Parks Associates Blog

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Internet Video Market Loses Akimbo Systems

The news today wasn't good from Akimbo Systems. The company has laid off all employees save one executive and is looking for a buyer. Akimbo began as an ill-fated effort to marry a stand-alone set-top box with an aggregated Internet video experience. When we last talked to Akimbo in September of last year, they indicated that their new strategy was not to go the stand-alone set-top box route, but to work with multiple hardware partners to provide a rich video experience. It wasn't a bad strategy, and one key win for the company was its supplying of about half of the on-demand content for the AT&T Homezone hybrid satellite and Internet video service.

However, the big problem with Akimbo in my analysis was its lack of really premium video content. Marrying content to hardware makes sense if you're Netflix and can at least offer some older movie content to a device like the Roku player or a connected DVD player. Akimbo's content, however, included an overwhelming amount of specialized content that was only going to appeal to very small consumer segments. I just couldn't see them gaining widespread traction with a lot of Anime content.

I'm sure some company is going to snatch up Akimbo's intellectual property for use in video encoding or publishing. The company certainly has years of experience in the space that could benefit some company.

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