Google has announced that it has acquired Widevine, an on-demand video service known for its multiplatform DRM and adaptive streaming technologies. The acquisition price was not disclosed.
Widevine works with companies that want to deliver protected and branded video across multiple channels. It licenses digital rights management technology to firms like Netflix in order to assure that content isn’t pirated.
This technology works on desktops, but is especially designed for mobile devices. The company is also the creator of an adaptive streaming technology that detects a user’s bandwidth and changes the video quality to match it.
Other Widevine customers include AT&T, Best Buy, Motorola, D-Link, LG, Samsung, Blockbuster, NBC.com and DISH Network.
Here’s what Google VP of Product Management Mario Queiroz said about Widevine on the Google 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.”
Google is promising to honor the company’s current contracts and provide quality support to them. Google also hints that it will build upon Widevine’s video tech in order to help boost its own technology. YouTube immediately comes to mind as the Google product that will benefit the most from this acquisition.
Today’s move is yet another signal that Google is serious about moving into premium content offerings. As Hulu can attest, well-produced, premium content is a better revenue stream than the user-generated content that permeates YouTube currently. Protecting that content will be imperative to YouTube’s success, which is where Widevine comes into play.
Reviews: Google, YouTube
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