Turner’s iStream Acquisition A Bid For IP-Based Video

TurnerTurner Broadcasting acquired a majority stake in live video-streaming platform iStreamPlanet on Friday, which the company hopes will boost its over-the-top and live-streamed video offerings.

Although iStream will remain as a standalone company with its own board of directors, Turner Broadcasting CTO Jeremy Legg said the acquisition will help the broadcaster migrate its core video infrastructure to the cloud, enhance video-on-demand services and develop both ad-free and ad-supported over-the-top solutions.

“We believe cloud-based broadband video, particularly for simulcasts and live TV, is a technology pillar from which we can build out [these other] solutions,” he said, noting iStream’s existing relationship with a variety of device manufacturers.

Turner was both an early investor in and customer of iStreamPlanet, which helped support its delivery of a PGA Championship live stream of tournaments and broadcast simulcasts on PGA.com.

IStreamPlanet developed dynamic ad-insertion technology and live video encoding software called Aventus. The software houses a multiscreen packaging service, which allows users to convert content assets into IP-based video for delivery and playback on any device.

Although Turner will house iStream’s technology, its platform will still serve external media clients, as well as boost technological capabilities across the Time Warner fold, the company said.

Live streaming is a core part of Turner’s business, both in news and sports verticals, said Legg.

“The biggest challenge is knowing that the person watching on a TV is the same person on a mobile device,” he added. “iStream delivers video to both platforms.”

Turner’s iStream deal is another example of traditional media companies buying into digital video infrastructure in order to fuel web video growth.

Comcast has been most active, acquiring video monetization and addressable TV tools like FreeWheel and Visible World, and reportedly prepping its own web video service, while Extreme Reach acquired BrandAds to boost its digital ad-serving product.


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