Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Google Acquires Anvato to Complement Media Tech. Portfolio

Broadcast Vendor M&A | Posted by Josh Stinehour
Jul 08 2016

Google is acquiring Anvato, a provider of video processing functionality for multi-platform content delivery.  The acquisition was announced on the Google Cloud Platform blog by Belwadi Srikanth, Senior Product Manager.  Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.  googlelogo_color_272x92dp

According to SEC filings, Anvato had raised $2.8 million in late 2008.  The Mountain View based company has several high-profile media clients including NBC Universal, Fox Sports, Univision, and Gray TV. Anvato

In the blog post announcing the acquisition, Mr. Srikanth cites the opportunity to participate in the media industry’s transition to over-the-top distribution models and the ongoing adoption of cloud solutions by media organizations.  “With OTT adoption rapidly accelerating, the Cloud Platform and Anvato teams will complement our efforts to enable scalable media processing and workflows in the cloud” writes Mr. Srikanth.

The Media Solutions portion of the Google Cloud Platform website highlights case studies with UK visual effects studio Framestore, US visual effects studio Atomic Fiction, and live video service provider iStreamPlanet (now owned by Turner).  There is overlap in the technology offerings of iStreamPlanet and Anvato, though any move by a cloud provider to offer higher level functionality will necessarily lead to overlap with existing customers.

Since its August 2014 acquisition of ZYNC Render, the Google Cloud Platform has been active in the post-production vertical.  At the 2016 NAB Show, Autodesk and Google announced integration between ZYNC and Autodesk’s Maya, a software video effects tool for animation, modeling, and rendering.  Maya users can offload rendering tasks, as needed, to the Google ZYNC Rendering service running on the Google Cloud Platform.  ZYNC pricing is consumption based and begins at $0.60 per machine hour.

Interestingly, prior to its acquisition by Google, ZYNC had been optimized to run on Amazon Web Services.

Anvato’s CEO Alper Turgut posted a message about the acquisition on the Company’s blog.  “We are thrilled to bring together Anvato with the scale and power of Google Cloud Platform to provide the industry’s best offering for OTT and mobile video. This will allow us to supercharge our capabilities, accelerate the pace of innovation, and deliver tomorrow’s video solutions faster, enabling media companies to better serve their customers” said Mr. Turgut.

 

Related Content:

Google Cloud Platform Blog Post on Acquisition

Press Release: Anvato Joins Google

 

 

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Broadcast Vendor M&A: ARRIS Buys Pace for $2.1 Billion

Analysis, Broadcast technology vendor financials, Broadcast Vendor M&A, Quarterly Results, SEC Filings | Posted by Joe Zaller
Apr 22 2015

In the latest round of media technology consolidation ARRIS announced  it will acquire Pace for $2.1 billion in stock and cash.

ARRIS is financing the deal with just $55 million in cash.  The remaining $2.05 billion comes from a new incremental $800m credit facility underwritten by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and $1.455 billion worth of newly issued ARRIS shares.

The transaction will result in the formation of “New ARRIS,” which is expected to be listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker ARRIS.

Full details of the transaction are available in the Agreement and Plan of Merger file with the SEC.

In a presentation to investors, ARRIS provided the following graphical description of the post-closing structure of New ARRIS:

ARRIS Acquires Pace -- New Arris Post-Closing Structure

 

The deal comes just over two years since ARRIS paid $2.2 billion to acquire the Motorola Home business from Google and catapulted itself to global leader status in the process.

According to the company, the deal “significantly enhances ARRIS international presence, provides large scale entry into satellite segment, [and a] broader product portfolio in equipment, software and services.”

In a letter to employees, ARRIS chairman & CEO said the acquisition of Pace “opens the door for ARRIS’s next phase of growth – through a broader geographic and customer footprint, newly combined complementary product offerings, and enhanced scale. It will provide us with a large-scale entry into the satellite segment. By adding Pace’s innovation and talent, we can further broaden our product portfolio in equipment, software, and services. We will also benefit from Pace’s strong presence in Latin America – one of our industry’s highest growth regions – opening up new global opportunities.”

