Chyron, the Melville, N.Y.-based graphics company, has big plans to grow over the next few years and it believes Web-based services is the way to do it.
With news on the Web coming from broadcasters as well as newspapers and new media outlets, the company is targeting nonbroadcasters for its ambitious growth expectations. Central to this plan is AXIS, a Web-based service that allows graphics to be created instantaneously from anywhere there is a Web connection.
“By coupling up-to-the minute AP GraphicsBank content with Chyron’s AXISNews content-creation tool, [we] offer broadcasters easy-to-use high-quality news graphics creation services,” said Michael Wellesley-Wesley, CEO of Chyron.
AXIS is a monthly subscription service that runs on Chyron’s servers. A user simply uses a Web browser to get access to a drag-and-drop graphics creation system to prepare broadcast-quality graphics. Information in preset fields is inserted and updated automatically, depending on the metadata saved with images.
Wellesley-Wesley discussed how Gannett TV stations are now using AXIS to prepare graphics for the stations’s Web pages, and pointed out that the newspaper market is far bigger than the broadcast market.
It is this new customer base for Chyron that drives its growth plans and the company says its revenues have the potential to increase significantly.
“AXIS enlarges Chyron’s addressable worldwide market from $120 million [per year] to more than $900 million,” he said. Chyron’s revenues were $32.3 million in 2007.
In addition to Gannett, AXIS is being used by more than 150 other television stations in the United States. Subscriptions for the service start at $250 per month and increase from there, depending on the level of service and DMA size.
AXIS works by using metadata to call for constantly changing information from the Web, such as stock prices, weather status, maps, sports scores and other real-time data. The system then inserts the information into graphics templates for broadcast and Web-based display, with output suitable for any device from a cell phone to HDTV.
Chyron acquired AXIS Graphics in January 2008 and integrated it with the company’s Lyric software. Using Lyric and AXIS, a TV station group can design an on-air graphic “look” for all its stations, which can then create on-air graphics using Web content from Chyron’s partners, such as the Associated Press, Adobe and GenArts.
This brings up the possibility that tighter station-group control over its graphics is only possible with the diversity of the Web. “The irony is that centralization means diversification,” said Kevin Prince, chief operating officer for Chyron.
To manage the high-growth expectations of Chyron’s services organization, the company announced that Gordon Blau was hired as the head of its new Creative Services Group. Blau previously ran the graphics department for a large national broadcaster, and his responsibilities will include building a graphics team and providing services to all the media outlets using AXIS.
As the number of media outlets explodes across the Internet, Prince pointed out that readers are looking for information now — and they want it to look good, be coherent and tell a story. ©2008 NAB
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