Cisco Scoops Up 1 Mainstream

Noting that the lines between traditional pay TV services and over-the-top video are continuing to blur, Cisco Systems announced Wednesday that it is acquiring 1 Mainstream, a startup that specializes in cloud-delivered on-demand and live multiscreen services.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Cisco said the acquisition will help its customers tap into cloud-based systems to accelerate the evolution of their own video offerings. Cisco added that 1 Mainstream’s technology complements its “Infinite” cloud video suite/platform.

Cisco expects to close the deal in Q2 of its current fiscal year, noting that 1 Mainstream will join Cisco’s Service Provider Video Software and Solutions Cloud Engineering Group, now led by Conrad Clemson, the unit’s senior vice president and general manager.

“OTT is fast becoming the new normal, where open, cloud-based technologies allow innovation at a rate simply not possible with traditional TV technologies,” Rob Salvagno, vice president of coporate business development at Cisco, said in a blog post about the deal.

Cupertino, Calif.-based 1 Mainstream was founded in 2012 by several former execs from  Roku, Apple and TiVo, with the goal of providing a platform that enables partners to rapidly spool up video services for a wide range of supported streaming platforms, including smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, connected TVs and media players such as the Apple TV and Android TV-powered Nexus Player.

1 Mainstream’s financial backers include DCM, Menlo Ventures, BSkyB and Luminari Capital. In March, Sky invested an additional $5 million in 1 Mainstream, following a $2 million investment made in 2013.  Known 1 Mainstream customers include Sky News, Tastemade, Young Hollywood, Foxtel Play, NowTV (Sky), ACC Digital Network, Screambox, Acacia TV, and Universal Sports Network (which is shutting down).

“1 Mainstream’s rapid growth shows the huge opportunity for technology that helps premium content owners reach audiences across multiple platforms and devices, quickly and efficiently,” Alun Webber, managing director, product design and development at Sky, said in a statement. “As a major customer, we are pleased to have been so closely involved in their development and we look forward to continue working with them as they become part of our long-standing partner Cisco’s Service Provider Video Team."