Friday, January 7, 2011
Rovi eyes streaming video market
Rovi, which provides on-screen TV guides and technology that protects against video piracy, has seen its stock climb some 10 percent since its December 23 announcement of a deal to purchase Sonic Solutions, a key player in the emerging streaming video market.
Investors flocked to Netflix last year as the popular DVD rental company transitioned to streaming video and became a leading force in the nascent Internet TV market. Concerns about overvaluation and competition from the likes of Apple, Google and Amazon has caused Netflix investors to retreat since the stock peaked November 30.
The attraction of the lucrative streaming video market continues to sway investors, however. After getting a big boost from the Sonic deal, Rovi's stock has now doubled in the past year.
Rovi is now seen as a potential Netflix competitor and a force to be reckoned with in the Web television market. Rovi introduced a new cloud service at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas yesterday for Internet TV providers that allows them to offer a user-friendly content guide to its viewers.
The Rovi Media Cloud is a suite of Web services that has search and scheduling features. The new service also has an iPad app called "What's on TV" and an iPhone music search app.
With the deal to acquire Sonic, Rovi gains access to RoxioNow and DivX TV and the business of distributing digital video on consumer electronic devices.
Rovi started out as Macrovision, a provider of video copy protection technology. It expanded with the acquisition of TV Guide/Gemstar, which markets on-screen TV guides for cable companies and the makers of television devices, including Apple TV.
With its pending acquisition of Sonic, Rovi will be providing streaming video services to Blockbuster, Best Buy and Sears.