Building the Next Remote Control: Kinect is Just the First StepTuesday, April 3, 2012, 9:45 AM ET|
Today, I'm pleased to share a guest post from Alan Wolk, Global Lead Analyst at KIT Digital. As Alan points out, the Xbox Kinect technology has helped open up a new world of possibilities for navigating video content on TVs (I was recently in KIT's offices and played with their Kinect Sky TV app, which I thought was amazing). Beyond Kinect however, further technology improvements are coming, all of which means the remote control is poised to move far beyond its humble roots. Read on to learn more.
Building the Next Remote Control: Kinect is Just the First Step
by Alan Wolk
In the pre-cable TV world, the remote control was a truly amazing device. It allowed viewers to raise and lower the volume without getting out of their chair, while jumping seamlessly between the handful of channels that were available.
The advent of cable TV made the remote a little more complicated: with 20 or 30 channels in the line-up, the remote now needed a keypad to enter the actual channel number. The more channels cable systems added, the more critical the remote became. But around the time we moved from dozens of channels to hundreds of them, it become evident that a better system was needed: scrolling through so many channels ten at a time was not particularly time efficient, especially since viewers knew the names of channels they wanted to watch, not their constantly shifting numbers.
Categories: Devices, Technology
Topics: Kinect, KIT Digital, Xbox
KIT Digital Releases New Platform With Features for Social and Connected DevicesFriday, September 9, 2011, 9:45 AM ET|Technology provider KIT Digital released the newest generation of its KIT Video Platform today. There are two editions, KIT Cloud, positioned as an online video platform for content providers seeking a turnkey solution, and KIT Cosmos, which is targeted for pay-TV and over-the-top video providers who want to deliver a full multi-screen experience to subscribers. KIT is also announcing new social TV features and a "Connected Device Framework." Alex Blum, KIT's COO and Gannon Hall, its EVP, Global Marketing, recently brought me up to speed on the news.
Topics: KIT Digital
KIT Digital Sees 39% Revenue Jump in Q2 '11 to $48 Million; Provides Guidance of $210 Million for Full YearTuesday, July 19, 2011, 3:51 PM ET|Video management software provider KIT Digital has released preliminary Q2 '11 results, with record revenue of $48 million (up 39% from Q1 '11up 108% from Q2 '10) and EBITDA of $9.5 million (up 34% from Q1 '11 and 125% from Q2 '10). In addition KIT provided full year 2011 revenue guidance of $210 million.
In an interview, Gannon Hall, EVP, Global Marketing and Adam Davis, Global Communications Manager told me that approximately 30-35% of the Q2 growth was organic, with the remaining coming from growth through acquisitions. Over the past six months KIT Digital has acquired at least 4 companies and it has recently completed "Project Delta," an internal integration and restructuring process.
Topics: KIT Digital
Quite a Week for M&A In Online/Mobile VideoFriday, February 4, 2011, 3:30 PM ET|It's been quite a week for M&A in online and mobile video. On Monday, KIT Digital announced it was acquiring Kewego, KickApps and Kyte. Then today Cisco bought Inlet Technologies to flesh out their Videoscape platform and Tremor Media reportedly acquired mobile ad manager Transpera. That's a lot of activity for just one week, and points to how key players are jockeying for bigger slices of the online and mobile video market. The trend will no doubt continue.
What do you think? Post a comment now (no sign-in required).
Categories: Deals & Financings
Topics: Cisco, Inlet, Kewego, KickApps, KIT Digital, Kyte, Transpera, Tremor Media
KIT Digital's Deals Signal "Race to Scale" is Well UnderwayMonday, January 31, 2011, 10:31 AM ET|This morning KIT Digital announced 3 acquisitions, of social/video platform KickApps, online video platform Kyte and French OVP Kewego. The aggregate consideration is $77.2 million, as follows, according to the press release:
KickApps - $44.7 million, all in KIT stock (KickApps had $12 million in 2010 revenues and had raised approximately $32 million)
Kewego - $26.7 million, including $11.7 million in cash and $15 million in KIT stock (Kewego had $10.2 million in 2010 revenues)
Kyte - $5.7 million, including $3.1 million in cash and $2.6 million in KIT stock (Kyte had $3.7 million in 2010 revenues and had raised more than $23 million)
This morning I talked to Kyte's COO Gannon Hall (who will relocate to KIT's Prague headquarters as EVP of Marketing) and KickApps' CEO Alex Blum (who will become COO, responsible for product, technology and client services).
Categories: Deals & Financings, Technology
Topics: Kewego, KickApps, KIT Digital, Kyte
Tremor Media Raises $40 Million; Biggest Recent Deal in Online Video SectorWednesday, April 28, 2010, 9:42 AM ET|This morning the online video ad network and management company Tremor Media is announcing a monster $40 million financing, bringing total capital in Tremor to $82 million. I've been tracking venture capital investments in the online and mobile video sector for the past 5 quarters and I believe this is the largest recent private company deal yet (I think the only one bigger is Ustream's $75 million deal last quarter, but only $20 million was upfront). Draper Fisher Jurveston Growth Fund is leading the new round, with participation from existing investors. Last night I talked to Jason Glickman, Tremor's CEO and exchanged emails with Randy Glein, managing director at DFJ Growth to learn more.
Jason explained that since Tremor raised $20 million last year and turned profitable, it actually didn't need the money. However, the team believes that online video advertising is at an inflection point and so the decision to really step up and "go for it" as Jason said. Primarily, that means adding more features for publishers and advertisers and enhancing the Acudeo management platform. It also means pursuing a 3 screen strategy to encompass mobile and TV platforms.
