Imagine splits business into two units to focus on adtech

Imagine Communications announced at NAB, it will split its business into two units, one focused on playout & networking, and the other on advertising technology.
Tom Cotney, Imagine Communications CEO
Tom Cotney, Imagine Communications CEO

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Imagine Communications announced it will split its business into two units at a press conference at NAB 2018. One side of the business will focus on playout & networking, and the other on advertising technology. Ownership of the company will remain as before and Tom Cotney will continue to act as CEO of both businesses.

Imagine Ad Tech will be headed by Sarah Foss, who previously was chief product officer of Imagine Advertising Solutions while Steve Reynolds, previously CTO, will take charge of the playout arm of the business as president, playout and networking solutions.

The playout unit of Imagine is facing a number of challenges and is likely to experience slower growth in the coming year. Cotney said at Imagine's press conference at NAB, the decision to split the business was because of "too many vendors chasing too few dollars." With the move to IP taking longer than expected, the SDI business is going through a slowdown amid diminishing margins. Imagine will look to work to keep the playout business in the best shape possible while technology adoption remains slow for IP based playout.

“We do video [delivery] very, very well and we do optimisation very well,” said Cotney. “But just making those products and giving them to our customers is not enough.”

Imagine's advertising solutions business is going to include not only traditional advertising products but all of Imagine’s OTT business line including non-linear ad insertion and packaging.

Imagine has also unveiled at NAB 2018, xG Scorecard, a business intelligence platform that can integrate with other third party applications through open APIs.

Imagine hopes to attract customers with the ability able to put together ad solutions that blend together ad spend on linear and non linear advertising across different distribution channels. 

Cotney added that the ad-tech business unit will be Imagine’s “primary investment target” during 2018.

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