ARRIS described the Pace product portfolio in the chart below:

ARRIS Acquires Pace -- Pace Product Portfolio

 

The acquisition of Pace gives ARRIS a stronger position in the set-top box business, at the same time as Cisco is being urged by investors to exit from its set-top box unit.  For the first six months if its 2015 fiscal year, revenue in Cisco’s “Service Provider Video” business, which includes STBs decreased by more than 15% versus the same period last year.

“This transaction is another example of ARRIS’s ongoing strategy of investing in the right opportunities to position our company for growth. Adding Pace’s talent, products and diverse customer base will provide ARRIS with a large scale entry into the satellite segment, broaden our portfolio and expand our global presence. We expect this merger will enable ARRIS to increase its speed of innovation. We believe this is a tremendous opportunity for ARRIS and our customers, employees, shareholders and partners around the world as we collaborate to invent the future,” said  Stanzione.

“Pace plc is a great company with a strong track record of pioneering innovation and excellent customer service. Through a combination of organic development and acquisitions, Pace has grown to be a leading technology solutions provider to the PayTV and Broadband industries serving cable, satellite and telco customers across the globe. Over the last three years, Mike Pulli and the wider Pace team have successfully executed against our strategic plan to develop Pace into a more distinctive, profitable and cash generative company, creating significant value for shareholders.

“The Pace Directors believe that ARRIS’s offer recognises this value and also gives our shareholders the opportunity to share in the future success of the combined group. While we believe that Pace is strongly positioned to continue to execute its strategy in the medium and long term, we believe that the combination of the complementary ARRIS and Pace businesses will create a platform for future growth above and beyond our standalone potential. We believe this is a great fit for both companies, our employees, customers and trading partners,” said Allan Leighton, Chairman of Pace.

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Related Content:

Press Release: ARRIS to Acquire Pace plc for $2.1 Billion in Stock and Cash

ARRIS-PACE AGREEMENT AND PLAN OF MERGER

Investor Presentation — ARRIS TO ACQUIRE PACE PLC

ARRIS Employee Letter

Arris-Pace Merger Credit Agreement

Reuters: Arris to buy British set-top box maker Pace in $2.1 billion deal

Reuters — Analysis: Some Cisco investors urge an exit from set-top box unit

Press Release: ARRIS Acquires Motorola Home: Creates Premier Video Delivery and Broadband Technology Company

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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HBO Reportedly Planning April 2015 Streaming Launch, Will Charge $15 per Month

Online Video, OTT Video | Posted by Joe Zaller
Mar 05 2015

According to a report from Reuters, HBO is in discussions with at least five companies, including Apple, Google, and Tivo, to be launch partners for its previously announced HBO Now streaming service

Citing reports from The International Business Times and Bloomberg, Reuters notes that HBO plans to introduce the new streaming service in April 2015, and is expected to charge $15 per month.

According to Bloomberg, HBO CEO Richard Plepler has said he is looking to reach an estimated 10 million consumers who get Internet service but don’t subscribe to cable or satellite TV. Plepler has said he wants to work with HBO’s longtime cable distributors as well as new ones.

 

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Related Content:

International Business Times: HBO In Talks With Apple To Be Launch Partner For Coming Web Service ‘HBO Now’

Bloomberg: Apple, Google Said to Be in Talks With HBO to Carry Web Channel

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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Arris Restructures Reporting Following Acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Creates New Business Units

Broadcast technology vendor financials | Posted by Joe Zaller
May 20 2013

 

Cable technology provider Arris announced that following the acquisition of the home businesses of the Motorola Home business from Google, it will now operate in two business segments, Network & Cloud and CPE (Customer Premises Equipment).

 

New Arris Segments - May 15 2013

 

 

The Network & Cloud segment include the former ARRIS CMTS EMP, ATS and MCS products. It also include the former Home, Video, head-end, CMTS equipment as well as the converged experience products. Bruce McClelland has been named president of the Network & Cloud segment. Previously he was Group President Products and Services, and was also responsible for the CPE business unit as VP & GM.

The CPE segment includes include both cable and DSL modems, EMTAs, gateways and set-top boxes from both companies. Larry Robinson, former Motorola Mobility SVP and GM of Home Devices has been named the president of the CPE business unit.

