Already a leader in the TV Everywhere space, Verizon is getting even more serious about the multiscreen video business.
The US telco announced Wednesday that Verizon Digital Media Services (VDMS), its cloud-based video services unit, is buying upLynk for an undisclosed sum. A three-year-old startup based in Los Angeles, upLynx powers video streaming for the Watch ABC and Walt Disney TV Everywhere apps.
VDMS, formed recently by Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), pitches a raft of capabilities to service and content providers looking to play in the multiscreen video space. The Verizon unit already offers "end-to-end video solutions" -- including content ingestion, transmission, management, hosting, and delivery -- for media publishers seeking to beam live, linear TV channels and on-demand video programming to TVs, tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices. Its initial, in-house clients include Verizon FiOS and Redbox Instant by Verizon.
VDMS officials said the deal will add upLynk's exclusive technology for streamlining the uploading and encoding of multiscreen video to its portfolio. A cloud-based specialist, upLynk uses a single adaptive streaming format to encode and deliver video content to all devices, rather than multiple streaming formats. As a result, the company claims, it can simplify video encoding, storage, playback, ad insertion, and analytics and improve video workflows for providers.
"Simply put, this acquisition provides intelligent, scalable, and more flexible ways of streaming video for our customers," said VDMS President Bob Toohey in a prepared statement. All of upLynk's dozen or so employees are expected to join the Verizon division.
With the deal behind it, Verizon is also looking to expand its multiscreen horizons beyond its own video units and content providers. Chris Carey, chief product officer for VDMS, told Multichannel News that his operation is aiming to extend its services to cable operators and other service providers with TV Everywhere ambitions.
— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading