Light Reading

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


 


 

Flash Poll
From The Founder
Ericsson's Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000, featuring Intel's Rack Scale Architecture, caused a stir when it was announced at MWC 2015. For more on this revolutionary product, join me on Thursday, April 30 at 12:00 p.m. EST for a Super Webinar event, A New Hardware Paradigm for the Telco Data Center.
LRTV Documentaries
Cox Eyes Cloud-Based Home Networks

4|27|15   |   05:30   |   (0) comments


Cox's Jeff Finkelstein explains how moving services to the cloud will let cable deliver services faster and eliminate constant hardware replacements.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
Upcoming Live Events
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
In its latest survey covering network operators' plans and strategies for ICT transformation, Heavy Reading asked telecom operators worldwide to identify the most important goals and objectives for their ICT transformation initiatives. Heavy Reading also asked operators about the importance of a "digital first" strategy, which enables customers to complete an interaction across different digital channels, such as web and mobile self-service and social media.
Hot Topics
Comcast Formally Ends Its Bid for TWC
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/24/2015
Comcast Reportedly Dropping $45B TWC Bid
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 4/23/2015
Google's WiFi-First Mobile Service 'Fi' Is Here
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2015
Amazon Earnings: What to Watch For
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/23/2015
Adtran Is Developing White Box GPON Tech
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/24/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
Cats with Phones
Learning Curve Click Here
Pierre could never remember how to use Excel.
Latest Comment