Global Media Services and GridNetworks, Inc. Merges to Create the Industry’s First Comprehensive Streaming and Media Services Platform
Combined Company to Provide Industry’s Most Comprehensive Suite of Media Services
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Global Media Services (GMS), a New York City-based provider of digital media services that enables customers to generate revenue from live and on-demand video streaming applications announced a merger with GridNetworks, Inc., a Seattle-based on demand, HD-quality Internet video delivery and monetization platform that allows users to stream videos to their computers, mobile devices and televisions. The combined company will provide a comprehensive suite of media services, including signal acquisition, content packaging, encoding, compression, dynamic advertising integration, digital rights management, transaction processing and HD-quality content delivery. Today, GMS currently delivers over 175 MM Streams per month of streaming video content to global consumers for top-tier media companies and leading brands such as MTV Networks, Nickelodeon, Fox Sports, Big Ten Network, Auction Network, SVEDKA Vodka, Speed TV, and Condé Nast Publications.
“We’re excited to be part of the next evolution of media services with the combination of GridNetworks and GMS. A top-tier customer list, veteran management team in video streaming and content delivery and revolutionary technology puts GMS in an impressive and noteworthy position in the market.”
GMS was founded in 2003 by Jennifer Sultan and Adam Cohen, a 15-year digital media veteran, who will serve as Chief Media Officer of the combined firm. In 1994, Mr. Cohen and Ms. Sultan founded Live On Line, an early pioneer in the streaming space, which was sold to Digital Island in 2000 for $70MM. Digital Island was later acquired by Cable & Wireless PLC in 2002 for $340MM. Live On Line was an early pioneer in the production, acquisition and delivery of streaming and rich media on the Internet. The company produced some of the Internet's largest attended streaming events for customers such as Apple Computer, Microsoft, Sony Music, Arista Records, American Express, Comedy Central, Fox, and MTV. GMS is headquartered in New York City with additional broadcast production center facilities located in Vancouver, Canada and Denver, Colorado. GMS’ investors include Panorama Capital Partners, Comcast Interactive Capital, and Cisco Systems.
According to Adam Cohen, Chief Media Officer of GMS, “The combination of GMS and GridNetworks represents a milestone in the evolution of media services that is capable of addressing the entire digital workflow for content owners that require distribution capabilities to all addressable platforms including PC, Mobile, and TV. Global Media Services enables companies to profit from comprehensive streaming media solutions by leveraging the world’s largest and most advanced IP networks, GMS’s state-of-the-art Broadcast Production Center infrastructure and industry-leading online media services expertise.”
Allan Leinwand, a Venture Partner with Panorama Capital, states “We’re excited to be part of the next evolution of media services with the combination of GridNetworks and GMS. A top-tier customer list, veteran management team in video streaming and content delivery and revolutionary technology puts GMS in an impressive and noteworthy position in the market.”
Leading GMS as Chief Executive Officer will be Charles Picasso, a 30-year technology and telecommunications executive who served as President & CEO of IHS, Inc. In November 2005, Mr. Picasso led IHS to a successful listing on the New York Stock Exchange (Ticker: IHS). He also served as Chief Operating Officer at Digital Island Inc. / Cable & Wireless Internet Service. Prior to joining Digital Island, Charles held senior roles at NCR and AT&T. He also serves on the board of several high-technology corporations.
According to Mr. Picasso, “The GridCast TV customer showcase has been an overwhelming success and it has generated increasing interest from content publishers. I am very excited by this merger as it builds on GridNetworks current success in the delivery of HD quality content to TV, while also providing a means for customers to take advantage of GMS’s additional capabilities to acquire, transcode, and distribute this content for them.”
In addition to Messrs. Cohen and Picasso, GMS’ senior management team will include:
• Jennifer Sultan, President, Founder GMS, brings over 15 years of experience in Digital Production, and Workflow & Digital Imaging. Ms. Sultan is currently pursuing her doctorate.
• Melissa Marr, Chief Operating Officer, brings 15 years of media operations expertise to the venture including tenure at Live On Line, Digital Island and The Healing Project. She is the co-founder of Elevation Filmworks, LLC and Blue Magic Pictures.
• Elgin Thompson, SVP, Strategy and Corporate Development is a 13-year deal veteran and former a media and technology investment banker with Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch, as well as a corporate lawyer with DLA Piper.
• Jeff Payne, Founder GridNetworks, CTO The Gridcasting Service, a 20-year technology veteran who founded GridNetworks and Bivio Networks, and has served as a senior executive with Real Networks, Spry and Compuserve.
About Global Media Services
Global Media Services, Inc. provides managed media services that enable companies to profit from their online operations by effectively interacting and transacting with their customers. Global Media Services has integrated its managed Media Services platform with the world’s largest and most advanced IP networks to offer cost-effective, high-quality live and on-demand streaming media delivery services worldwide. Global Media Services eliminates the need for companies to invest and maintain separate content and digital rights management, e-commerce and streaming media delivery systems. Founded in 2003, Global Media Services, Inc. is a privately held company based in New York, New York. www.globalmediaservices.net
About Grid Networks
GridNetworks technology does what no content delivery network or video-platform provider can do: it gets high-value Internet video onto TVs and computers—with no additional hardware—while keeping content owners in control of their brand, content, and revenue model. As an end-to-end video delivery platform provider, GridNetworks helps content owners establish a direct relationship with TV viewers, eliminating the need to work with third parties or negotiate numerous distribution deals. GridNetworks technology also scales quickly to meet audience growth. GridNetworks is based in Seattle, Washington, and was founded in 2005. Investors include Comcast, Cisco, and Panorama Capital. For more information, visit http://www.gridnetworks.com.