In 2010, there was no slackening in KIT Digital’s buying spree. This time around, the properties purchased were Multicast Media (its technology was incorporated into the VX Media Suite), Benchmark Broadcast Systems (broadcast video/IPTV), Megahertz Broadcast Systems Ltd. (broadcast video integrator), Accela Communications (video-based enablement and measurement tools), and Brickbox DigitalMedia (digital VAM).
Then came 2011, and KIT Digital went even bigger by purchasing Kewego (video platform provider), KickApps (social media hosting platform), Kyte (cloud-based VAM), TXT Polymedia (European software vendor/integrator), and ioko (systems integration and IT services).
The Next Phase
Having devoured all of these companies, KIT Digital is now focused on digestion. “With the acquisitions of Kewego, KickApps, Kyte, Polymedia and ioko, we are ... excited to have successfully completed the three-plus year aggressive consolidation phase of our corporate development plan,” says Tuzman in KIT Digital’s 1Q 2011 financial report. “Going forward, we expect the pace of our M&A activity to slow dramatically, as we optimize what we have acquired and focus on organic growth.”
“Our focus now is on building sales,” says Hall, previously COO of Kyte. “We want to show the broadcasters and content producers of the world what we can do with their video assets; how we can help them monetize content effectively and efficiently.”
Already, this approach is winning results, and again it’s winning results in markets typically ignored by other U.S.-centric solutions providers.
A case in point: On May 17, 2011, KIT Digital announced that its multiscreen IP video software KIT Platform will be at the heart of China United Television (CUT). Already being called “The Hulu of China,” CUT is an IP-based video distribution system being launched by 19 leading Chinese television stations and newspapers throughout the country and led by the Shenzhen Media Group. Using KIT Platform, CUT will provide Chinese computer and mobile users with one- click access to live TV programs, videos on demand, and interactive communications. Given China’s 1.4 billion population, KIT Digital may have picked the ripest plum on the IPTV tree.
In what could only be described as an understatement, Tuzman says that his company is “excited to enable China’s nationwide consortium of television stations to distribute content over multiple screens to millions of users.” Despite his subtlety, Tuzman has no illusions about what’s at stake: “This service will offer Chinese users an unparalleled experience to view content from multiple local TV stations on an over-the-top (OTT) basis, and enable anytime-and-anywhere TV access for Chinese households,” he says in the 1Q 2011 financial report.
That’s the future. As for now? It seems fair to say that the CUT deal has validated KIT Digital’s buying spree, and it has validated Tuzman’s efforts to dominate the global VAM market. Granted, the company isn’t at the Microsoft level quite yet—but it does appear to have a fighting chance of getting there.
This article originally appeared in the August/September issue of Streaming Media magazine under the title "KIT Digital Wants to Rule the World."
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