IMAX Company is making streaming capabilities a much bigger focus for its enterprise.
At the moment, the corporate has acquired SSIMWAVE Inc., an organization that gives media and leisure firms with AI-driven video high quality options to assist decrease picture high quality points on streaming providers in addition to ease distribution prices. IMAX is buying SSIMWAVE for $20.5 million ($18.5 million in money and $2 million in inventory with the potential of one other $4 million ought to the corporate obtain “sure working efficiency and monetary goals.”
The acquisition of SSIMWAVE offers IMAX the chance to increase its enterprise past theaters. Video optimization is changing into more and more essential as customers watch video throughout a number of platforms, together with in greater resolutions like 4K and 8K, in addition to in new, interactive video gaming, digital actuality, augmented actuality, and metaverse experiences.
“IMAX is basically into presenting the perfect photos on the planet, however on an IMAX display screen,” mentioned Wealthy Gelfond, CEO of IMAX. “And over the previous couple of years, we’ve been other ways to increase our model into the house and into different realms.”
Gelfond shared extra particulars concerning the negotiations as IMAX employed exterior consultants on two tracks, each code consultants and enterprise diligence to research the chance for 2 months. It has been three months since IMAX signed the unique negotiation interval, and it has been engaged on integration plans with totally different areas with the SSIMWAVE know-how.
In the course of the pandemic, Gelfond says IMAX execs realized the deal with Hollywood content material may need to be diversified going ahead, not solely as a technique to shield its pursuits, but in addition as a way of producing extra income.
“So when it comes to present companies, one factor we do is we compress content material for IMAX. So if we’re displaying a film that was shot with IMAX cameras, we have now proprietary know-how and algorithms that compress it. This know-how will be capable to make that higher and extra environment friendly.”
Tapping the SSIMWAVE compression tech will assist convey prices down as properly. “So it lowers the associated fee as a result of clearly you don’t must stream as a lot knowledge to a cellphone as you do to a TV set,” Glenfond mentioned relating to condensing video with out growing prices.
IMAX has 150 theaters nationwide and so they anticipate to be over 200 by the top of this yr and aiming to double that by subsequent yr. SSWIMWAVE present shoppers are Disney Plus and Paramount.
The acquisition of SSIMWAVE by IMAX is meant to increase the corporate’s product suite and increase internationally. Additional down the street, IMAX’s post-production and know-how groups will work with SSIMWAVE’s engineering staff to conduct analysis and growth on new options for delivering IMAX-quality video experiences throughout quite a lot of platforms.
“As we make choices going ahead concerning the subsequent technology of projection know-how or how might we increase IMAX into the house, we consider that their [SSIMWAVE] know-how and staff will give us the flexibility to try this,” mentioned Glenford.