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SeaChange adds a half-dozen multi-screen customers

Fri, 12/09/2011 - 3:07pm
Brian Santo

Drama in its boardroom may have dominated recent headlines, but the big story at SeaChange International is that it is finding singular success with its evolution to a multi-screen strategy, having signed up another six accounts in the third quarter to run its total of multi-screen customers to a baker's dozen.

In multi-screen, nobody else appears close to having that many accounts.

That has helped the company to increased revenue and increased profit in its fiscal 2012 third quarter, ended Oct. 31.

Total revenues for the quarter were $53.4 million, 9 percent better than SeaChange's third quarter a year ago. Net income was $4.1 million, compared with income of $1.5 million for the same period last year. The Q3 numbers are also an improvement over the immediately preceding second quarter.

SeaChange was among the first vendors to help a customer implement a multi-screen product; that customer was Virgin Media, which launched its service in 2010. Another announced multi-screen customer is Singapore's StarHub.

The company's customers are leveraging their VOD systems to evolve to multi-screen, explained SeaChange Netherlands general manager Paul DeBot in a recent interview with CED. Once the VOD service was up and running, the next step MSOs take is to unify their back office so that, among other benefits, they have the support to introduce multi-screen services.

Getting video to the PC is the easier goal, with distributing to Apple and Android devices the tougher challenge. SeaChange offers a means to meet that latter challenge with its Adrenaline middleware solution. That product is what appears to be gaining traction for SeaChange in the multi-screen space.

The company once claimed 70 percent of the VOD market. It believes it can get 70 percent of the multi-screen market, DeBot said, defining that as 70 percent of the market for back office software.

The breakdown of third-quarter performance of the company's segments included 13 percent growth in the software operation compared to last year's third quarter. The company attributed the gain to "a significant home gateway licensing transaction with a large domestic service provider," along with higher VOD software revenues from eventIS and increased advertising product revenues from U.S.-based customers.

The servers and storage segment was treading water with $7.9 million in revenues in the quarter. SeaChange was built on this operation, but these days it is considered non-core. The company's board recently said that it is continuing to evaluate alternatives for non-core businesses.

Revenue in the media services segment was also flat.

Separately, SeaChange subsidiary On Demand Group (ODG), the company's video-on-demand aggregator, has launched a premium TV subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service to subscribers of Mexico's Cablevision. ODG is based in Europe.

The launch adds to the transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) service for the latest movies, which ODG launched with Cablevision, and which was announced in October. Cablevision's VOD services are delivered on a platform of SeaChange video back office software and video servers.

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