With my focus yesterday on Amazon’s introduction of its Streaming Partners Program and my recognition as a top 10 media writer by LinkedIn, I didn’t have a chance to weigh in on something else significant, which is that Clearleap has been acquired by IBM (terms weren't disclosed). I have covered Clearleap for years and was able to catch up with CEO Braxton Jarratt later in the day to learn more about what drove the deal and what to expect going forward.
Braxton said that Clearleap will be a wholly-owned IBM subsidiary, retaining all of its employees and offices while being integrated into IBM Cloud. Clearleap will continue to provide its cloud-based video/OTT services to customers including HBO, A+E Networks, NFL, BBC America, Time Warner Cable, Verizon and others but it will gain new sales/business development leverage internationally, which is a key company focus. Clearleap’s solutions will be sold by IBM’s Media and Entertainment teams internationally, with incremental Clearleap staff to be hired internationally as well.
In case you missed it, last Thursday Twitter acquired SnappyTV, a cloud-based video platform that allows content providers and brands to quickly create clips from live video and then distribute them through social media. It's a highly strategic deal for Twitter, further positioning the company to "win the moments that matter" for both audience and monetization.
"Win the moments that matter" is a phrase I first heard from YouTube executives a couple of years ago and it has great relevance for the Twitter-SnappyTV deal. The massive trends around mobile devices, social media, content syndication and video have created a sweet spot for TV networks and rights-holders to drive huge traffic spikes by making highly newsworthy moments readily available to fans.
Expanding on their existing partnership, Bonnier, one of the largest U.S. magazine publishers, and Net2TV, a startup connected-TV media company, will create 30-minute TV programs for Bonnier titles "Cycle World" and "Saveur." The companies have also renewed the current "Popular Science" program. All of the programs are built by curating short-form videos into shows that are available on Net2TV's Portico TV service, on millions of connected TVs.
As I've written in the past, Net2TV's model is to create ad-supported TV-like experiences using high-quality short-form videos from branded partners. The videos are curated and assembled into 30, 60 and 90-minute programs, often accompanied by hosts who help create a narrative. The programs are typically updated on a weekly basis for now, with more frequent updates planned in the future. The Portico service is delivered from the cloud, accelerating the scaling of its integration with multiple connected TVs and devices.
Vubiquity has announced AnyVU Cloud, a new cloud-based, multi-device video services platform providing both linear and on-demand content. In addition, the company has announced Akamai as its first partner, dubbing the combined solution "content-as-a-service." It is directed to existing pay-TV operators, content owners and OTT providers for a range of monetization models.
AnyVU Cloud is a milestone for Vubiquity in evolving from the traditional business of managing and delivering video primarily to set-top boxes for incumbent providers to operating in a far more complex landscape in which video is delivered over IP networks to multiple devices by multiple providers with widely varying business rules and monetization.