Ericsson acquires Red Bee Media, boosts broadcast services

Ericsson has purchased Red Bee Media, adding 1,500 broadcast professionals to the network.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

In efforts to boost its digital media business, Ericsson has acquired U.K.-headquartered company Red Bee Media.

Ericsson announced the deal Monday. The acquisition will give Ericsson 1,500 broadcast employees from the U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Australia as well as operations facilities.

The tech firm says that the acquisition "will support Ericsson's strategy to grow in the broadcast services market." Ericsson's broadcasting business launched in 2007 and expanded in 2012 after the firm purchased Technicolor's Broadcast Services Division.

The bulk of Red Bee Media's employees are based in the United Kingdom. Adding 1,240 staff to Ericsson's U.K. business will make the country Ericsson's "global media hub" and would boost overall numbers of staff to 4,000.

Red Bee Media provides a range of services including media asset management, playout and digital video publishing, TV production, content marketing and metadata services across broadcasting and broadband platforms. Some of Red Bee Media's customers include BBC, Microsoft, Channel 4 and Sky.

Magnus Mandersson, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Unit Global Services at Ericsson says the deal reflects Ericsson's focus on media services to complement existing hardware and software trade. Mandersson said:

"We can create value for broadcasters by making digital content more accessible, enabling monetization of TV content more efficiently. Video traffic shows very strong uptake in the mobile networks and Ericsson can address the need of both broadcasters and telecom operators through our technology expertise and services capabilities."

According to Ericsson's Mobility report, video is the single biggest contributor to mobile network traffic and is expected to grow 60 percent annually until the end of 2018.

The deal has been completed for an undisclosed amount and is subject to regulatory approval.

The acquisition of Red Bee Media follows the purchase of Microsoft's 400-person Mediaroom IPTV business. Mediaroom employs more than 400 people worldwide, and the purchase gave Ericsson a large slice of the IPTV and multi-screen solutions market. The Ericsson-Mediaroom deal is due to be finalized in the second half of 2013.

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