Friday, May 2, 2014, 9:42 AM ET|Posted by Will Richmond
Online video platform provider Kaltura has acquired Tvinci, whose technology powers pay TV and content provider linear and OTT services. Terms were not disclosed. Ron Yekutiel, Chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Kaltura told me yesterday that the Tvinci technology gives Kaltura the ability to support customers' paid live/linear video services in addition to ad-supported VOD.
This is critical because in Ron's view, longer-term, the ability to support the full breadth of services and business models from the cloud will be the defining advantage. Ron sees this most particularly in the media business, which has been Tvinci's focus, but also in education and enterprise, other verticals that Kaltura serves.
In fact, Kaltura had been heading down this road already with its Kaltura MediaGo "Netflix in a box" service, most recently announcing a deal with Sesame Workshop. But Ron noted that some of the back-end, user-management technologies were provided by 3rd parties and also that it didn't include key billing and other components that tier 1 pay-TV operators require. So Ron said Kaltura faced a "build vs. buy" decision and went the latter route. Tvinci will now provide Kaltura all of these capabilities natively, so as Ron said, it has greater control over its destiny.
Tvinci has been serving European and Asia-Pac telcos including Eutelstat, Mediacorp, Chellomedia and others, for their multi-screen and TV Everywhere services. Ido Wiesenberg, Tvinci's co-founder and VP, Business Development said that a differentiator is the company's social personal TV, which allows each viewer to have their own profile.
Stepping back, the deal seems to be more evidence that an era where blending of OTT and pay-TV services may be just ahead (see last week's Netflix deals with 3 cable operators). At this week's Cable Show there was a lot of talk about cable operators providing improved user experiences and innovating with new services. But doing so is going to require updated technology platforms for new services and delivery to multiple devices. This is clearly the world Kaltura envisions too and intends to be a part of.