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Summary:

Grid Networks, a Seattle-based peer-to-peer content delivery technology startup that’s raised more than $10 million in funding from Comcast Interactive Capital, Cisco Systems and Panorama Capital has merged with Global Media Services (GMS), a New York-based digital media services company that counts nearly 100 large content […]

Grid Networks, a Seattle-based peer-to-peer content delivery technology startup that’s raised more than $10 million in funding from Comcast Interactive Capital, Cisco Systems and Panorama Capital has merged with Global Media Services (GMS), a New York-based digital media services company that counts nearly 100 large content producers such as MTV Networks, SpeedTV and Fox Sports among its clients. Rumors of a pending sale of Grid Networks emerged late last month.

Grid’s technology will help us deliver HD content, especially to non-PC devices such a game consoles,” said Charles Picasso, former COO of Digital Island, who’s going to be running the new company, in a statement. “The challenge for content owners is to get video content to three screens and non-PC devices.” Grid’s core technology now works on X-Box, Sony PS3 and Windows-powered computers.

GMS does everything from providing content management tools to streaming video over the Internet, pushing almost a petabyte of data every month on behalf of its clients. The company was founded in 2003 by Jennifer Sultan and Adam Cohen, a 15-year digital media veteran who will serve as chief media officer of the combined firm.

Disclosure: Grid Networks is funded by Panorama Capital partner Allan Leinwand, who is a guest columnist for GigaOM.

  1. Just about everything that Allan Leinwand does turns to gold! SEO

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  2. Perhaps. However, the deal generated no meaningful return for the investors, as Grid Networks has no meaningful revenues to show..

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  3. Om, you mentioned that Grid’s core tech works on the Xbox, Playstation and Windows PCs. I would like to add that the GridCast product works very nicely on Macs and numerous set-top UPnP devices as well, delivering reliable streaming high-def video over conventional broadband connections to TVs & PCs of many flavors.

    We’re excited here in Seattle — with the combined resources of both companies, Global Media is now positioned to provide a very strong & proven end-to-end service offering (web experience, media management, distribution, device support, and all types of monetization), that enables Internet video sites to become profitable, mainstream broadcasters exhibiting beautifully on practically any device. This is entirely unique at this point, and I hope you’ll continue to watch and comment on us as we move through 2009 and beyond.

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  4. The main problem with the business model and merger is licensing. You can have all the devices in the world but when content is walled, fragmentation destroys the end user experience, this merger is heavily geared to advertising, film is far to expensive to deliver on ad revs alone.

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  5. Jeff, best of luck to you and your team on the merger but you’d be better off coming out and talking about customers, revenue or something tangible, instead of calling this the “Industry’s First Comprehensive Streaming and Media Services Platform”. That’s all marketing hype and not even accurate. So before Grid merged with GMS, there was no other vendor offering a streaming media services platform in the market? Come on.

    How can anyone take this merger seriously when Grid’s business is referred to as “overwhelming success” even though Grid was nearly out of money and needed to merge with another small company, who also has very little revenue.

    Why do companies continue to think they can make noise in the industry by using a bunch of marketing terms, calling themselves the “industry’s first” and think that matters? In the release Grid says it “does what no content delivery network or video-platform provider can do”. Even if that is true, how has that translated into revenue for Grid Networks? Why does anyone care about being the “first” or having the “only” solution in the market when it generates no revenue? None of that matters without a business model, revenue and real customers.

    Would you rather have a business that is first with something in the market but can’t sustain itself, or a business that is not first, but does something well and generates enough money to survive? Trying to spin this into anything else, with a bunch of buzz words and marketing terms is simply a bad strategy.

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  6. @Dan – In the email I got about this merger it said “Today, GMS currently delivers over 175 MM Streams per month of streaming video content to global consumers for top-tier media companies and leading brands such as MTV Networks, Nickelodeon, Fox Sports, Big Ten Network, Auction Network, SVEDKA Vodka, Speed TV, and Condé Nast Publications.”

    Seems like real customers and a lot of streams although you’re right that there was no rev $$’s quoted.

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  7. @Jeff

    Thanks for the extra information. Given that we have written about all your various supported platforms, I decided to focus on some of the major ones including the X-Box which is fast becoming a download/video watching device of choice for many.

    Good luck with the new combined company and keep us posted on all new developments.

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  8. The real Adam Friday, May 1, 2009

    Adam Cohen is a scam artist. He does the same thing over and over again. He will suck this new enterprise dry and will move to a new prey. Good luck :)

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  9. Do people really plan on relying on a gaming device for video feeds? That is rediculous.

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  10. It does seem that their financial model is weak. Delivering content to game consoles will definitely help build brand with teens and tweens but they don’t typically have deep wallets.

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