Randy said that DFJ has known Tremor for over 2 years and is motivated by the transformation underway in the advertising industry, driven by exploding online video usage to both computers and other connected devices. The shift in ad spending from traditional TV to online video is just beginning, and Randy sees Tremor - with its huge network and ad management platform - as being positioned right in the middle of all this change.
Jason further explained that the company now has the scale to attract 6 and 7-figure campaigns from brands that are increasingly drawn to the online video medium. Key challenges going forward include proving brands with the data that their online campaigns not only reach their intended targets, but also provide required brand lift and ROI. In particular, Jason said Tremor's ability to optimize against certain audiences or by metrics objectives is an important part of its success.
At VideoSchmooze on Monday night there was considerable discussion around hybrid pay/ad-supported models for premium video content. Clearly, if a content provider can garner consumer payments they should. However, the new Tremor financing is further evidence to me of the innovation and excitement around online video advertising that will make it far more valuable than TV advertising ever was. As brands come to recognize online video advertising's value proposition I see monetization per viewer (or whatever other metric of advertising success that's preferred) going up over time.
(Separate, note also that online video management provider KIT Digital yesterday also completed what is probably the largest public company financing in the online video sector - raising $55 million from the sale of over 4.2 million shares.)
What do you think? Post a comment now (no sign-in required).
Categories: Advertising, Deals & Financings
Topics: KIT Digital, Tremor Media
Lots of News Yesterday - Adobe, Hulu, IAB, Yahoo, AEG, KIT Digital, VBrick, Limelight, KalturaTuesday, October 6, 2009, 9:31 AM ET|
Yesterday was one of those days when meaningful broadband video-related news and announcements just kept spilling out. While I was writing up the 5Min-Scripps Networks deal, there was a lot of other stuff happening. Here's what hit my radar, in case you missed any of it:
Adobe launches Flash 10.1 with numerous video enhancements - Adobe kicked off its MAX developer conference with news that Flash 10.1 will be available for virtually all smartphones, in connection with the Open Screen Project initiative, will support HTTP streaming for the first time, and with Flash Professional CS5, will enable developers to build Flash-based apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch. All of this is part of the battle Adobe is waging to maintain Flash's lead position on the desktop and extend it to mobile devices. The HTTP streaming piece means CDNs will be able to leverage their HTTP infrastructure as an alternative to buying Flash Media Server 3.5. Meanwhile Apple is showing no hints yet of supporting Flash streaming on the iPhone, making it the lone smartphone holdout.
Hulu gets Mediavest multi-million dollar buy - Hulu got a shot in the arm as Mediaweek reported that the Publicis agency Mediavest has committed several million dollars from 6 clients to Hulu in an upfront buy. Hulu has been flogged recently by other media executives for its lightweight ad model, so the deal is a well-timed confidence booster, though it is still just a drop in the bucket in overall ad spending.
IAB ad spending research reports mixed results - Speaking of ad spending, the IAB and PriceWaterhouseCoopers released data yesterday showing overall Internet ad spending declined by 5.3% to $10.9B in 1H '09 vs. 1H '08. Some categories were actually up though, and online video advertising turned in a solid performance, up 38% from $345M in 1H '08 to $477M in 1H '09. Though still a small part of the overall pie, online video advertising's resiliency in the face of the recession is a real positive.
Yahoo ups its commitment to original video - Yahoo is one of the players relying on advertising to support its online video initiatives, and so Variety's report that Yahoo may as much as double its proportion of originally-produced video demonstrates how strategic video is becoming for the company. Yahoo has of course been all over the map with video in recent years including the short tenure of Lloyd Braun and then the Maven acquisition, which was closed down in short order. Now though, by focusing on short-form video that augments its core content areas, Yahoo seems to have hit on a winning formula. New CEO Carol Bartz is reported to be a big proponent of video.
AEG Acquires Incited Media, KIT Digital Acquires The FeedRoom and Nunet - AEG, the sports/venue operator, ramped up its production capabilities by creating AEG Digital Media and acquiring webcasting expert Incited Media. Company executives told me late last week that when combined with AEG's venues and live production expertise, the company will be able to offer the most comprehensive event management and broadcasting services. Elsewhere, KIT Digital, the acquisitive digital media technology provider picked up two of its competitors, Nunet, a German company focused on mobile devices, and The FeedRoom, an early player in video publishing/management solutions which has recently been focused on the enterprise. KIT has made a slew of deals recently and it will be interesting to watch how they knit all the pieces together.
Product news around video delivery from VBrick, Limelight and Kaltura - Last but not least, there were 3 noteworthy product announcements yesterday. Enterprise video provider VBrick launched "VEMS" - VBrick Enterprise Media System - a hardware/software system for distributing live and on-demand video throughout the enterprise. VEMS is targeted to companies with highly distributed operations looking to use video as a core part of their internal and external communications practices.
Separate, Limelight unveiled "XD" its updated network platform that emphasizes "Adaptive Intelligence," which I interpret as its implementation of adaptive bit rate (ABR) streaming (see Limelight comment below, my bad) that is becoming increasing popular for optimizing video delivery (Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, Apple, Akamai, Move Networks and others are all active in ABR too). And Kaltura, the open source video delivery company I wrote about here, launched a new offering to support diverse video use cases by educational institutions. Education has vast potential for video, yet I'm not aware of many dedicated services. I expect this will change.
I may have missed other important news; if so please post a comment.
Categories: Advertising, Aggregators, CDNs, Deals & Financings, Enterprises, Portals, Technology
Topics: Adobe, AEG, Hulu, IAB, Kaltura, KIT Digital, Limelight, Nunet, The FeedRoom, VBrick, Yahoo
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