Amazon today announced their acquisition of Elemental for a half a billion dollars. Besides making the executive team quite wealthy (along side their investor group), Amazon signals a pure play in getting in to the networks of the worlds carriers, operators and broadcasters (as a side note, it had been rumored that COMCAST was mulling around buying them, but this is a much smarter move).
Amazon will now be able to roll out even more services via their massive cloud service and will now have a better position to advance their not only their PRIME programming, but also TWITCH out over all IP networks becoming even more of an on-line/IP force in home media entertainment and possibly the sixth network creating a new category of acronyms - PON – the “Prime Online Network?”
While Elemental does have a good system for the media and entertainment industry players to advance content to all devices live or on-demand by ingesting and transcoding the content to be played out on PCs, smart phones, tablets, and TVs. What they really have and what is more than likely driving this acquisition is more than 700 media customers – as previously mentioned carriers, operators, and broadcasters, but also great over-the-top TV (OTT) offerings such as the BBC’s iPlayer, CNNGo, ESPN Score Center, HBO Go, MSNBC Shift, and Sky Go & Sky Now. As well as cuing up to be the support for the world’s first 4K Ultra HD services including those that were delivered by the BBC during the 2014 World Cup – the holy grail of the business – live sports.
These customers are the real value, providing a fabulous Trojan horse scenario for AMAZON into the world’s homes.
There will now be a lot of activity in this category due to this acquisition.
P.S. There’s a couple of others companies similar to Elemental that have just as great (if not better tech) with great customers, however, they’re not nearby to AMAZON in the Northwest region of the US (ie Sweden). But that’s a whole other discussion.