To improve profitability, premium media asset owners must not only deliver personalized content to customers, but also engage with them in real time on multiple platforms. Avid Technology (Avid) has adapted to the changing content management ecosystem by creating a strategy, Avid Everywhere, to deliver a more seamless media asset workflow, regardless of device or location, while increasing opportunities for content monetization. To strengthen this proposition, Avid purchased 100% equity in Orad Hi-Tec Systems (Orad) for an initial cash consideration of $65m in June 2015. Ovum believes that Orad's ProServe, Social Media Hub, and PlayMaker solutions, as well as its niche content-centric on-air graphics functionality (Maestro), will help to simplify and scale production-to-engagement workflows across multiple screens, and will ultimately contribute to the execution of the Avid Everywhere strategy. The combined offering allows media enterprises to reduce time-bound real-time graphics creation lead times, scale up content publishing on web and TV, and engage customers with interactive rich media feeds (with slow-motion and playback functionalities).
As cited by Roundpegg.com, almost 70% of mergers and acquisitions fail, with cultural disparity the primary cause. This deal stands out due to the strong leadership and cultural alignment between Avid and Orad, with executives at both firms having similar core competencies and growth plans. On the technology front, Orad has a long-standing relationship with Avid; its news playout solutions are tightly integrated with Avid's news syndication and distribution module, iNews, on multiple accounts. The acquisition will enhance Avid's dynamic graphics insertion, creation, and social publishing capabilities via the addition of Orad's Maestro, iFind, Playmaker, and Social Media Hub offerings to its unified media asset management (MAM) platform. It also strengthens its news and time-bound project graphics value via tighter integration with Maestro. Avid will be able to leverage Playmaker's live analysis and replay server to accelerate time-sensitive production workflows, such as sports and other live events. The acquisition also brings complementary multiscreen sociographics publishing capabilities to Avid's Media Distribution module with the addition of Orad's Social Media Hub. These broadcast graphics (Maestro), Social Media Hub, and Playmaker modules can be leveraged by creative professionals to deliver engaging multi-format content (video and graphics) on TV, social, and digital.
A recent Ovum survey found that most media enterprises believe next-gen MAM solutions must facilitate a reduction of multiscreen distribution costs and enhance workgroup collaboration in real time. Furthermore, end users expect MAM technology to support the delivery of personalized content on connected devices. Consequently, media enterprises are focusing increasingly on MAM vendors that offer efficient, tightly integrated one-stop media asset preservation, production, and monetization workflows.
Although Avid plans to integrate the majority of Orad's modules and plug-ins into its unified MediaCentral platform by 2016, the primary focus is to embed broadcast graphics functionalities to provide creative professionals with tools to develop multiple forms of interactive content for linear and non-linear TV business environments. This acquisition enables Avid to deliver a unified MAM platform with interoperable and modular production and engagement modules, which will accelerate the realization of the value – both tangible and intangible – of media assets for margin-pressed broadcasters and premium content aggregators.
Kedar Mohite, Senior Analyst, Media & Broadcast Technology Services
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