It's The New MACRO-Bolic!
So a good PR friend of mine pointed out something amazing to me; Macrovision acquired Mediabolic! I was in total shock. Now, I usually get the skinny on Mediabolic with Press Releases delivered to my "door" by their wonderful PR/marketing guy, but I got left off of the list, and maybe others did too. Which, to me, is just wrong, but I digress... I'm guessing that the folks at Macrovision didn't find me special enough. Oh how wrong they are...
The press release describes the buy-out as an "Acquisition to Drive Consumer Access to Digital Content on Entertainment Devices throughout the Home."
Personally, I think Mediabolic was doing just fine in this area, making great strides in the industry, and pushing some envelopes in many other places. As I've said before, I really like what they have to offer and thought that their success was more than wonderful.
But then, there's this:
SANTA CLARA, Calif. January 3, 2007 Macrovision Corporation (MVSN) today announced that, effective January 1, 2007, it acquired Mediabolic, Inc., a leading provider of software solutions for connected consumer electronics devices, such as televisions, set-top boxes and digital video recorders. Founded in 1999, Mediabolic was a privately-held company based in San Mateo, California.
The acquisition of Mediabolic extends Macrovision's capabilities in the delivery and enhancement of digital content to a wide variety of connected consumer electronics devices, a strategic priority for Macrovision and its customers. Mediabolic's open and intuitive entertainment networking software platform is an ideal complement to Macrovision's industry leading content protection, enhancement and delivery technology, which is used by Hollywood studios and other owners of high-value content around the world.
"Consumers want to interact with media and digital content whenever and wherever they want. Mediabolic is a key enabler of that experience and we believe in its innovative technology," said Fred Amoroso, CEO of Macrovision Corporation. "Mediabolic's software is a strong fit with our roadmap to help content owners transition from the world of physical media to the digital world on the strength of our technology and partner ecosystem."
Which is all well and good, but I'm a little concerned about what Macrovision will do to a very good, clean, easy-to-use marketplace which is being filled by companies like Mediabolic. I think the consumers enjoy the freedom of their music, movies, and other fine digital stuff, without the lock-downs of copy protection schemes built in. Most devices deal with the DRM already, so I'm not exactly sure what happens to content that may be "backed-up" from people's private collections. I think everyone deserves the right to "rip a copy" of their movies to their hard-disk and stream it to a TV somewhere in the house, using some kind of hardware/software to deliver it. It makes things easy.
Macrovision has been the policing agent for keeping illegal copies of movies from existing by making it hard to copy movies. Granted, people have gotten around this in many ways (and we all know it will continue), but I understand their purpose. Movies are expensive to make, so the investment needs to be protected. But you have to wonder what this type of move is going to do to the streaming entertainment environment? Maybe it's going to allow us to legally download movies (which can't be copied) to our Xboxs, PS3s, and PCs/NAS. Or, maybe it's going to keep us from being able to playback stuff through our own private networks in our homes. Only time will tell, I guess...
I wish Mediabolic the best, as always, and I hope to hear great things coming from this acquisition. ... and I hope to remain a "key contact" for Macrovision as things move ahead.
[Via: Mediabolic Press Release]