 

On an update conference call with equity analysts, Arris chairman & CEO Robert Stanzione said following the acquisition of Motorola’s Home business, Arris is now a “vastly different company from what we were before.”

Stanzione provided an update on the synergy savings from the deal, which Arris has targeted in the range of $100m – $125m. “Programs are well under way, and we’ve — we’re already meeting or beating the timelines. Sales and marketing synergies are essentially complete. Supply chain analysis is confirming our savings estimates, and actions are under way. G&A and R&D integration plans are also well under way. These will take a little longer to achieve.”

Stanzione also gave a frank assessment of the Motorola home business, but also indicated that the recently acquired business will improve now that uncertainty about its future has been resolved.  “As you know, prior to the acquisition, Motorola Home sales had been in decline. Over the past 2 years, the business went through the long process of being acquired by Google and subsequently being auctioned off. Some momentum was lost due to the internal distractions and customer reluctance to expand their business with Motorola Home given the uncertainty around its ultimate disposition. It’s clear that the management teams put a lot of time and effort into the auction process, and the uncertainty throughout the process took its toll on the employees. An executive of one of our largest customers told me very candidly that his company was holding back on new business until they were satisfied that Motorola Home would land in a good place. Over the past few weeks, I’ve met with other major customers who have expressed similar sentiments as well as an eagerness to get on with some of the projects that they’ve been planning for quite some time. Despite these distractions, the team has done a remarkable job in moving forward with several important initiatives that are going to move the needle in the very near future.”

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Related Content:

Transcript of Arris Q2 2013 Guidance/Update Call, May 15, 2013

ARRIS Second Quarter 2013 Update Conference Call Presentation

Zacks Equity Research: Arris Restructures Business Model

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© Devoncroft Partners. All Rights Reserved.

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Devoncroft Digest for the w/e May 21, 2010 – Echolab Liquidates, Earnings Season Continues, Bankers on Broadcast, Google Gets into TV

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast technology vendor financials | Posted by Joe Zaller
May 23 2010

Devoncroft Digest – Recap of the week ending May 21 2010

It was a busy week in the broadcast & digital media world.  Echolab was forced to liquidate, multiple companies reported their quarterly earnings (which were mainly positive), two investment banking houses published notes on the broadcast industry, and Google made a little announcement about their plans to transform the TV viewing experience.

Here’s a recap of some of the things that caught my attention this week

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Echolab goes into liquidation

Long-established broadcast production switcher vendor Echolab announced via email this week that the company has been put into liquidation by its owner.  Echolab, which has been in business since 1974, had been on the ascendance recently under the leadership of company CEO Nigel Spratling.   

Spratling revamped the company’s product line-up, which culminated in the launch of the Atem production switcher family.  At NAB 2010 Echolab announced that it had signed an OEM deal for the Atem line with the broadcast communications division of Harris (who has now removed the press release about the deal from their website). 

The email from Spratling said the company’s primary investor was no longer prepared to fund the company, and that the news was a great show to everyone.  

Read the full text of Spratling’s email.

 

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Viewcast losses narrow

Streaming technology provider Viewcast announced their results for the first quarter of FY’10. The company’s reported that their losses narrowed. Revenue for the quarter was up slightly versus the previous quarter, but down 13% versus the same period a year ago.  The company also filed an 8K with the SEC this week, detailing the compensation plans of their CEO and CFO.

 

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More Broadcast M&A — Tektronix acquires Mixed Signals 

Test & measurement leader Tektronix announced this week that it is acquiring Mixed Signals, a provider of digital content monitoring including digital services, transport streams, ad insertion, switched digital video and interactive content.

According to said Eben Jenkins, General Manager of the Tektronix Video Business, “The acquisition of Mixed Signals, Inc. brings to Tektronix a strong team that has delivered leading innovation to the video monitoring market. The combination of Mixed Signals and Tektronix accelerates our ability to provide unmatched next-generation video test and monitoring solutions to our customers.”

