Media and OTT solutions-provider Kaltura has partnered with Microsoft Azure. Kaltura’s OTT TV solution will be integrated with Microsoft Azure’s cloud infrastructure to provide OTT services to customers worldwide.
The core rationale for integrating an OTT solution with a cloud platform, and thereby catering to market demand, is straightforward. Relying on a cloud platform allows media companies and enterprises alike to turn OTT distribution into a controllable operating expense, and forego the significant capital requirements of deploying an in-house or on-premise technology platform.
For Kaltura itself, this partnership is a mechanism for broadening its addressable market, and addressing underlying changes in the competitive landscape.
With its announcement of expanding into the Asian market last year, Kaltura has revealed its plans to sign up and service new customers. Building a more complete Cloud ecosystem through the new partnership will allow Kaltura to reach the widest audience with the broadest range of service offerings. From a customer perspective, the enhanced breadth of Kaltura’s cloud solutions will address both its media and enterprise customer segment demand.
Although it’s not the first time that Kaltura has expanded into the cloud, this new partnership will help the firm achieve feature parity vis-à-vis direct competitors. Two of Kaltura’s major competitors, Ooyala and BrightCove, are both integrated with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. While Kaltura already launched its video platform on the Amazon EC2 in 2010, it is now playing a defensive move to keep up against its competitors. The current competitive landscape for service providers is driven by the development of strong OTT and cloud partnership strategies.
However, a broader shift is taking place in the competitive landscape, and is reshaping the types of firms with whom Kaltura and its ilk compete directly. Cloud providers themselves not only are partnering with media services companies, but are buying them outright to offer integrated, end-to-end cloud based media services. A number of acquisitions to this end have taken place in the last year. Amazon acquired Elemental, Google acquired Anvato, and IBM acquired Clearleap. Cloud and data-center-heavy players are all joining hands with longstanding or entrepreneurial OTT services companies to differentiate, and strengthen the breadth of their cloud capabilities.
In a market where cloud heavyweights are embarking on an acquisition spree, OTT solution providers can no longer treat their partnerships as a form of differentiation. Ecosystem and partnership breadth has become a strict prerequisite to competing effectively in this market. We expect no cessation in acquisitive activity or partnering in the OTT solutions space.