Tribune Media Services Acquires Video Search Company CastTV
The acquisition is expected to improve TMS' entertainment metadata, which clients can use to create entertainment-discovery guides that direct consumers to programs available on linear, on-demand and online video platforms.
"Most consumers have a hard time finding all the online content they would enjoy -- and have no way to see all their viewing options in one place," said Jay Fehnel, chief operating officer for TMS Entertainment Products. "By adding CastTV's expertise, TMS will be able to help our clients deliver one guide to all the video a consumer can view."
Founded in 2006, San Francisco-based CastTV has developed search technology that aggregates, indexes and presents data on millions of TV shows, movies, music videos, news and sports clips, and viral videos from more than 1,000 Web-video sources.
Combined with TMS, "we can offer media and technology customers comprehensive, 'one stop watching' solutions for today's connected consumers," said CastTV President Alex Vikati.
The CastTV technology automatically matches online video to professionally edited, structured databases such as TMS' TV, movie and celebrity data, allowing for with existing TMS products.
The CastTV system also allows for "device-aware" content-discovery products that can be limited or expanded to include only access to videos that address a customer's device limitations or the business needs of a video provider.
The acquisition includes all of CastTV's technology, products, intellectual property and staff, including CEO Edwin Ong and Vikati.
Per the deal, TMS will link the CastTV index of online programs to TMS metadata to enable customers to easily direct consumers to programs regardless of where they are offered.
CastTV also operates a consumer Web site, CastTV.com, which provides over four million consumers with a resource to find what video they want to watch online.
TMS will operate the CastTV.com site as part of its Zap2it.com entertainment network, which currently reaches eight million Web visitors and four million mobile app users monthly.
TMS plans to offer advertising packages that combine the audiences of both sites.