 

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Continued growth for Ross Video

Privately held Ross Video said in a press release Ross Video that the company had achieved 7% growth in the first half of its fiscal year.  Although private, Ross has been vocal about their success in the face of the economic downturn of the past 18 months.  During the IBC show last September, company CEO David Ross told the IBC Daily News that the company had continued to grow during the recession.  In the most recent press release, Ross says “We continue to buck the downward trend and have enjoyed some record months.”

 

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Vizrt posts operating profit on big revenue gains

Broadcast graphics and asset management vendor Vizrt reported that their revenue grew by 38% in the first quarter of 2010 versus the same period, but fell 9% versus the previous quarter.  The company made an operating profit of $200K during the quarter, versus a loss of 2.4m during the same period a year ago. Company CEO Martin Burkhalter issued an upbeat statement saying that “broadcast markets are slowly recovering and … that CAPEX budgets and discretionary spending are being restored.”  Burkhalter, who recently stepped into the role of CEO after the death of Bjarne Berg concluded by saying “In terms of revenues, we believe that we are heading back towards the levels we achieved prior to the global downturn and anticipate to reach these levels in the coming nine to twelve months.  With this recovery, we expect our profitability to improve as well.”

 

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Autodesk M&E revenue declines by 4%

3D animation leader Autodesk (the parent company of Discreet and others) posted strong revenues for the first quarter of 2010.  In the earnings press release, which breaks out financials by industry segment, the company revealed that revenue for its Media & Entertainment group was $46m in the quarter.  This is basically flat with the previous quarter and represents a 4% decline versus same period a year ago

 

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Trouble at JVC Kenwood

The Wall Street Journal also reported that JVC Kenwood Holdings fell 21% to Y38 on heavy volume after the company’s Friday announcement of its plan to submit a resolution for 1-for-10 reverse stock split at its upcoming shareholders meeting. One brokerage manager, citing past reverse stock split scenarios, said that without fundamental business improvements, it would be hard to expect the company’s stock to show long-term appreciation.

 

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DG FastChannel added to S&P SmallCap 600 index

Standard & Poor’s announced this week that it is adding DG FastChannel to its S&P SmallCap 600 Index.  DG FastChannel, who recently raised $100m in a secondary public offering, has been on a tear recently.  The company’s stock has more than doubled in the last eight months, and it recently reported record results for its first quarter based on increased advertising revenue. 

 

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Ascent Media CEO dies at age 44

Ascent Media this week announced the sad news that Jose Royo, the CEO of the company’s AMG subsidiary had died at age 44.  “José was a thoughtful and caring business leader, mentor, partner, and friend,” said William Fitzgerald, Chief Executive Officer of Ascent Media Corporation. “José played a significant role in the media services industry, where he left an indelible mark. He was truly passionate about Ascent, its customers, and its people. José was a wonderfully devoted husband to his beloved wife, and father to his two young children. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time. José will be missed.”

 

 

Google, coming to a TV near you soon?

As covered extensively this week, Google has unveiled a strategy which it believes will transform the TV viewing experience by combining it with the web. The company has partnered with Sony, Intel and Logitech to create a new type of TV experience.  Watch this space.

 

 

TiVo and Technicolor Team Up to Offer Integrated PVR Solution

I have been a big fan of Tivo since buying their very first PVR in 1999 (which still works great, and in my opinion provides a significantly better experience than the alternative from my pay TV provider), so I was interested to see that the company has teamed up with Technicolor (formerly Thomson) for a new set-top box solution.  You can read the details here…

 

 

Two Investment bankers weight in on NAB 2010 and the broadcast space

Two boutique investment banks, Silverwood Partners and Pharus Advisors have recently published notes to clients detailing their impressions of the NAB 2010 show.  Both companies gave me permission to re-publish them here.

Silverwood has been involved in a number of broadcast M&A deals includingBlackmagic / DaVinci and Avid / Euphonix. Prior to the 2010 NAB show the company published, which is worth reading to get their full perspective on the broadcast market.  

Pharus has also been involved in a number of industry transactions including Neural and Virgin Media / Two Way Media. The company published their post-NAB thoughts in their industry newsletter, which also includes a summary of recent M&A transactions in the digital media space, and a comparison of publicly traded companies.

