Macrovision Becomes Rovi, Launches Liquid

1Executive Summary

On July 16, 2009, the company formerly known as Macrovision relaunched as Rovi, in an effort to rebrand itself for the mashup world of social media, over-the-top video and PayTV. The new company, which will trade under the symbol ROVI on the Nasdaq, will attempt to tie together its string of acquisitions over the past few years and refashion itself as a one-stop software shop for on-screen guides in the new world of integrated media.

While Macrovision isn’t a household name, consumers are more than familiar with the company’s technology. The company has been the biggest player in disc copy protection for DVDs with its legacy ACP copy protection as well as some of its more recent efforts with RipGuard.

And it’s not just that pesky copy protection where consumers run into Rovi. Through its acquisition of Gemstar-TV Guide, Rovi is in more than 24 million homes with its programming guides, those on-screen grids which many of us use to find and discover shows. In fact, Gemstar is the biggest patent holder in this space, and it has gained a reputation for taking those companies who infringe on its intellectual property to court. Rovi also owns AMG, one of the leading providers of metadata, so anyone who uses iTunes or other digital music services likely has content tagged with Rovi’s metadata.

With the new product and the new name, Rovi is perhaps one of the best-positioned companies to provide software, metadata and guide support to the various hardware and service providers looking to navigate the world of multiscreen video entertainment. The challenge will be trying to provide solutions across all these different customer types and provide them the necessary technology solutions to battle fully integrated consumer-facing brands like Microsoft and Apple.

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Michael Wolf

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