Latest Rovi Moves Establish Consumer Presence

Rovi Corp., best known for being a behind-the-scenes force in everything from metadata to copyright protection, announced a few moves Tuesday that indicate the company wants to step out front and center.

Rovi launched, a search-and-recommendation engine for entertainment content, and bolstered that effort with the acquisition of, a leading source of links to TV content online.

What’s different about this Rovi move is that its core product, electronic programming guides, is essentially getting some exposure on the open web as opposed to the connected devices that has been its focal point to date.

Rovi will have its share of rivals in this space, from Clicker to Fanhattan. But Rovi is going to be a strong player given the depth of content and personalization technology they bring to the game.

It’s another reason why Rovi is something of a quiet giant that won’t be easily ignored. Since its earlier incarnation as Macrovision (NSDQ: MVSN), the company has gobbled up more and more assets dating back to its Gemstar International acquisition to its more recent $720 million purchase of Sonic Solutions.

While has plenty of film and music content to bring to the mix, Sidereel will have them covered on the TV side. But that company has been criticized for linking to pirated material, which prompted NewTeeVee to note: “Having these links on a site run by Rovi is particularly ironic, since Rovi’s legacy business includes content protection for major media companies.”

If SideReel wasn’t cleaning itself up before, you can bet it will now.