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Amazon Web Services to Acquire Elemental

Amazon Web Services has reached an agreement to acquire Elemental Technologies, a provider of software-defined video technologies that is widely used among TV programmers and operators.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Portland, Oregon-based Elemental has more than 700 media customers and is used on a wide variety of over-the-top (OTT) TV applications, like the BBC's iPlayer, CNNGo, ESPN ScoreCenter, HBO GO, MSNBC Shift, and Sky Go and Sky Now.

"Elemental shares Amazon's passion for invention and putting the customer first," said Andy Jassy, senior VP of Amazon Web Services in a statement. "Together, we'll collaborate on deeper technology integrations and new infrastructure offerings so that media and entertainment companies can evolve their hybrid and cloud models as they continue to innovate their services for viewers."

"The media and entertainment industry is at a unique inflection point, and as a part of Amazon, we will be in an even stronger position to help our customers delight their viewers globally," said Sam Blackman, cofounder and CEO of Elemental in another statement. "We're thrilled to have Amazon supporting our growth and ongoing commitment to our customers' success."

The deal is notable because many broadcasters and operators have been looking to adopt new cloud-based and IP based infrastructures to make their operations more nimble and to allow them to rapidly adapt to new consumer trends.

The acquisition of Elemental will provide Amazon with key technologies to help in that transition noted Kalyanaraman Prasad, VP edge services for Amazon Web Services during a conference call to explain the deal.

He said that media and entertainment companies were in the midst of an “unprecedented” shift in technologies” to provide better multiscreen and streaming services.

“While it is early in the revolution we believe that Elemental’s deep media experience…combined...with AWS cloud will provide a complementary solution to help eliminate cost and complexity” in delivering those new services.

AWS and Elemental had been working together for several years but the deal would allow them to more closely integrate their technologies and presumably better compete with companies like Verizon and Microsoft that are already offering wide-ranging cloud-based services for media and entertainment companies.

Sam Blackman, Elemental CEO and co-founder, noted that being “part of Amazon will put us in an even stronger position to help viewers globally.”

While the two companies stressed that the combination will allow them to more deeply integrate their offerings, they also said that the plan was for Elemental to continue to offer its full range of products and services to companies.

They also said that they would be jointly showing their services at this year’s IBC2015 in Amsterdam between Sept. 11 and 15.