Synacor Snaps Up NimbleTV

Synacor, a company that specializes in Web startup pages and TV Everywhere technologies, will be looking to expand its multiscreen video horizons after inking a deal to acquire the people and assets of NimbleTV.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Synacor spokeswoman Meredith Roth said the cost is not expected to have a material impact on its business goals and financial guidance.

Founded in 2010, NimbleTV was originally focused on providing Slingbox-like remote TV access to consumers with existing pay-TV subscriptions via a centralized cloud-based platform. NimbleTV had launched its service in New York and Chicago, but recently shut down its direct-to-consumer service, the companies said (NimbleTV's service went dark on January 12, Re/code reported). In Chicago, for example, NimbleTV was providing access to a subset of live TV channels for free to area consumers who already subscribe to video services from Comcast and AT&T U-verse. Alongside that free component, NimbleTV also sold a cloud-based HD-DVR service that fetched $4.99 per month for 10 hours of storage space. In New York, NimbleTV, which had no deals or direct affiliations with MVPDs, had introduced a platform for subs of Verizon FiOS, Cablevision Systems, Time Warner Cable and RCN. 

Synacor said it will integrate NimbleTV’s technology into its overall video platform, and help it push ahead with the development of an authenticated, linear TV service for its clients. The company added that the acquisition will help it to accelerate video product development and client commitments and better leverage the TV rights its clients have with programmers and other content owners. Synacor said it will also gain patents that will shore up its Cloud ID offering.

Providing “[e]nd-to-end, advanced video solutions” will play an important role in Synacor’s growth strategy,said Synacor, a company that works with several MVPDs, including Verizon, Charter Communications, Suddenlink Communications, CenturyLink Communications, WideOpenWest, Armstrong, and Mediacom Communications, among others.  

On the company’s most recent earnings call, Synacor noted that it is developing a Professional Services team to deliver end-to-end advanced video solutions, and has rolled out its new PowerPlay Video Search and Discovery platform with Verizon Communications and Suddenlink Communications. The company believes that its addressable market for that new platform and services play is about $200 million this year, with the potential to grow 30% year-over-year.

Syancor's Roth said 13 NimbleTV employees, including CEO Anand Subramanian, who will report to Synacor CEO Himish Bhise, will be joining Synacor. The group joining from NimbleTV will remain at its New York City location. Synacor will consolidate its NYC offices at NimbleTV’s current spot near Penn Station. Synacor is headquartered in Buffalo, N.Y.

The acquisition is the first for Synacor under Bhise, a former AOL, Comcast and Charter Communications exec who took the helm last August.  

Bhise joined Synacor as the company was getting  pushed by two dissident investors to seek a sale. Synacor, which laid off about 20% of its workforce last fall as part of a reorg, has maintained that it will move ahead on a plan and a growth strategy that will keep the company independent.

"Synacor has an important role to play as streaming video consumers—OTT and TV Everywhere—proliferate,” Bhise said in a statement. “We see a fragmented landscape of vendors and believe our customers are looking to Synacor as a one-stop, trusted partner. NimbleTV is another step toward expanding our team and platform to deliver end-to-end, advanced video solutions. And we will continue to work with partners in the video ecosystem to assemble best-in-class technologies to deliver video solutions for our clients."