Verizon acquires TV everywhere specialist upLynk

Michelle Clancy | 14-11-2013

To enhance its competencies in digital distribution for live events, linear television and video-on-demand, Verizon Digital Media Services has acquired the assets and operations of upLynk, which handles the uploading and encoding of TV everywhere.

upLynk's differentiator is its ability to use a single adaptive video format across all devices, delivered in a cloud model so that customers can pay as they go. Thus, upLynk in theory simplifies encoding, storage, playback, ad insertion and analytics to eliminate complexity and enable more agile video workflows.

"As the experience of watching broadcast television changes and the media marketplace shifts, the addition of upLynk's unique capabilities allows Verizon Digital Media Services to better meet our customers where and how they want to deliver video," said Bob Toohey, president of Verizon Digital Media Services. "Simply put, this acquisition provides intelligent, scalable and more flexible ways of streaming video for our customers."

Based on its integration with national broadcast infrastructures as well as its over-the-top broadcast cloud distribution technology, upLynk delivers multi-device and cross-platform premium content to complement Verizon Digital Media Services' content management and delivery solutions.

TDG analyst Colin Dixon pointed out that upLynk powers the Watch Disney apps, including the affiliate-driven Watch ABC. He noted that the cloud-based, pay-as-you-go approach to TV everywhere support has benefits for content owners of all sizes an important aspect for Verizon, which tends to focus on large fish.

"Rather than asking customers for upfront commitments, upLynk only asks them to pay for the resources they actually use," he said in a posting. "This has a number of benefits for customers. For very small providers, up-front commitments can be too pricey. upLynk lets them start small. For all customers, it can be very difficult to predict how much bandwidth will be needed. Particularly in the case of local affiliates, if a big news story breaks there can be a huge spike in usage. Rather than commit to a large bandwidth requirement to cover these unpredictable spikes in demand, upLynk's model scales up only when needed."

He added that Verizon's heft will conversely be good for upLynk: "Bringing together upLynk's cost effective encoding and streaming solution with Verizon Media Services should allow the solution to scale up to a national footprint and the largest of content providers."