Limelight Networks is adding video management and syndication to its suite of offerings for media and enterprise customers, with the acquisition of Delve Networks for an undisclosed mix of cash and stock. With the purchase, Limelight will begin offering services that will compete with Brightcove, Ooyala and Comcast’s thePlatform.
The deal marks Limelight’s third acquisition, and gives it more value-added services it can offer to its customers as it tries to differentiate its business from pure content delivery network (CDN) services. Limelight had previously purchased Kiptronic, which offers a solution for dynamically serving websites and videos to any mobile device, without having to build individual pages for each one. And last December, Limelight agreed to buy EyeWonder to boost its video advertising capabilities.
Delve’s software-as-a-service platform offers tools for managing, publishing and syndicating videos online, including hosting, encoding, channel and playlist management, advertising and reporting and analytics. Delve’s platform will complement Limelight’s existing offerings by providing a web-based workflow for customers using its existing mobile and ad tools. Limelight VP of Marketing and Communications Paul Alfieri wrote in an email that Delve has patent-pending technology “that can capture rich information about content that, when combined with our ad targeting and delivery assets, could offer more relevant/higher-CPM rich media advertising.”
Alfieri added that Delve’s talented engineering team (with experience working for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Yahoo and Inktomi), as well as a scalable and open platform, were other reasons that Limelight was interested in making the acquisition.
The deal might also bring in some business that had previously belonged to Limelight competitor Akamai. About a year ago, Delve announced that it had chosen Akamai as its primary CDN provider, much in the same way that OVP competitor Brightcove used Limelight as its go-to CDN. Delve has more than 100 customers, such as the American Hospital Association, CDW, ESPN, Hallmark, Lego and Standard & Poors
, which will be transitioned to Limelight’s CDN unless they choose otherwise.
It’s unclear what will happen to Limelight’s relationship with Brightcove and other OVPs, now that it has a competitive offering in-house. But Alfieri said that, “while we may now compete in certain areas, we will continue to be driven by customer choice and will partner with them and other OVPs in segments where it makes sense for both companies and where customers want it to occur.”
Update: Alfieri writes: “[T]he Delve service will continue to offer Akamai as a CDN. Their service will also offer Limelight as a CDN option now, and the service will continue to let customers ‘bring their own.’ Current Delve customers will not have their configuration changed. Where the integration occurs between Delve and Limelight is at the “OS” level. Essentially, the Delve app is being ‘installed’ on Limelight’s infrastructure – it’s going to run in our data centers, use our transit, benefit from our scale, etc. But at the application layer, customers will be presented with a choice, similar to the choices Limelight offers today with our EyeWonder and Mobility products.”
Related content on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d): Report: Delivering Content in the Cloud