March 27, 2014

Establishes IP-based, software vision for virtualizing end-to-end, integrated media and playout

Imagine Communications, a market share leader of media software and networking solutions serving the global media and entertainment markets, today introduced MediaCentral, a software- and IP-based framework for enabling customers to migrate media and playout functionality to the cloud. This visionary, service-oriented framework for the industry ensures that today’s investments will not be stranded with the introduction of new delivery models, formats or innovations.

Across the industry, media and playout solutions such as ad sales, traffic, scheduling and automation, are provided in distinct, separate and often premises-based platforms. MediaCentral creates an underlying architecture of modular, IP-based services, fundamentally improving the way media companies manage their workflows and monetize their media assets.

“Our industry requires a framework that unshackles customers from today’s premises-based, proprietary models and supports new playout platforms, delivery options and monetization models for TV Everywhere,” said Charlie Vogt, CEO of Imagine Communications. “The MediaCentral framework gives customers elastic scalability that allows them to manage more stations, more networks and more distribution channels efficiently, while providing a much-improved Revenue and OpEx model. This framework is leapfrog technology that enables our customers to more effectively monetize both linear and nonlinear business, as well as integrating advanced, addressable advertising capabilities.”

The MediaCentral framework combines media and playout software modules in a standards-based environment that utilizes the cloud and virtualized computing capabilities, allowing media companies to efficiently manage their businesses across formats, delivery platforms and multiple locations. This service-oriented framework will also optimize the infrastructure that media companies already have, providing a seamless migration path to cloud-based, next-generation media and playout. Customers with today’s Imagine Communications’ media and playout portfolio are benefitted by a stair-step migration to this virtualized framework.

“By moving to a flexible virtual framework, we can encapsulate our own intellectual property and software to enable media companies to adapt to market dynamics much more quickly,” said Steve Reynolds, Chief Technology Officer at Imagine Communications. “Our service oriented architecture and cloud deployment model will make it possible for our customers to launch powerful, new applications that drive and extend their businesses, while leveraging the investments and workflows that are presently being utilized.”

Advanced Advertising
Leveraging this modular approach of service oriented architectures, new modules such as addressable, impression-based advertising can be easily added into existing services, enabling creation of campaigns specific to demographics with addressable advertising capabilities. Advertising agencies and media planners will be able to look at the inventory available across a range of devices and platforms including linear TV, mobile devices, video on demand and OTT, and easily create cross-platform campaigns.

This impression-based, addressable advertising approach is illustrated by Imagine Communications’ support of Sky’s new tailored advertising service Sky AdSmart. Imagine Communications is a longstanding partner of Sky, with the company’s Landmark™ sales software supporting more than 200 Sky-owned and partner channels as well as more than 25 million commercial spots each year.

“We operate in a competitive market and can only prosper by providing advertisers with efficient and sophisticated campaigns,” said Jeff Eales, director of systems and development at Sky’s advertising sales division Sky Media. “Consolidating our TV, VOD, web and targeted advertising onto one platform has put our commercial operations ahead of the pack, simplifying campaign management and providing the analytics and actionable information necessary to maintain our competitive edge.”

The benefits of the MediaCentral framework extend well beyond advanced advertising by ushering in a unified vision for IP. With an IP-based MediaCentral platform, master control operators will improve their playlist decision-making about the best ways to adjust or add to the playlist. Other high-value functionality in the roadmap includes applications focused on tracking and managing content rights that may differ across multiple platforms, as well as automatic triggering of workflows to expedite creation of multiple versions of media for multiplatform distribution.

To see Imagine Communications’ addressable advertising solutions and learn more about the framework, visit booth N2503 at the 2014 NAB Show.

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About Imagine Communications

Imagine Communications empowers the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation. Broadcasters, networks, video service providers and enterprises around the world rely on our optimized, futureproof, multiscreen video and revenue enablement solutions every day to support their mission-critical operations. Today, nearly half of the world’s video channels traverse our products, and our software solutions drive close to a third of global ad revenue. Through continuous innovation, we are delivering the most advanced IP, cloud-enabled, software-defined network and workflow solutions in the industry. Visit www.imaginecommunications.com for more information, and follow us on Twitter @imagine_comms.

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