Media

Massive Interactive targets North America in its quest to rule IPTV

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How is a startup that’s been around for 16 years going to reinvent the IPTV market in North America? For Massive Interactive, it’s by offering content owners a simple way to push media across a variety of devices with a single app.

The Sydney, Australia- and London-based company is now targeting North America after developing its technology for years and landing some major clients internationally (including the BBC, Sky Television, and Telstra). Massive Interactive announced today that it’s hired Alexander Drosin — previously president of Lorne Michael’s Broadway Video Enterprises — as its North American president, and also opened offices in New York City.

“We’ve kind of taken a very slow and grassroots approach to developing business here,” said Ron Downey, the chairman and chief executive of Massive Interactive, in an interview with VentureBeat. “We’re focused on tier 1 clients [in North America].”

So far, Massive Interactive says it has been in discussions with major U.S. telecommunications companies, studios, TV networks, and more. The company will be announcing its partner deals over the next few weeks, Downey says.

The company has been working in digital interactivity since the CD-ROM heavy days of the ’90s. It was also one of the pioneers of touchscreen interfaces and content distribution for international airlines in the early 2000s. That lengthy experience has paid off for Massive Interactive now that we’re all relying so heavily on touchscreen devices.

Massive Interactive’s core product is the Massivision framework, a service that companies can use to build a single application for their content that’s also easy to distribute to a variety of different devices. It’s a good solution for studios and content owners who want to offer their libraries digitally but have no experience with building or maintaining digital stores. Basically, it easily enables “TV Everywhere” — access to their content on just about any device.

Downey mentioned that one of its clients managed to run both their child-friendly and adult content from within the same app. The consumer only sees the content they want, and the client only has to worry about managing a single app.

“In an evolving and chaotic industry arena where the traditional models for the distribution and consumption of entertainment are being turned on their heads, there are a lot of silver bullet claims by technology providers,” Downey said in a statement today. “There is no silver bullet yet for multiscreen IPTV service delivery, but there are elegant and efficient solutions for large enterprises.”

Even though it’s 16 years old, the company hasn’t raised any funding yet — something that seems downright alien when we consider the current state of startup funding. Downey describes his business as a “classic bootstrapper.” It also helped that operating a company was fairly cheap in Australia. Massive Interactive eventually opened up a major office in London, which helped it gain a foothold in the European IPTV space.