Thursday, February 16, 2006

eMeta Acquired by Macrovision to Bolster Content Packaging Capabilities

Macrovision's announced acquisition of privately held eMeta Corporation builds on several months of Macrovision acquisitions that have drawn the company towards increasingly sophisticated packaging and management of intellectual property. The management of software and content IP has been merging steadily over the past several years, especially in the entertainment and electronic game industries, areas in which eMeta has been increasingly active in offering ecommerce services for downloads and other content. In doing so eMeta has helped companies to become more effective marketers of content, but with an approach more focused on providing enabling technology than complete marketing services. This works well for content producers that already have significant investments in online infrastructure and a good deal of in-house online marketing savvy, such as eMeta client The New York Times. For publishers that are less invested in content infrastructure and know-how solutions such as ECNext have allowed publishers coming in from the world of print-oriented content a more complete turnkey online marketing solution for premium content, albeit within a more narrow range of content offerings.

While the eMeta acquisition certainly positions Macrovision much more strongly across the full range of services required to package, deliver and monetize general media services it also will help them to be well positioned for publishers that are trying to package a world of content for the B2B world. The range of content payloads requiring assembly and delivery in sophisticated packaging is expanding rapidly for B2B markets: Video, audio, multimedia presentations, Web services and other sophisticated electronic services are increasingly the focus of major B2B publishers and aggregators struggling to define high-margin value propositions for their clients in an era of open access to traditional content sources via search engines. As a result content ecommerce services will be moving rapidly in the B2B environment to support a commercial structure that can benefit from download-oriented online entertainment and games infrastructure more than it does today's "search the database" metaphor used to manage most business information. So don't consider this purely a move to leverage eMeta's strength in consumer markets: there will be a back end to this maneuver over time that may challenge and surprise content ecommerce providers.
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