AT&T on Monday turned up the heat on its over-the-top competitors with its purchase of video streaming and TV Everywhere provider Quickplay Media, Inc. from Madison Dearborn Partners.
According to AT&T, Quickplay’s platform already supports the carrier’s U-verse TV Everywhere offerings, and will expand to support streaming of DirecTV Now, DirecTV Mobile and DirecTV Preview later this year.
AT&T said it also plans for Quickplay to continue to expand its global customer base and grow its managed platform services to enable other companies — including video providers and content distributors — to deliver video to any device and over any network.
“Our strategy is to deliver video content however, whenever and wherever,” AT&T Entertainment Group CEO John Stankey. “Quickplay’s multitenant IP distribution infrastructure, combined with AT&T’s leading scale in IP connected end points, will allow us to host and distribute all forms of video traffic. We intend to scale and operate an industry-leading video distribution platform, and viewers will get the high-quality online video viewing experience they desire.”
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but AT&T said it will keep Quickplay’s more than 350 employees and contractors. Stankey said the Quickplay team’s expertise is a “key part” of executing the carrier’s video strategy.
As part of AT&T, Quickplay founder and CEO Wayne Purboo said the platform will gain the resources to scale and continually enhance the platform to “power the next generation of video services.”
The companies expect the transaction will be complete in mid-2016.
Should it close on time, the deal will be complete just ahead of AT&T’s planned roll out of DirecTV streaming video services in the fourth quarter.
The carrier’s expected launch of DirecTV Mobile, in particular, will put it in more direct competition with Verizon’s go90 mobile video product and – to an extent – with T-Mobile’s Binge On.
Like go90, DirecTV Mobile will offer a mobile-first user experience for customers who want video and made-for-digital content directly on a smartphone, regardless of the wireless provider.