Anystream Throws Cauldron Into the Mix

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Anystream, the multiplatform content production vendor headquartered in Sterling, Va., has acquired Cauldron Solutions, a small New York-based firm that provides media management and entitlement software to cable operators and cable programmers for use in both on-demand and broadband content platforms.

Financial terms of the deal, which builds on a strategic partnership formed in September 2006 between the two private companies, were not disclosed. Cauldron’s headquarters will become Anystream’s New York office, and Cauldron Solutions' executive team, CEO Steve Salzinger, COO Russell Zack and CTO Bhavan Shah, will join Anystream to form a new division called Anystream Media. By absorbing Cauldron, Anystream’s head count will rise to 140 from 120.

Anystream, which sells software-based production systems that help programmers repurpose content for video-on-demand, broadband or mobile TV platforms, is buying Cauldron to add media workflow and rights managements tools to its offerings, says Zack, who co-founded Cauldron in 2001 after starting several companies in the interactive media space, including one focused on automobile advertising.

Cauldron has two main products, an "On-Demand Workflow Manager" that provides centralized management over program rights and rules for video-on-demand content and interfaces with encoding tools and scheduling systems; and "Entitlement Engine & Entitlement Manager" software which can be used to deliver personalized, targeted on-demand content, such as a customized program guide, to consumers over broadband or VOD platforms. Its customers include cable operators Cox, Comcast and Cablevision and 21 cable programmers including Rainbow and TV Guide.

Zack says the combination with Anystream’s production tools is a natural fit for Cauldron, based on the company’s experience with VOD installations.

"We were always integrating with transcoding, and we have to monitor the status of physical content," says Zack. "Anystream was focused on production, and we were focused on business management. So they acquired Cauldron to have a full end-to-end solution for multiplatform distribution."