News Column

TiVo Acquiring Digitalsmiths for $135 Million

January 29, 2014

David Ranii, The News & Observer

Jan. 29--Fast-growing video technology company Digitalsmiths has agreed to be acquired for $135 million in cash by TiVo, the company that pioneered digital video recording.

In announcing the deal to buy Durham-based Digitalsmiths Wednesday morning, publicly traded TiVo said the deal would accelerate its evolution into a company that provides software services over the cloud, creating "a significant expansion in market opportunity for TiVo."

Digitalsmiths, which was founded in 1998 and has raised about $30 million in venture capital, has a technology called Seamless Discovery that make it easier for subscribers to video content to find what they want to watch on a wide variety of screens -- including TVs, mobile phones, PCs and tablets. Seamless Discovery makes video recommendations to viewers based on their past viewing habits, similar to the suggestions that Netflix makes, and lets viewers know where that content can be found.

Seven of the top 10 U.S. pay-TV companies that serve 64 million homes use Digitalsmiths technology, according to TiVo. Overall, the technology is licensed to companies that reach than 100 million homes worldwide.

"The Digitalsmiths acquisition opens new opportunities to commercialize and deploy TiVo's cloud-based services and technologies to operators in an extremely cost-effective way that can be offered either independently or in conjunction with TiVo's renowned user interface," TiV CEO Tom Rogers said in a prepared statement.

TiVo hailed Digitalsmiths' technology as "the pay-TV industry's most broadly adopted cloud-based content discovery and recommendation service."

Ben Weinberger, CEO and co-founder of Digitalsmiths, said in a statement that he would be joining TiVo "to provide a best-in-class product set to service providers, consumer electronics manufacturers and content providers."

Ranii: 919-829-4877


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Original headline: TiVo acquiring Durham's Digitalsmiths for $135 million

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