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News outlets ramping up streaming tech, PA buys StreamAMG

This week, the PA Group, the parent company of UK provider of multimedia content and services provider, the Press Association, has acquired a 61% stake in video streaming company StreamAMG to support its customers’ adoption of online news streaming. The rapidly rising quality of web-based news is a cause for concern for the traditional linear news outlets, particularly news sources begin this process of buying up technology vendors.

StreamAMG’s technologies cover live streaming, web casting and VoD services for business sectors including sport, education, media and the public sector, delivering content to multiple screens via its HTML5 video player.

Its cloud-based media platform is built on the open source Kaltura CE (Community Edition) framework, delivered via CDNs from Akamai, Level3 and Amazon’s Cloudfront. It is also a partner of Widevine, but supports no other DRMs – it is unusual to come across a platform which does not have multi-DRM support in 2017.

Customers of StreamAMG include the majority of English Premier League soccer clubs, as well as the BBC and the European Council.

UK-based StreamAMG is one of a handful of acquisitions made by PA along the way to becoming a modern media power, having also bought social video creation platform provider Wochit. It also picked up the remaining 20% in content marketing agency Sticky Content last year which it did not already own.

The press is by no means an industry immune to the proliferation of the internet and mobile formats, particularly with more consumers getting their daily dose of news directly from video streams on social media platforms. This has meant outlets such as Vice Media are becoming well respected sources of news, and Vice has previously been tapped by HBO and A&E Networks to develop linear TV programming.

The HuffingtonPost is another prime testament to a news outlet made famous by the internet, having built up a powerful global news network over several years and it has launched a number of live streaming news ventures. The major mainstream media outlets Time, New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have all opted to create and distribute web video coverage across their respective sites and apps, giving viewers even more news outlets to turn to instead of the TV set.

Although the price tags of PA Group’s acquisitions have not been made public, we can be certain that over in the US, the major media outlets are shelling out even more cash to invest in similar companies. PA Group has also secured an option to acquire the remaining shares in StreamAMG.

NBC Universal purchased a 25% stake in Euronews for $30 million in February this year, part of a strategy to bolster NBC News to better compete with CNN in the international market. The deal came on the same day as the European Commission signing a four year extension deal to continue funding Euronews with an estimated €25 million ($26.6 million) a year of EU money.

Also, in March 2015, ABC News launched its own streaming channel on Roku players and Roku-powered TV models, as well as VoD to it archive

Clive Marshall, Chief Executive of PA Group, who becomes Chairman of StreamAMG, said, “we are delighted to bring StreamAMG into the PA Group. Video is already a central part of our content proposition to both our media and corporate customers, and the acquisition adds new capability in live-streaming, web-casting and video-on-demand, enabling new and existing clients to monetize content more effectively. Not only is StreamAMG’s technology first class but their high-quality customer service and support of client monetization strategies mark them out from other providers in this sector.”

Duncan Burbidge, Chief Executive of StreamAMG, said, “PA is the perfect partner for us. The acquisition brings together a fantastic brand in content creation with a technology services business in StreamAMG that has the capability to deliver live video content to any platform globally. PA’s reach and relationships across multiple sectors will enable StreamAMG to exploit untapped market potential for its services and build on the company’s impressive growth over recent years.”

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