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Google acquires Netflix, Vudu, and Blockbuster’s streaming video DRM provider Widevine

By Tim Conneally, Betanews

Google announced on Friday that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Widevine, a Seattle-based company that has focused on DRM and security for streaming internet media for the last decade.

“The Widevine team has worked to provide a better video delivery experience for businesses of all kinds: from the studios that create your favorite shows and movies, to the cable systems and channels that broadcast them online and on TV, to the hardware manufacturers that let you watch that content on a variety of devices,” said Mario Queiroz, Google Vice President of Product Management.

One of the big selling points of Widevine’s technology is that it is cross-platform with a special focus on mobile and non-PC-based media consumption; so it can be used to secure to many different types of media (H.264, Flash, Quicktime, Windows Media) on different types of networks (CDN, peer to peer, managed) and different device platforms (smartphones, connected TVs, video game consoles, set top boxes, PCs.)

The company also has more than 60 U.S. and international patents and more than 100 pending in areas such as: adaptive streaming, application-level encryption, real-time piracy detection and response, media tracking, and usage controls.

Queiroz said that Google will maintain all of Widevine’s existing client agreements, which includes nearly all of the major streaming video services. AT&T U-Verse, Netflix, Blockbuster, Vudu, and Roxio CinemaNow, for example, all use Widevine’s streaming DRM technology.

Copyright Betanews, Inc. 2010

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