TiVo picks up Digitalsmiths for $135MN

Michelle Clancy | 30-01-2014

PVR pioneer TiVo is to acquire advanced search and discovery platform provider Digitalsmiths in a deal valued at $135 million.

Digitalsmiths technology is used by seven of the top ten pay-TV operators in the US, offering cloud-based personalised video search, recommendations and browsing, social trending and mood-based discovery for movies, TV shows and live events. It supports digital delivery as well, including set-top boxes, tablets, smart phones, computers and gaming consoles. In all, it powers 46 domestic and international customers and partners including Foxtel, Sharp, Univision, zeebox and i.TV.

"Digitalsmiths helps TiVo in a number of ways," said analysts at nScreenMedia, in a note. "TiVo is increasingly focused on becoming the multiscreen solution for pay-TV operators. The company has marquee deployments with Virgin Media in the UK, Com Hem in Sweden and Mediacom in the US Digitalsmiths bolsters the company's abilities in the US by providing an entree into many of the top MVPDs."

It added: "TiVo also recently announced that it would introduce a network DVR. Digitalsmiths search and discovery platform is already available as a cloud service and should add to the already impressive recommendation engine provided with TiVo's DVR."

Digitalsmiths reaches 100 million households worldwide, and claims to have the world's largest database of proprietary scene-level, time-based and mood metadata now totalling over 11 million data sets. The company's cloud service handled 90 million transactions in July 2013, growing to almost 150 million in December 2013.

Digtialsmiths' current user base represents about 10% of the total potential user base licensed under its current contracts, it said but TiVo expects the active user base to grow to over 50% penetration in the next few years.