IBC 2017: Opera TV Rebrands as ‘Vewd’

Opera TV, a company that helps OTT apps find homes on smart TVs and other connected devices, is expected to announce Friday that it has changed its name to Vewd.

Vewd is launching the new brand to coincide with the IBC show in Amsterdam, and the name change comes 15 years after it started as Opera Software and about ten months after investment holding firm Moore Frères & Company acquired a majority, controlling stake in what used to be known as Opera TV.

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That latter occurrence opened up an opportunity for the rebrand and for the company to distance itself as a browser company and one that is now entirely focused on OTT and its work with device makers and service providers, Aneesh Rajaram, Vewd’s CEO, said.

“Our core focus is to enable entertainment,” he said, noting that nearly 50 million devices are now being shipped each year with Vewd’s portfolio of products. Those include connected TVs, Blu-ray players and TiVo boxes, among others.

Though deployments on smart TVs remains Vewd’s bread and butter business, it’s seeing opportunities in the pay TV sector as operators use set-tops from Arris and others to deliver OTT services.

“We see significant room for growth there,” Rajaram said. “We see this [transition] accelerating in the coming years as these pay TV operators look not to launch a full portfolio of 1,000 applications, but a limited portfolio of key OTT services that complement the linear TV experience,” he said.

The rebrand also comes about as the company sees increasing competition in its core connected TV business from companies such as Google (Android TV) and Roku.

Android TV, however, is more of a partner as 95% of TVs with that platform on board ship with Vewd product because it enables a range of critical features, Rajaram said.

“We see Roku as another ecosystem that we'd love to power with many of our OTT-enabling features,” he added.