It was big news yesterday for Noam Lovinsky, CEO and Co-founder of Episodic, with the announcement that his company has been acquired by Google. Following a day of April Fool's Day jokes, that included Brightcove had acquired Ooyala – this deal is no joke, and was actually being signed yesterday. This is Google's eighth acquisition since September, and eleventh acquisition in nine months. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed and Google has released a generic statement saying they are impressed by the Episodic team and share the same vision for video (Though sources tell us it was $25M). But , both Lovinisky and his Co-Founder Matias Cudich, say they are thrilled about this new partnership and what means for their customers and the online video space, mobile phones and IPTV devices. The Episodic team starts work as a Google employees next week.
The San Francisco, California-based online video platform (O.V.P) has been around for two years but had kept relatively quiet in stealth mode building the platform, officially launching the complete platform only last October. Last year Episodic focused on delivering video to the mobile devices starting with the iPhone and expanded to the BlackBerry, and even Windows Mobile. Now with the official launch as a "comprehensive solution”, Episodic differentiates itself as an all-under-one-roof platform rather than having a network of partners like its competitors in the space. Customers like Showtime Sports and other national cable networks, web publishers and small and medium businesses, use Episodic, for content management, delivery and monetization.
We interviewed Noam Lovinsky at Streaming Media West in November 2009, and he discussed how our industry is barely 15 years old, and video monetization and delivery on the web and mobile devices have just begun to mature. You can see that full post here. Noam predicted that in 2010, we'll see the rise of the promise of "TV Everywhere" and a shift in business models from ad supported content to paid content. He added that moving forward, video will be core for web site development as HTML coding was in 1999.
Why is Episodic excited about joining Google?
Episodic and Google share a common vision for video on the Web. Online video will be ubiquitous, engaging, entertaining, informative and effective. Both teams place value on creating a great experience for viewers and on delivering a powerful and flexible platform for publishers, marketers and advertisers of all kinds. We're very excited to join the talented team at Google and to continue creating great experiences for viewers and powerful platforms for publishers, marketers, and advertisers. (From the Episodic blog,)
Google issued this generic statement on the acquisition:
We are impressed by the Episodic team, the vision they have for Internet video, and the progress they have made in bringing a great video experience to the web. We look forward to working with this talented group of individuals, and the technology they've created, to continue to deliver a powerful and flexible platform to our partners.
With the "shared vision" that both companies have, Episodic's technology integration YouTube could develop "YouTube Pro" of the service to expand into syndication on other video sites and devices, live streaming, paid content, advertising and monetization. See Mark 'Rizzn' Hopkins's post, Episodic Acquired by Google, and What it Means for YouTube, where he provides interesting analysis into whether or not this was a personnel acquisition or a technology acquisition.
While it's been rumored that Google was planning to buy an online video platform, many expected that either Ooyala or Brightcove would have been the targets. But Google's purchase of Episodic and recent acquisition of video codec vendor On2, demostrates that Google is serious about expanding its video strategy. Another recent acquisition in the online video platform space was just a few weeks ago when KITdigital acquired Atlanta-based OVP Multicast Media, and with the saturated OVP market, more disruption and consolidation within the space is expected.
For Episodic, and the online video, mobile and OTT spaces at large - this is big news.
About Episodic, Inc.
The Episodic publishing platform enables the broadcast of live and on-demand video to any web site, mobile phone or Internet connected device. With Episodic, content producers are able to push video to their web properties, showcase content via social networks, and even build custom-branded iPhone applications around their media. Episodic spans the video value chain, providing everything publishers need to manage, measure and monetize their content. Episodic is based in San Francisco, Calif., and is privately held. For more information visit www.episodic.com.