Verizon Digital Media Services (VDMS), the managed service arm of US telco Verizon, recently acquired multiscreen start-up upLynk for an undisclosed fee. Powering both Watch Disney apps and Watch ABC, upLynk enables multiscreen playback thanks to its single streaming adaptive video format and television cloud services that simplifies the procedure for multiple types of content.
Verizon Digital Media Services (VDMS) was formed in 2011 to manage video content on Verizon backbone and offer automated managed services from content acquisition to its delivery or publishing. UpLynk's acquisition will support VDMS with encoding, storage, playback, ad insertion and analytics technology, as well as core video streaming technology.
In the increasingly competitive managed services industry, where margins often fluctuate around 5 per cent for the majority service areas, the need to differentiate services with advanced technology is becoming ever more important. Based on Verizon's tier-1 backbone, VDMS has been adding processing services such as asset management to help bring clients into using Verizon's transport infrastructure in the US. UpLynk will offer technology enhancements for many of these service aspects to help Verizon from relying on transport sales in a highly commoditised contribution and primary distribution market. As secondary features such as analytics, multiscreen applications and search and recommendation engines become more important, VDMS will likely find a stronger position for bundling transport and processing services.
The acquisition of UpLynk can be seen from several angles. Not only does it help VDMS complete a more rounded managed service offering, and bring deeper ties with major content providers ABC and Disney; but it also helps the wider company put together the necessary pieces of a virtual MSO architecture that could be used to expand FiOS outside of Verizon's footprint.