Hat tip to reader sbiller1, who spotted it and made note of the disclosure on the message board. We've asked TiVo to confirm.]

Combining OTT and traditional TV
Zinc.TV gathers up free, subscription and pay-per-view movies, TV shows and video clips. Its original owner, Littleton, Mass.-based ZeeVee, had been developing the company's advanced video search technology for almost five years.

According to the Zinc.TV site, the company has cataloged more than 1.14 million "TV quality videos" from 533 sources, including usual suspects such as Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iTunes, Crackle and Hulu LLC . Boiled down further, Zinc.TV claims it has access to more than 18,360 TV series and 81,962 movies.

What's interesting is that Zinc.tv's system is capable of merging all of that OTT data with a cable operator's live TV lineup, what's available in the MSO's TV Everywhere and traditional video-on-demand (VoD) libraries, and what's stored on the customer's DVR.

Once that information is combined, the system can be tailored to give preference to movies and TV shows that are offered for free (i.e. ad-supported), via a subscription service (like Netflix), or on a pay-per-view basis from a pay-TV provider or via a service like iTunes. Another level of personalization lets users only see search results for movies and TV shows that can be played out on the devices they happen to be using, including tablets and set-top boxes. Once a video is located, clicking the "play" button forwards the user to the source of the video.



That sort of metadata/search backend system is of course valuable for a company like TiVo, as its current strategy focuses on a platform that can support traditional pay-TV services alongside access to OTT video. TiVo isn't commenting on how it intends to use Zinc.TV's technology, and it was not immediately known if TiVo has already integrated Zinc.TV's system into its retail HD-DVRs or the boxes and software it supplies to pay-TV partners such as Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), Suddenlink Communications , RCN Corp. and DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), among others.

ZeeVee relaunched Zinc.TV in March 2011 as a white-labeled, Internet video platform for service providers, and announced that Genovation Capital LLC , a venture capital firm founded by a handful of cable vets, had taken an undisclosed stake. (See Cable Vets Launch VC Firm.)

Zinc.TV has not announced any service provider deals, but it noted in the March 2011 announcement that it was in trials with operators and partners in U.S., Europe and Mexico.

But the general idea behind Zinc.TV has already started to catch on with some major cable operators. A prime example is Charter Communications Inc. , which announced in November 2011 that its Charter.net customer portal had gained the ability to organize content from Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu alongside the MSO's own VoD content when customers searched for movies and TV shows. At the time, Charter said it expected to expand that functionality on tablets and mobile devices sometime in 2012.

MSO's Charter.net Web portal includes an Online TV Networks page that lists almost 300 Web-based sources of video, including mainstream suppliers such as ABC, NBC, CNN and HBO, as well as niche fare from Mojo, Craftster and Aniplex.

Charter, coincidentally, is a TiVo partner, but currently leases out TiVo devices only in its Texas-area systems. (See Charter, TiVo Mess With Texas.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/10/2013 | 4:00:15 AM
re: TiVo Buys OTT Video Search Firm


Would be a good addition to the TiVo search/curation function, as it's not always clear without a lot of hunting around if a movie or TV show is available for free, part of a subscription package or on a pay-per-view basis.  I can recall a few times when I've bought TV episodes on iTunes in haste only to find later that it's offered in the cable operator's TV Everywhere library.


I played around with Zinc.TV on the Web, but could see how this would be a good tool to integrate into a set-top UI.  But curious to know how much TiVo had to pay for this.  JB

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/10/2013 | 4:00:14 AM
re: TiVo Buys OTT Video Search Firm


Excellent eye, Sam. That would seem to match up. I'll see if I can confirm that it's Zinc.TV they're talking about on that reference. JB


 


 

Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 16, 2017, ExCel Centre, London
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Is US Lurching Back to Monopoly Status?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Muni Policies Stymie Edge Computing
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/17/2017
'Brutal' Automation & the Looming Workforce Cull
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/18/2017
Pai's FCC Raises Alarms at Competitive Carriers
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Worried About Bandwidth for 4K? Here Comes 8K!
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 10/17/2017
Animals with Phones
Selfie Game Strong Click Here
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
The Mobile Broadband Road Ahead
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives