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Amazon Web Services Snaps Up Elemental

Amazon Web Services, the cloud video unit of the retail giant, has inked a deal to acquire Elemental Technologies, a multiscreen video specialist that counts customers such as Comcast,  Sky, HBO, DirecTV and CBS Interactive.

They didn’t disclose the terms of the deal, but The Information reports that AWS is paying about $500 million in cash.  Founded in 2006, Elemental has raised $41 million.

Elemental’s software-focused platform, which runs on off-the-shelf hardware, supports both live and on-demand streaming, and will be more tightly integrated with the AWS Cloud platform.

Elemental will continue to operate its business under its existing brand, and serve its range of clients that span cable operators, broadcasters, governments, and enterprise customers.  They expect to close the deal in the fourth quarter of 2015. 

Update: Elemental currently has 248 full-time employees worldwide. All Elemental employees will be offered continued employment with this acquisition, a company official said via email.

With Elemental, AWS gets a built-in client base of partners that deliver OTT and authenticated TV Everywhere apps. Elemental has more than 700 customers, but examples include BBC’s iPlayer, CNNGo, ESPN Score Center, HBO Go, MSNBC Shift, and Sky Go & Sky Now.

Of recent note, Portland, Ore.-based Elemental announced that it’s processing and encoding software is being used for Comcast’s in-home live TV streaming app and cloud DVR for the MSO’s X1 platform. In July, Elemental announced it was powering two services from U.K.-based Sky – its over-the-top TV service, NOW TV, and its mobile TV service, Sky Go. 

“Elemental shares Amazon’s passion for invention and putting the customer first,” said Andy Jassy, SVP 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,” added Sam Blackman, co-founder and CEO of Elemental. “We’re thrilled to have Amazon supporting our growth and ongoing commitment to our customers’ success.”

Speaking on a call about the deal, Blackman reassured that Elemental’s focus on the customer will “continue unabated” following the acquisition, and that those customers can expect to see accelerated innovation from the company and increased support. 

Elemental and AWS said they'll be showing off some of their joint handiwork at IBC 2015, which gets underway next week in Amsterdam.