Two vendors central to last week’s issue of Faultline happened to strike a deal moments after we went to press. Danish middleware developer Nordija was acquired by 24i Media, which was only itself bought by Amino in late 2019, in a deal designed to enhance and scale end-to-end software for the pay TV market. This is continued pay TV software consolidation disguised as scalability.
With Amino recently being outbid by TiVo for the assets of MobiTV, Faultline predicted that it wouldn’t be long before Amino would be making alternative acquisition arrangements, particularly if the company has any hope of reaching its target of $250 million in annual revenues in four years’ time, from last year’s revenue of $82.7 million.
Nordija brings in annual revenues of some $4.5 million, bringing the total Amino group’s annual revenues within touching distance of $90 million. We expect Amino to dip back into the M&A honeypot soon enough if the company is to get anywhere close to the goal of 70% recurring revenues by 2025, and phasing itself out of hardware will be a core part of that transition, which is really what the deal to acquire Nordija is all about.
As a vendor with a reputation as a stellar systems integrator, based on its Open Platform Philosophy, Nordija can bring set top pre-integrations to 24i/Amino that can allow the business to step away from hardware, as Faultline fittingly explored in more detail during an interview with Amino only last week. Pre-integrations also come in flavors of CDN, CA, and DRM.
Nordija’s flagship product is the fokusOn platform – pitching a powerful back-end and flexible HTML5 front-end at pay TV operators and content owners. This will be married with 24i’s video application development platform for deploying live and on-demand UIs, and 24i’s Backstage product which is a CMS that enables app creation for targeting additional devices without writing any extra code. Below fokusOn is Nordija’s ITVadmin back-end which includes a range of pre-integrated modules to control and manage subscribers as well as content flows.
Nordija and 24i teams will pool resources to drive development of Amino’s TVaaS offering, and we think Nordija’s Developer Program is something that will have piqued the interest of 24i. This is about giving operators back control by opening up access to front-end source code, equipping customers with development kits to build and modify their own widgets, while contributing to a community where improvements and new features can be shared freely.
A recent example of Nordija’s pre-integration pedigree can be found in the Stratos alliance launched in partnership between Nordija, Verimatrix and EKT, while Broadpeak was belatedly invited to the party to provide the important delivery piece of the equation. Stratos is designed to remove the complexities from OTT, IPTV and DVB hybrid deployments, in rapid time to market at just six weeks minimum. However, while moderating a Stratos webinar last week, Faultline discovered that Stratos has not yet reached this six-week target, primarily due to frustrating back-and-forths between departments.
Nordija is also active in ad tech. An integration last year between Nordija and UK-based Yospace, a dynamic ad insertion specialist, was inked to simplify the route to market for broadcasters and video service operators looking to monetize live OTT streams through advertising. Nordija said the integration followed client demands for a flexible ad insertion tool that could be deployed from platforms within HTML5 players. Telenor Sweden is a notable name hoping that by operating a UI which can provide more data for ad targeting, it can pay less to run broadcaster’s live OTT channels.
As well as Telenor Sweden, Nordija’s pay TV client list includes TET (formerly Lattelecom), Vodafone Iceland, T-Mobile Netherlands, Swisscom Broadcast, Waoo, Boingo Wireless, ZAP in sub-Saharan Africa and SETAR in the Caribbean.
Nordija CEO Thomas Christensen, who now becomes 24i’s CTO and Head of TV Platforms, commented, “Culturally, 24i and Nordija are a great fit and by joining forces we’ll be able to quicken the pace at which our combined platform develops to meet the needs of increasingly demanding video consumers.”