Piksel Forges New OTT Video Play

Launches Modular Platform For Distributors, Content Owners
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Piksel, a company that has roots to once-troubled online video publishing firm KIT Digital, has undergone somewhat of a reboot over the past year, culminating in the launch of a new, modular OTT video platform that it will target at content owners, aggregators and a variety of distributors.

Piksel said it will demo its new cloud-based platform at next month’s IBC show in Amsterdam.

Piksel, explained chief commercial officer Kevin Joyce, has shunned a model based on a monolithic software platform to instead focus on a services-oriented architecture and product set, called Piksel Palette, that can be broken down to specific modules and functionalities, such as encoding, digital rights management, user interfaces, storage, and analytics.

That approach, he said, will allow the company to provide services to a wider range of content providers and distributors, break away from custom-made deployments, and enable its customers to pick and choose the pieces they require. In the U.S., for example, tier-1 players are looking to enhance and change their online video distribution systems, but they likewise don’t want to buy heavily into a completely new platform and take on the contracts that would go with them, Joyce said.

“We needed a dynamic business model, whether it was for the content creator, distributors, or…for enterprise applications,” Joyce said.

Depending on the size and scope of the job, Piksel’s competitors include companies such as Comcast-owned thePlatform, Brightcove, and Ooyala, which was recently acquired by Australian telco Telstra. Piksel will also be facing off with companies with product and integration expertise, including Ericsson and Huawei.

New York-based Piksel relaunched last year following the bankruptcy reorganization of KIT Digital, which was originally based in Prague and encountered trouble following a big acquisition spree that, along the way,  included the assets of Sezmi, a startup that was developing a hybrid broadcast/Internet video service. Piksel, which has based its revised product line partly on the assets obtained from KIT Digital, now claims to have more than 1,600 clients. Marquee customers include Channel 4, Liberty Global, Sky Deutschland, Mediaset, and AT&T.

Joyce said Piksel, which has about 700 employees, is now profitable, pulling in annual revenues of about $120 million.