Verizon makes latest play for OTT business with Volicon buy

Contact: Scott Denne

Verizon makes it latest move to push more video content across its network with the acquisition of Volicon, a maker of video archiving and analysis software. Though smaller than its previous efforts on this front – the purchases of CDN vendor EdgeCast (see our estimate for that transaction here) and media and advertising provider AOL, the deal highlights the continuing appetite among Verizon and other media delivery and storage suppliers to take a share of the expanding market for digital video.

Volicon offers broadcasters workflow software that enables clips and content to be pushed from broadcast to digital, as well as the ability to archive content for regulatory compliance (such as FCC mandates around sound levels). The company will be tucked into Verizon Digital Media Services, which itself is now part of AOL though was founded in 2010 to help Verizon capitalize on its Fios fiber-optic network to enable broadcasters and other content providers to deliver digital services.

Video consumes substantially more bandwidth, storage and compute capacity – and therefore more revenue – than other forms of content and communications, leading other infrastructure vendors to expand into services that attract broadcasters and other video content suppliers. IBM inked a pair of deals for more than $100m each in December and January, while Amazon Web Services spent heavily on Elemental Technologies back in September. Video consumption continues to move beyond linear television and into mobile, connected TV and other digital channels, and the providers of pipes and plumbing will be watching as it does.