Pressure is being felt on the “greatest alliance the world has ever known” yet relations between the US and UK continue to produce stimulating video technology developments and collaborations in the face of adversity. One of the latest involves a tie up between MobiTV and Amino – within the same month that the US mobile video pioneer secured $50 million funding and the UK IP video technology supplier acquired Dutch video app developer 24i Media for $27.1 million.
The two vendors plan to roll together their respective products, specifically the MobiTV Connect app-based TV platform and the AminoOS Enable software, to upgrade legacy set tops with next generation features such as OTT video apps, to complement existing linear channels.
This isn’t new. This isn’t revolutionary. But this is still disruptive.
As our coverage of the 24i deal mentioned, Amino is a lesson in how legacy can be turned to advantage and the vendor has wasted no time in letting pay TV operators know how they too can use their legacy video platforms to put them in advantageous positions against streaming rivals. Upcycling is the essence of the project, which translates as significant capex savings, and this is set to launch in Q4 – targeted at smaller tier 2 and 3 pay TV operators.
MobiTV’s US presence is a vital part of the deal, at a crucial time with Android TV Operator Tier creeping into the US market. The company claims an impressive 90 operators are now using its Connect product since launching it three years ago, upgrading video delivery from traditional QAM to IP and blending on-demand, live TV, catch-up TV, network DVR and recommendations – all on a TVaaS basis.
MobiTV Connect is a cloud-based IP video delivery system designed to allow smaller US cable companies to offer OTT video on smartphones and other portable devices, especially to streaming media adapters deployed already in many US homes. Connect already supported Amino’s IPTV hardware so the partnership was a no-brainer. Connect also supports Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire devices.
With Amino recently bolstering its portfolio with the purchase of 24i, which offers a modular framework for quickly developing apps which we have heard many good words about, it enables the company to get in early and sculpt a customer’s video upgrade masterplan through front-end to back-end. 24i’s apps will therefore be a prominent part of any collaborative efforts between Amino and MobiTV.
We mentioned Operator Tier earlier and it’s important to note that 24i’s experience in TV app development and its reputation for building a robust UX fits well with the Amino ambition to become one of the market’s leading Android TV operator tier technology suppliers – expanding its software revenues as the company continues its hardware-to-software evolution.
We would suggest that the name of the game here is about Amino getting its claws into the US market via homegrown vendor MobiTV, were it not for the fact that Amino has major customers including Cincinnati Bell while 24i Media boasts deals including North American SVoD platform Pureflix.com, integrating its SmartOTT technology with the existing Comcast Technology Solutions backend.
Amino and MobiTV fit the bill of chameleon vendors which have both adapted well to their environments in harsh times and carved out their own legacies. It seemed MobiTV was on the brink a few years ago amid a sluggish transition from mobile multiscreen specialist for big hitters like Sprint, to delivering big screen services to smaller operators, while Amino has just spent big on an app developer which has raised eyebrows and grown quickly in the process. The near future looks decent for this collaboration and those beyond it.