More info on this here…

 

 

3D news

Broadband TV News reports that UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB is bullish on 3D.  An article on the website says that Sky says there could be up to 1m 3D screens in UK by

Speaking of 3D, the Schubin Café website posted a link to an article which says that watching 3D can make you sick. 

 

 

Market Research Note of the Week:

What factors most influence the purchase of broadcast technology products?

Regardless of “how” broadcast technology products are purchased, what many in the industry want to know is “why” they are bought — i.e. what are the most important factors that influence the decision to buy one product over another.

When it comes to selling broadcast technology, there are several strategies that vendors have adopted. This includes positioning their offerings as having the best technology, the best feature set, the lowest cost, the best value, the best service, the most recommended etc.

But which factor is the most important to the most buyers?

To find out we asked several thousand broadcast professionals around the world what is most important to them when buying broadcast technology products.

You can see the results, including a chart that ranks 10 different factors that influence the purchase of broadcast technology products here…

Devoncroft Digest — Week Ending April 30, 2010 — Good new outnumbers bad news for the week

broadcast industry technology trends, Broadcast technology channel strategy, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast technology vendor financials | Posted by Joe Zaller
Apr 30 2010

Devoncroft Digest – Week Ending April 30, 2010

 

Is the market picking up?  Good new outnumbers bad news for the week.

TVB reported that broadcasters have resumed their HD newsroom upgrades.  The article lists multiple stations that have moved ahead with the transition to HD news.  This is welcome news for broadcast vendors, and further reinforces my post-NAB thoughts that the market is picking up.

TVB also reported that, according to BIA/Kelsey, US broadcast station income will increase by 7.5% this year versus 2009.

Further signs of the market is improving were see this week with the four big US broadcast networks seeing a healthy increase in upfront ad sales.  According to Media Post (via TVNewsCheck) Barclays Capital estimated a 20% jump in the upfront market, giving the Big Four broadcasters a combined $8.26 billion.

 

 Earnings Season Continues

 Earnings season is in full swing this week, with Arris, Belden, DivX, Dolby, Discovery and Harris reporting their results.

For the most part, the results were positive, indicating that the market has picked up:

  • Belden announced strong results for their first quarter of 2010.

 

 

 

  • Discovery Communications also posted strong earnings, beating analyst expectations.  Both revenue and profits increased, with an especially strong showing in the international market

 

However, not all results were positive:

  • Arris reported a revenue increase of 5% versus the same period a year ago, but its net income declined 11% versus the previous quarter.  The stock was downgraded by several banks.

 

  • The Broadcast Communications Division of Harris posted a $5m loss for the quarter and took a $1m restructuring charge.  The company lowered guidance for the broadcast division for the full year and announced that it would be taking a further $6m restructuring charge in the current quarter in order to achieve further cost reduction.

 

Other interesting things this week:

According to the Wall Street Journal, RED Cameras has paid almost $20m for a house in Beverly Hills, CA that will be used for guests of the company.  How do I get invited to that house warming party?

Google is reportedly working on Android-based software to enable set-top boxes, TVs and other devices to more content from the Internet.  According to the Wall Street Journal Google’s move has attracted interest from partners that include Sony Corp., Intel Corp. and Logitech International SA, which are expected to offer products that support the software, these people said. None have so far discussed the efforts publicly.

 

 

Market Research Note of the Week:

How are broadcast technology products typically purchased – Direct from vendor, SI or dealer?

As part of the 2010 Big Broadcast Survey I asked several thousand technology buyers (including broadcasters, playout centers, cable/satellite/IPTV operators, education, film studios etc) in 120+ countries how they typically buy broadcast technology products – direct from a vendor; through a systems integrator; through a dealer; or some other way.

It turns out that there is considerable variation in the way broadcast technology products are purchased, with each category of buyer exhibiting different purchasing preferences. 

These results help readers to better understand the channel structure in the broadcast market.  They are interesting because they highlight that there are some times when it makes more sense for vendors to use a channel than go direct.  They also show that there are some types of buyers who are more used to buying through the channel versus direct.

To see the results, including a chart that breaks responses down by company type, please click here.

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