There was no Amino Communications stand at IBC in September. Instead, the IPTV pioneer leveraged the banner of 24i, the company it acquired in July. Given that 24i is based in Amsterdam, it made sense for the software-centric online video solutions provider to host its new parent company (to be precise: Amino Technologies, PLC).
What the stand in Hall 14 also made clear was that 10-year old 24i is operating with a measure of independence. Unlike Amino’s purchase of Booxmedia and Entone in 2015, this acquisition results in 24i becoming a subsidiary, not being absorbed. “Both Amino and 24i retain their branding as two operating businesses in a group structure,” said Jamie Mackinlay, Amino SVP Global Marketing. “Amino is now a group company.”
So how does 24i impact Amino? Whereas Boox and Entone boosted Amino’s cloud assets, 24i offers Amino complementary leadership in user interface and experience (UI/UX) and TV and online video applications.
Some recent examples of the kinds of customer experiences 24i can deliver were showcased at IBC. They included a Samsung Smart TV app for Dutch landline and mobile telecom KPN; a child-friendly niche app for Dutch broadcaster NPO; a multi-device and cross-platform solution for PureFlix, created in collaboration with Comcast Technology Solutions; and a news, sports and entertainment streaming service for the Sinclair Broadcast Group.
Also on display was 24i’s modular, cloud-based application management platform, Smart OTT Backstage. Its ecosystem includes 20 integrated partners across nine categories: AI metadata, transcoding, OVP, recommendation, analytics, advertising, payment services, subscription management services and user retention.
Amino had its own, parallel agenda. In its IBC briefings, held at the 24i stand and the IABM lounge, Amino hit on several themes related to AminoOS, including operational agility, “upcycling” as a way to address legacy infrastructure through software upgrades, and service assurance and remote configuration. Amino also talked about second-generation Android TV through its suite of AminoVU devices.
That product line is a going concern. In May, Amino announced that Bolivian government-owned telecom operator Entel had begun deploying AminoVU set-top boxes, running AminoOS, as part of an IPTV rollout across a new nation-wide fiber-optic network.
While Amino touts that more than 10 million of its IPTV devices are in use, its acquisition of 24i reveals its ongoing intention to go beyond what Mackinlay called the “launch, train and supervise” model of CPE deployments and “build a scalable software business.”
Amino thought the UI/UX space was strategic, liked 24i’s attention to recurring revenue and productized software, and believed the two companies had a common vision of the future and understanding of how to get there profitably. “Chemistry is so important in these situations,” Mackinlay said.
There could be changes going forward, including a product-set reorg. But as of IBC, the deal seems to have suited the software design and development-focused 24i. “Becoming part of the Amino Technologies Group in July 2019 has accelerated our momentum in what already was a highly successful year,” said Martijn van Horssen, Joint-CEO of 24i, in a statement.