IMAX acquires streaming technology company SSIMWAVE Inc.
IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) today announced the acquisition of SSIMWAVE Inc., a leader in AI-powered video quality solutions for media and entertainment companies. The move marks a significant expansion of IMAX’s strategy to deliver the highest quality video images to any screen to drive new recurring revenue and expand its global leadership in entertainment technology. .
Using its patented, two-time Emmy(R) Award-winning technology, Ontario-based SSIMWAVE enables broadcast and streaming providers to deliver the best possible picture to any device for video on demand. and live. Four of the ten largest streaming media companies in the world are currently partnering with SSIMWAVE to optimize video, including Disney, Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery. Its 30-person engineering team mapped the human visual system to produce one of the most accurate measures of perceptual quality, which its AI-driven software applies to enhance video streams and files in real time. The acquisition is expected to be accretive in 2023 and have minimal financial impact in 2022.
“SSIMWAVE is doing groundbreaking work at the intersection of human visual perception and image enhancement technology. By putting the power of our global brand behind its award-winning engineering team and product suite, IMAX is taking a big leap forward in our ability to deliver the best images to any creator, on any screen,” said Rich Gelfond, CEO. from IMAX. “In the near term, SSIMWAVE brings new SaaS-based revenue to IMAX and a world-class customer roster that closely aligns with some of our strongest and most successful content partnerships.”
With the explosion of video consumption across all platforms, the need for video optimization continues to grow as consumers demand higher resolution including 4K, 8k and new interactive experiences in games, virtual reality , augmented reality and the metaverse. Additionally, leading filmmakers and creators are increasingly demanding solutions to ensure the fidelity and quality of their work on any screen. IMAX will work with SSIMWAVE in the near term to further develop its business and product line, including international expansion. In the longer term, the IMAX technology and post-production teams will work with the SSIMWAVE engineering team to develop new solutions to deliver IMAX-quality video experiences on all platforms, worldwide.
“Viewers and content creators expect more from video experiences. By joining IMAX, SSIMWAVE will be even better positioned to preserve creator intent and deliver engaging and differentiated viewing experiences to millions of users across all platforms” , said Dr. Abdul Rehman, CEO and co-founder of SSIMWAVE, “We are thrilled to join IMAX and leverage its global reach and expertise as more and more streamers turn to SSIMWAVE to ensure the best experiences. viewing while reducing bandwidth costs.”
Founded at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, SSIMWAVE’s technology has enhanced the viewing experience of over 150 million subscribers for billions of viewing hours to date. Its technology is protected by 50 patents and patents pending worldwide. SSIMWAVE won a Technology & Engineering Emmy® Award (2020) and a Primetime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering (2015). SSIMWAVE was also honored as the Best New Streaming Technology winner at the NAB Show Product of the Year Awards in 2022 and 2021.
“SSIMWAVE has a brilliant team of image-obsessed engineers, technologists and academics on the cutting edge of Ontario’s thriving tech community; the similarities between this company and IMAX when we acquired it nearly 30 years ago are uncanny,” Gelfond continued. “We look forward to evolving SSIMWAVE’s business and taking it in directions never before imagined around the world, just as we have done with IMAX’s groundbreaking projection technology.”
Acquisition builds on IMAX’s cross-platform expansion with IMAX Enhanced, which brings the IMAX(R) experience to streaming entertainment with an IMAX-exclusive expanded aspect ratio, digitally remastered content and signature sound . More than 200 IMAX Enhanced titles are available on streaming platforms around the world, including Disney+, and more than 10 million IMAX Enhanced-certified devices are currently on the market.
Under the terms of the agreement, IMAX acquired SSIMWAVE for $18.5 million in cash and $2.5 million in stock with additional consideration of $4 million, subject to the achievement of certain performance targets. operational and financial.
For more information, please visit IMAX’s Investor Relations website.
SSIMWAVE’s Video Experience Automation Platform brings the power of the human eye to entire video delivery chains to help streaming services assess video quality at scale, minimize dropouts quality and reduce distribution expenses and video insurance costs. Its SSIMPLUS® suite of products – Live Monitor, VOD Monitor and Video Quality (VQ) Dial – has also helped the streaming industry solve hard-to-solve problems such as banding, A/V synchronization issues, distribution HDR content and low quality sources. SSIMWAVE technology has won multiple Emmy® Awards as well as a NAB Product of the Year Award.
About IMAX Corporation
IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines exclusive software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat into a world you never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios use IMAX theaters to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and as such, the IMAX network is one of the largest and most successful theatrical distribution platforms for big films of events around the world.
IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with additional offices in London, Dublin, Tokyo and Shanghai. As of June 30, 2022, there were 1,694 IMAX theater systems (1,610 commercial multiplexes, 12 commercial destinations, 72 institutional) operating in 87 countries and territories. Shares of IMAX China Holding, Inc., a subsidiary of IMAX Corporation, trade on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange under the stock code “1970”.
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