John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Google’s 42nd Acquisition of the Year: Widevine

acquisitions_phag_thumbBack in January, Google CEO Eric Schmidt predicted the company would make one acquisition a month. Now with the year nearly finished, the company has made 41–including Phonetic Arts, whose purchase it announced earlier today. Many of the buys were deemed “not material individually,” but the significant ones numbered in the high 20s. That’s more than double Schmidt’s original forecast, and Google’s clearly not through yet. Moments ago, the company announced the acqusition of video optimization outfit Widevine for an undisclosed price.

“We’re pleased to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Widevine,” the company said in a post to its blog. “The Widevine team has worked to provide a better video delivery experience for businesses of all kinds: from the studios that create your favorite shows and movies, to the cable systems and channels that broadcast them online and on TV, to the hardware manufacturers that let you watch that content on a variety of devices. By forging partnerships across the entire ecosystem, Widevine has made on demand services more efficient and secure for media companies, and ultimately more available and convenient for users.”

For Google, which ramped up its video efforts with the launch of Google TV last month, the acquisition is an important one for bolstering its streaming video offerings. The Seattle-based Widevine specializes in digital video optimization and digital rights management, and its services are used by everyone from Netflix and to AT&T.

Interesting to see Google snapping up a video DRM company (Widevine did Flash DRM before Adobe), considering its purchase of On2 last year and its subsequent release of On2’s VP8 video codec as an open standard (something that did not go over well at MPEG-LA, the consortium that controls the AVC/H.264 video standard).

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”