Monday, March 13, 2006

VeriSign to Acquire Kontiki for Digital Media Delivery

VeriSign agreed to acquire Kontiki, a provider of managed peer delivery systems for high-quality video, software and digital content, for approximately $62 million dollars.

Kontiki's system will form the cornerstone of VeriSign's Broadband Content Services platform to enable the delivery of rich media over broadband networks to personal computers, television sets and portable devices. The broadband delivery capabilities complement VeriSign's Mobile Content Services infrastructure and expand the company's Content Services portfolio.

Kontiki's platform is being used by Internet portals, broadcasters and Fortune 500 companies. AOL, BSkyB, Verizon and others use the centrally managed system to deliver branded high-quality video content.

Kontiki, based in Mountain View, CA, is privately held and has 34 employees in the United States.

VeriSign also completed the acquisition of 3united Mobile Solutions ag, for which it paid 55 million EURs.

  • In October 2005, Kontiki announced the fifth generation of its flagship software for delivering DVD-quality video across the Internet or enterprise. Called Kontiki 5.0, the new, enhanced platform enables content providers and enterprises to securely publish, protect, deliver and track rich media content at a fraction of the cost of traditional distribution systems, while giving users on-demand access to rich media content. Specific capabilities include:

    Content Security – Allows only authorized users to receive and view content and employs MS DRM (Digital Rights Management) to prevent unauthorized or illegal copying or sharing of content with another individual or device.

    Content Audit and Tracking Features -- Consumer media companies can measure the effectiveness and popularity of specific content. Enterprises can measure content consumption by employee or by region.

    Controlled Publishing – Only authorized users or groups can publish content for distribution.

    Efficient P2P Delivery – Maximizes the delivery and download speed of media content and manages bandwidth usage to reduce service provider costs. The peer-to-peer download process is transparent to the end user and does not impact the performance of the device.

    Customization and Integration – Kontiki 5.0 features a set of APIs enabling the enterprise and consumer media company to create fully customized and branded user interfaces.

    DVD-HDV Quality – Video quality is preserved, with full-screen, DVD or HDV quality.
  • AOL is using the Kontiki Plug-in and Relay Network delivery mechanism to deliver its new In2TV VOD service. AOL is promising DVD-like quality in full screen playback mode.
  • The BCC is using Kontiki for its planned online content launch. Announced in August 2005, the "MyBBCPlayer" will let viewers legally download up to seven days of the BBC's most recent TV programs. For UK viewers, a simulcast of BBC One or BBC Two will be available online at the same time as the television broadcast. The Internet based service is expected to launch in 2006.