We're not sure how big a deal this news is, but Sonic Solutions - the company behind digital media suite Roxio - has announced it's buying DivX, maker of the eponymous video compression software. The stated aim of the acquisition is for Sonic to be a major player in the facilitation of premium digital video content over the Internet.
"Our studio, storefront, and consumer electronics partners agree: they want a clear and efficient path to deliver premium content to their customers," said Dave Habiger, president and CEO of Sonic Solutions.
"The combination of Sonic and DivX promises to be the foremost provider of platforms, tools, and technologies for the efficient delivery of premium video entertainment to virtually any type of consumer electronics device. We expect DivX's deep technology and broad deployment in the CE and mobile areas to give us significant leverage as we expand and enhance our RoxioNow premium entertainment platform."
"Sonic and DivX are both market leaders in digital media and share similar visions about a better media future for consumers," stated Kevin Hell, CEO of DivX. "We also share similar cultures and both recognize the tremendous market opportunity that lies ahead for Internet video services.
"By combining our products, technologies, partnerships, and talented employees, we immediately create a complete end-to-end delivery platform for digital media, with expanded reach and capacity, at a perfect time to capitalize on the market's rapid development. With the acquisition of DivX, Sonic should be extremely well positioned to serve existing customers, attract new partners, and increase our market presence and potential."
There's no doubting the web video market is in an exponential phase right now, primarily due to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. The demands mobile video consumption is making on wireless networks means a high level of compression is desirable, so presumably this is where Sonic sees the business opportunity.
It's unlikely to get too far on Apple devices, at it's up against Quicktime, and similarly Microsoft's codec has an advantage on Windows devices. So we expect to see Sonic having some long, earnest chats with Google, and maybe the timing of this acquisition, so soon after Google announced WebM, is no coincidence.