BSkyB Acquires Acetrax - VoD Services Addressing Connected Consumer Electronics are a Growing Trend

by Parks Associates | May. 3, 2012

By: Kurt Scherf, Vice President, Principal Analyst

BSkyB was making news on the business and technology front this week, as it was reported that it purchased Swiss-based Acetrax, an online video movie rental and download company. We became familiar with Acetrax in late 2009, as it was one of the more active online video companies (in Europe and elsewhere) in striking deals to link its service to the growing number of smart TVs and connected consumer electronics products. With total unit sales of connected consumer electronics reaching nearly 1.6 billion by 2016 (and Europe accounting for a sizeable chunk), it is a smart move for Sky to make VoD services available to a large number of subscribers and non-subscribers alike. I wonder if DISH's Blockbuster acquisition in the U.S. will mean a similar non-subcriber VoD strategy here?

One of the rising trends that I see is more virtual cable services becoming available, and specifically tied to connected consumer electronics. For example, Limelight announced a deal in February to have a streaming channel available to smart TVs in Japan. Another smart TV-specific service example is EpicTV from Finnish service provider Elisa. Working in conjunction with Tvinci and Accedo Broadband, this sports-related service will be available on smart TVs and other connected CE devices.

The integration of smart TVs and video services with Internet-connected consumer electronics is a subject of a panel that I’m moderating at our upcoming CONNECTIONS event June 5-7 at the Gaylord Texan. The panel is titled Connected Consumer Electronics as the Set-top Box, and I’ll be joined by speakers from Actiontec, Clearleap, LG Electronics, and others to discuss the video-specific roles for smart TVs and other devices.


Tags: smart TV

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