Ericsson bolsters its media content with Red Bee acquisition

Swedish technology provider Ericsson announced its intention to acquire media services company Red Bee Media for a yet undisclosed sum.

Whilst still a very much relevant vendor of telecommunications and networking equipment, media services has never been a field of Ericsson’s. This was left somewhat down to joint venture with Sony; in aptly-named Sony Ericsson, until the companies separated last year.

Quite how Ericsson plans to use the expansion, or for how much they were willing to pay, is not yet clear. Yet CEO Magnus Mandersson seems keen this is the start of a huge shift in the company.

On the acquisition, he says: “Ericsson is making a step change to our business, cementing our commitment to TV and broadcast services and continuing a journey we started in 2007,”

He continues: “We can create value for broadcasters by making digital content more accessible, enabling monetization of TV content more efficiently.”

Red Bee Media offer a whole host of services which can be found here, but from Magnus’s comments, it sounds like the focus will be on the accessibility and monetisation.

One of Red Bee’s primary and biggest services is for subtitles; delivering more than 100,000 hours of subtitling per year for broadcasters.

Along with the company; comes the workforce, with over 1,500 employees based in UK, France, Germany, Spain and Australia. 1,240 of these come from the UK alone. Ericsson, interestingly, has chosen the UK to become its ‘global media hub’.

What is also likely to be fascinating and cause some amount of speculation; is the company’s recent acquisition of Microsoft’s “Media Room” IPTV business, securing a mighty 25% of the market.

Both of these companies could potentially make Ericsson one of the biggest players in the space, but quite how they plan to offer anything unique in an already-crowded space, we can only cogitate.

How do you think Ericsson plan to use their recent acquisitions?

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