INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
Nordic TV Streaming Tech Company Innovates in spite of COVID
Ajey Anand, CEO at Norigin Media tells us about the video streaming solutions for Broadcasters, Pay TV Operators and content owners.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Ajey Anand: Thank you for asking. We are fortunate enough to be healthy and in positive spirits. In Norway, strict controls have been in place, and people have respected rules which has resulted in most of us being safe and well.
From the company perspective, like the rest of the world, we have adapted rather quickly and well to working remotely and using our TV labs in a systematic, planned way.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Norigin Media.
Ajey Anand: I’ve worked in TV and media from the onset, starting my career at News Corp (Star TV). I’m a commercial and marketing person who had a good start with such a large media organization. At the time in 2006, an existing startup in Norway, one of the first streaming TV solutions company was looking to expand internationally. The company of 7 people had launched many of the first streaming services across Scandinavia at the time and wanted to expand globally, so I joined the founding team to see where we can get.
The company was TV technology, and my experience in expansion of business and marketing has grown over the years where we have streamed in many countries across Europe from Poland to Ireland and also in Africa and the Americas.
Further, we bought back the ownership from Schibsted (the largest media conglomerate in the Nordics) via an MBO to reestablish ourselves in 2013 as a new company.
How does Norigin Media innovate?
Ajey Anand: We spend a lot of our resources on R&D, relating our projects to existing products and also trying out new related solutions to see if we should bifurcate. Our streaming video platform services was expanded to offering our 2nd and rather fruitful solutions for Frontend UI/UX around 2010, and we have tried our hand at some B2C services too over the years!
Our latest innovation is AdScan, an AI-based ad detection solution that will allow streaming service providers to explore a range of new possibilities and monetization opportunities, including ad replacement for personalization. We have also recently been selected by the European Commission to create a 5GMediaHub that validates 5G services for quick launches and to become the world leader at it.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Ajey Anand: From an operational perspective, the company has adapted quite well to almost a year of working from home. We are a TV tech company that would mean many of our equipment must be tested and used in an office, but we have had a very well planned system to use our premises in a safe and organized manner to keep our colleagues safe.
From a business perspective, while the reported Streaming services surges during these trying times are understandable, lack of sports and advertising means that our customers have had to cut costs or reduce spending.
We have used this time to invest more into R&D ourselves to better ourselves for the times after these trying times! We hope our investments pay off in the future.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Ajey Anand: I do not believe it has been unmanageable. There is a silver lining, and we have become more efficient working remotely, although there is a lack of social interaction, we have become used to it and will soon forget about it all.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Ajey Anand: Video conferencing tools are mainly used more often. We have also used many simulating environments for testing TVs and devices, which have been hard to circulate across many of our employee homes with limited access to the testing TV labs.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Ajey Anand: As in many technology niches, within streaming TV, our customers become our competitors most often. We work to serve broadcasters and TV streaming services globally, many of who prefer to build the technology themselves rather than better their marketing.
We continue to innovate and add to our offering and showcase our expertise with the work we do. Building on new ideas, which we have processes for, helps us create or add value to our existing and future solutions.
Your final thoughts?
Ajey Anand: The world has relied on strong digital services & entertainment over the last year and will inevitably move faster after the pandemic. The pace will increase, and so will the value for such services and the appreciation of freedom. The workforce will become more effective but also will indeed become more valuable. Companies and staff will need to take care of each other more in the near future.
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