Synacor Partners Up for OTT

Teams With Siemens, EveMeta to Shore Up Platform for MVPDs, Programmers
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Known for its TV Everywhere authentication systems and customized Web portal and metadata services, Synacor continues to branch out into the world of over-the-top video.

Following its recent acquisition of NimbleTV and an integration deal with Comcast-owned thePlatform, Synacor is looking to shore up an OTT platform it will pitch to MVPDs, programmers and others through a strategic partnership with Siemens Convergence Creators, maker of an online video product called OTT SWIPE, and EveMeta, a provider of low-bandwidth video encoding systems.

The new partnerships will enable Synacor to “take the next major step forward” in the development of a carrier-grade, managed service for OTT services, including those based on subscription and ad-based business models, Himesh Bhise, Synacor’s CEO, said, noting that no “cookie-cutter offering” for those kind of OTT services presently exists.

Synacor is currently in “advanced discussions” with several companies that are interested in developing and launching OTT services. “We’re ready to go,” he said.

Synacor hasn’t announced any OTT deployment or trial agreements, but its base of current customers seem to be logical candidates. Those include Mediacom Communications, BendBroadband (now part of TDS Telecom), Buckeye CableSystem, Google Fiber, CenturyLink, Cable One, Charter Communications , Suddenlink Communications, WideOpenWest, Surewest Communications and Verizon Communications, among others. It’s also working with Sling TV, Dish Network’s new OTT-TV service for cord-cutters.

“Even beyond [our] MVPD base, there’s a ton of opportunities in the content provider space in the U.S.,” Bhise said.

Siemens, meanwhile, has been active in the video streaming domain for years, starting with traditional, managed IPTV platforms, then branching off with a dedicated OTT-TV system that can connect to a variety of connected devices, including TVs, gaming consoles, streaming players, smartphones and tablets. Its platform is already serving tens of millions of customers worldwide thanks to deals with Mobily, Zee TV and Super RTL, maker of a kids-focused app for one of Germany’s largest broadcasters.

Siemens’s system can also handle a variety of business models, including free, ad-supported systems, linear TV, on-demand, and “catch-up TV”-style offerings, Markus Placho, head of business unit media at Siemens Convergence Creators, said.