Multi-screen video

Synacor, thePlatform Tie Multiscreen Knot

Still seeking to expand its TV Everywhere portfolio beyond its core customer web portals and authentication services, Synacor is teaming up with thePlatform to piece together an integrated solution for both video service and content providers.

Synacor Inc. and thePlatform Inc. , a white-label media publishing company owned by Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), announced the new partnership earlier this week as both companies look to expand their offerings and attract new customers. The agreement comes as the multiscreen video market, after years of big promises but underwhelming results, shows clear signs of finally taking off. (See Synacor & thePlatform Team for TV Everywhere.)

Under the agreement hammered out between the two TV Everywhere players, Synacor's integrated solutions for multiscreen video service will add access to mpx, thePlatform's flagship backend video management system for multiscreen workflow, policy management and playback services. Synacor plans to tie mpx into its existing multiscreen offerings, which include Starpage, its PowerPlay search and discovery/metadata platform, which it inherited through its recent acquisition of NimbleTV. (See Synacor Scoops Up NimbleTV.)

Synacor will also integrate mpx into its Cloud ID Authentication service. In a boost to Synacor's fortunes and stock price, Dish Network's new Sling TV OTT video service recently selected the Cloud ID platform for authorizing and authenticating its subscribers.

Calling it "a very nice complement," Synacor CEO Himesh Blise said the deal "will enable us to meet the dynamic and evolving needs of our customers in bold new ways" by offering them an end-to-end solution for multiscreen video, rather than just several pieces of the puzzle. "Now we really have an end-to-end video service," he said.

Likewise, Marty Roberts, co-CEO of thePlatform, said the agreement will allow his company to offer "more of a managed solution" to its dozens of service and content provider clients. In addition, he said, thePlatform will broaden its reach to more potential customers.

Want to learn more about where the cable industry is heading with multiscreen video and other next-gen technologies? Then check out the agenda for our upcoming Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event, Tuesday, March 17, 2015, at The Cable Center in Denver.

Although they don't directly compete in the rapidly evolving multiscreen video space, the two companies have few, if any, customers in common right now. Synacor boasts mainly North American cable operators and telcos of various shapes and sizes on its customer roster, including such larger ones as CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL), Charter Communications Inc. and Mediacom Communications Corp. , while thePlatform has more of a mix of pay-TV providers and TV programmers across the globe, including its Comcast parent, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY), A&E Networks, CBC and CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS).

With this partnership pact under their belts, both Himesh and Roberts see great promise in the emerging multiscreen space. For example, Himesh cites estimates that the US alone now has 30 million to 50 million authenticated users of multiscreen video, with that total expected to multiply three or four times over the next few years. "The market certainly seems large enough," he said.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

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