Alphabet may not have the cloud cachet of Amazon, but it does have many of the same ambitions. And to better compete against Amazon and others, Alphabet's Google Cloud Platform team has now announced that it's acquiring video software company Anvato. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
With the acquisition of Anvato, Alphabet Inc. gains both significant video expertise and a healthy client list to boot. Anvato's platform enables automatic encoding, editing, publishing and distribution of multiscreen video content. Its customer list highlights numerous well-known media brands including NBCUniversal, Fox Sports, Univision and more.
The Anvato buyout is yet another sign that companies believe they can't succeed in the cloud and content delivery business without a strong video services portfolio. A series of acquisitions in recent years has highlighted that trend including the purchase last fall of both video processing specialist Elemental Technologies by Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and encoding company Envivio by Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC). (See IP Video Services Explode at IBC.)
The move by the Google Cloud Platform group is also interesting, however, because Alphabet has hinted at possible plans of its own to get into the over-the-top (OTT) video service business. In April, the head of network deployment and operations for Google Fiber Inc. Chris Levendos described the US TV industry as "broken," and said that OTT video could and should be used to "blow up" the current model. Levendos also confirmed that Google Fiber would prefer to sell an OTT video service rather than the current franchise-based video offering it bundles with internet service today. (See Fiber TV First, but Google's Eyeing OTT.)
In a blog post announcing the Anvato deal, the Google Cloud Platform team signed off saying, "We’ll have more details to share in the coming months -- stay tuned!" Regardless of whether those details include a new OTT service in the works, the Anvato portfolio should give Alphabet a stronger position in the cloud video market.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading