The company launched back in 2009, before over-the-top video was an entertainment staple of most households. “To say we were ahead of the curve is an understatement,” Skitter founder and CEO Robert Saunders told The Online Reporter.
Saunders said he saw three trends back in 2009 that spurred Skitter. First, he saw that a lot of content was being produced and being put online; second, he saw that people wanted to pay less for pay TV; and finally, Saunders predicted that consumers would want to marry TV content with Internet-delivered content in one interface.
It’s hard to ignore the fact that video – whether Web video, on-demand content or streaming linear TV – has taken over the Internet and is driving the demand for faster and faster broadband. Saunders pointed to the broadband speed goals the FCC sets. “Why provide 100 Mbps for fast email?” he said. “It’s for television and video.”
Skitter.tv offers OTA channels over the Internet.
“We believe this is the trend that the average consumer is going to want to move to: a limited line-up of live linear television, combined with over the top TV,” Saunders said.
The Converged OTT-IPTV Platform
Those trends are just now beginning to catch up with Skitter. It partners with rural broadband providers (telcos) for something it calls “TV as a service,” in which Skitter acts as a pay TV operator for hire. The company has its own content licensing agreements with some channels, and then it supplements that with OTT services such as Netflix and Hulu. Skitter calls this a converged OTT-IPTV platform.
“We’re a cable TV company, we’re actually building, owning and operating cable TV installations around the country,” Saunders said.
Skitter installs and maintains the IPTV network with its partners to deliver the TV service, because it also develops IPTV technology. “Since we’re a manufacturer, we own all of the intellectual property,” Saunders said. “We said we’d rather be a partner [to telcos] than be selling this equipment to them.”
Linear TV, Over the Top
Skitter is positioned well for an Internet-video future. It found itself ….
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