FilmOn acquires OVGuide to pull together discovery of online content

FilmOn TV Media Networks (FOTV), which recently snapped up transactional service CinemaNow, has added a much more powerful content discovery platform with the acquisition of OVGuide.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to Variety, citing sources close to the deal, FOTV is paying "at least $10 million" for the company.

OVGuide's specialty lies in helping users find content across different platforms, with the goal of getting viewers just "one click away" from the movie or series that they want to watch. The platform does so either by providing an embedded video, or through a deep-link directly to AVOD (ad-supported video on demand) content, or to SVOD or transactional providers.

The platform already has its own apps on Android and iOS devices and currently powers a 19-channel network available via Roku.

FilmOn plans to integrate OVGuide with its own OTT channels in order to improve both discovery and distribution of FilmOn original and licensed content. "We are very excited to be adding a great team, top tier content, massive amounts of data, more depth on our Roku, iOS and Android services. FilmOn never stops making online video a better experience," said Alki David, FOTV's CEO.

Cross-platform search and discovery is still a somewhat unrefined technology, but content distributors from pure-play OTT providers to major cable operators are hunting for a technology that allows their users to find content from different services – say, content listings from Netflix showing up in the same view as those from Hulu or YouTube and even local programming listings. This is all entirely possible with IP-based video, but a lack of partnership agreements, licensing restrictions, and figurative walled gardens are among the issues holding back real cross-platform discovery.

However, integrating a robust cross-platform system like OVGuide into the FilmOn ecosystem, which boasts more than 800 channels, could provide some interesting insights into the science of content discovery.

For more:
- see this Variety article
- see the release

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