When a company wins awards and admiration for its technology but has poor brand recognition, it is probably time for a new name, or at least a change in image.
This is why Norwegian content security vendor Conax will reveal a new profile and strategy at IBC in a bid to translate its technology into a more prominent position in the pay TV value chain.
As well as being a Conditional Access vendor, Conax is best known for its video watermarking and fingerprinting technologies that help in tracking and deterring piracy, while also bringing potential for a range of measurement and monitoring applications with monetization potential. But these technologies require integration with components from partners, and here the company has struggled to gain traction against similar groupings involving other vendors.
The company’s strategy revolves around a complete pre-integrated solution for multiscreen pay TV launched in June 2012 at ANGA Cable in Germany. Called Conax Xtend Multiscreen, the package was developed in partnership with Polish IPTV and OTT software company Cubiware, and Swedish online video streaming and content management company MPS Broadband. Between them the three companies have all the ingredients needed for a pay TV ecosystem, Conax said.
The package is designed mainly to enable existing pay TV operators to bolt on multiscreen and OTT extensions, with Conax contributing its Contego Unite CAS/DRM system, which can protect both broadcast and OTT content. Cubiware is providing its CubiTV middleware with user experience and consistent look-and-feel across multiscreen devices, while MPS is injecting its Publishing Platform with end-to-end content management system for publishing and distributing live and on-demand video services. This controls the content and metadata workflows, as well as web distribution through MPS’ Peer2View streaming technology.
The pre-integrated pay TV ecosystem is an option for operators that want the advantages of a one stop shop without being totally dependent on a single large vendor. It also enables smaller or specialist vendors within the pay TV ecosystem to club together and compete with the big players that are effectively one stop shops, such as Cisco, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent. However as the pre-integrated approach tends to involve a single lead vendor, in this case Conax, it is arguable whether it really does provide operators with greater freedom, especially as they will rely on the separate components continuing to work together. But it does provide greater choice, and some ability to cherry pick and shop around for the best options for individual components such as the middleware and content security, especially if various players come together in many different combinations.
As the lead vendor in its pre-integration group, Conax needs to establish a strong clear brand that will bring it towards the level of recognition of leaders in its field such as NDS and Nagra.