Google Buys On Demand Video Service Widevine To Bolster Its Own TV Efforts

Apparently on acquiring tear today, Google just bought video delivery company Widevine, it has announced on its corporate blog:

“So we’re pleased to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Widevine. The Widevine team has worked to provide a better video delivery experience for businesses of all kinds: from the studios that create your favorite shows and movies, to the cable systems and channels that broadcast them online and on TV, to the hardware manufacturers that let you watch that content on a variety of devices. By forging partnerships across the entire ecosystem, Widevine has made on demand services more efficient and secure for media companies, and ultimately more available and convenient for users.”

This acquisition is interesting in light of the fact that Google has been struggling with its own Google TV efforts since it launched the product about a month ago. My guess is this is directly related to improving the search engine’s expanded foray into video content as the Seattle-based Widevine’s technology allows content owners to stream video across multiple devices including mobile phones and televisions.

In addition, Widevine deals with DRM and optimization for a ton of known clients, relationships that might ultimately prove valuable to Google.

From Widevine CEO Brian Baker:

“For many years, Widevine has enabled consumers to access digital entertainment content. Through a combination of content protection and video optimization technologies, we’ve provided consumers with the highest quality Internet video experience while giving them freedom to watch on a variety of devices. With the recent growth of Internet video and network connected devices, it is increasingly important for technology to provide consumers with the capability to watch what they want, when they want, where they want.”

No word yet on the price of the acquisition but it’s probably hefty as the company currently has over $50 million in funding, led by Cisco and Samsung Ventures.

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