Google TV (Nasdaq: GOOG) isn't going down without a fight. The over-the-top wannabe, which has been taking a beating in the press and in public opinion lately because broadcasters refuse to ally, has added an intriguing ingredient to its mix: international digital rights management provider Widevine. The two companies announced late last week that Google is acquiring Widevine to "improve access to great video content across the Web."
At a minimum, the acquisition improves Google's position with broadcasters and others who have questioned the provider's content security by adding a potent DRM to its mix. At a maximum, it opens the doors for a streaming video play like the one Netflix (Nasdaq: FLX) (coincidentally or not, a Widevine customer) is proposing because it might be tough for broadcasters who've signed deals with Netflix to spurn Google.
"(W)hile it's still fun to pull an old movie off the shelf and throw it in the DVD player, streaming is rapidly becoming the standard way for you to find the content you want to watch now," said Mario Queiroz, Google's product management vice president in a blog post announcing the deal. "By forging partnerships across the entire ecosystem (studios, cable systems and programmers) Widevine has made on demand services more efficient and secure for media companies and ultimately more available and convenient for users."
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