Robin Wauters is the European Editor of The Next Web. He describes himself as a hopeless cyberflâneur, a lover of startups, his family a Robin Wauters is the European Editor of The Next Web. He describes himself as a hopeless cyberflâneur, a lover of startups, his family and Belgian beer. If you'd like to know more about Robin, head on over to robinwauters.com or follow him on Twitter.
ShopTo.net, a British online retailer of video games, peripherals and gaming consoles, this morning announced that it has acquired privately-held FetchTV, a struggling video-on-demand (VoD) streaming service provider based in the UK.
The seller is parent company IP Vision, which went into administration late January 2012, around the time Netflix launched in the UK and Ireland.
In Britain, the online video streaming battles are flaring up, with Netflix moving forward aggressively, Amazon putting up a fight through its LOVEFiLM subsidiary and local competition from Tesco’s Blinkbox, Google’s YouTube (which is pushing for unique content) and BSkyB’s own streaming service.
Terms of the acquisition of FetchTV were not disclosed, but we can imagine that the price wasn’t that high in light of all this intensifying rivalry on its home turf.
FetchTV lets people watch videos on demand – without the need to subscribe to the service – via an Internet-connected Freeview+ tuner and recorder dubbed SmartBox or directly on their ‘smart’ televisions via apps.
Its SmartBox product also enables home network streaming of videos, music, family photos and whatnot from people’s computers or USB hard drives.
FetchTV says its library includes movies from Walt Disney Studios, Dreamworks, Miramax and TV shows and documentaries from National Geographic Channel, Cartoon Network and Extreme Sports. The service also enables streaming of ‘catch-up services’, including the popular BBC iPlayer.
In a statement, ShopTo founder and CEO Igor Cipolletta says the company acquired FetchTV to “grow its multichannel strategy as the online entertainment market evolves with new technology and customer consumption habits”.
He didn’t go into detail about its plans for the service.
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in May 2012.
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