Adding another confidence-booster to the 2011 M&A forecast, digital entertainment company Rovi announced Tuesday morning that it has acquired TV tracking site SideReel. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The move represents an interesting departure for Rovi, which has made a habit of snapping up enterprise companies like Gemstar-TV Guide International, and Muze, a company that provides media preview and discovery services to retailers. With its acquisition of SideReel, Rovi is launching AllRovi.com, a YouTube-like video and music site that will utilize Rovi's search and recommendation technology to offer users personalized recommendations based on mood, genre, chronology, favorites and more. AllRovi.com will be the company's first consumer-facing site.
AllRovi.com will leverage Rovi's impressive media library to allow users to browse through three million TV programs dating back to 1954 (wow), 27 million individual tracks, and more than 500,000 movie titles. The company faces stiff competition from the likes of Clicker.com and Flixster.com, which also offer users the ability to search among vast libraries of music and videos. Clicker raised $19 million in funding. Flixster has raised $7.18 million to date.
So it makes sense that the company set its sights on SideReel, an online entertainment guide that allows users to track their favorite TV shows, mark which episodes they've seen, and receive alerts when new shows are available. SideReel, which raised $1.5 million in funding and launched in 2007, currently indexes 17,000 TV shows, which totals up to more than 500,000 episodes, and SideReel CEO Roman Arzhintar noted in a recent interview with VatorNews that on average, users check back at SideReel once every three days, and a large number of them return to the site 40-50 times a month.
"By adding the SideReel.com website to our online portfolio, we believe Rovi can be the go-to source for finding and enjoying online content," said Rovi's VP of marketing Dave Jordan in a prepared statement.
SideReel reached a major milestone two weeks ago as it celebrated its first day of surpassing one million unique visitors in a single day. Additionally, the company announced that it is now embedding Hulu in the site so that users can watch their content without leaving the SideReel website.
Recently, SideReel made its TV-tracking service accessible through Google TV.
"SideReel's audience is a tech savvy bunch of early adopters, many of whom claim to watch Internet TV on their televisions through a variety of devices,” said SideReel CEO Roman Arzhintar in a recent interview with VatorNews. “They track their shows with us, watch their shows with us and - many of them - still watch them on TV. Google TV + SideReel is a great way to combine the value proposition, and we expect our audience to be early adopters of Google TV.”
Neither SideReel nor Rovi were immediately available for comment, so there's no word on how the acquisition will impact SideReel's current operations.
Image source: SideReel.com