LTN® Global has entered into an agreement to acquire Crystal, a provider of software that automates the monitoring, control, and metadata management of end-to-end broadcast and digital media operations. Together, LTN and Crystal will offer mission-critical ad insertion, digital watermarking, and other unique tools that will allow networks and digital platforms to monetize their content across a fully managed IP multicast network.
“Over the past three decades, Crystal’s customized software solutions have provided a management and control backbone for the world’s leading broadcast, cable, and satellite networks,” said Malik Khan, co-founder and executive chairman at LTN Global. “Now, LTN will integrate Crystal’s innovative technology into our software-managed IP production and transmission workflows. This integration allows our customers to leverage the power of a managed network to greatly reduce high CAPEX costs and puts essential content monetization tools at their fingertips.”
By combining forces, Crystal and LTN solve one of the most pressing issues faced by video content distributors today: the RF spectrum consolidation caused by the advance of 5G that results in a reduction of valuable C-band satellite capacity – the bedrock of TV distribution.
“The addition of Crystal to the LTN Global family gives content distributors a one-stop solution for transitioning from satellite to terrestrial IP,” added Khan. “LTN is evolving into more than just bulletproof managed IP distribution, and Crystal is the perfect addition to our current suite of services. With this acquisition we’re extending our business to provide all of the critical components of a video transmission workflow in a model that reduces customers’ technology risk along with many of the costs associated with scalable video delivery and content monetization.”
LTN will now be the only fully managed IP network offering a “five nines” or greater SLA to its customers alongside the content customization and control solutions of Crystal. Crystal’s patented technology signals key data from all traffic, scheduling, and playout systems consistently through any delivery platform, including OTT, CTV, and TVE. The integration of Crystal technology into the LTN portfolio brings customers the benefits of working with a common GUI across key services, NOC support for the end-to-end workflow, and scalable workflows that leverage LTN’s data center resources.
Crystal’s AdConnect software is in high demand. Currently, over 100 linear networks have deployed AdConnect to provide customized digital markings to OTT platforms. Crystal is adding an average of five new networks every month as content owners and distributors face an increasing number of unique monetization challenges. The company’s technology enables TV ad inventory owners to sell advertising on an addressable basis on any platform, whether delivered via Over-the-Air to smart TVs (e.g. Open Addressable Ready, OAR), traditional distribution, or OTT.
“Crystal’s goal is to be a ubiquitous element across a network’s distribution chain, providing the mission-critical ad signaling and marking associated with all of the current and emerging MVPDs and vMVPDs,” said Crystal CEO Roger Franklin. “By joining forces with LTN, Crystal now has the ability to transport these properly marked video feeds with fully managed reliability and latency and in any required format.”
LTN’s commitment to providing fully managed and monitored video workflow solutions is unmatched. Multimillion-dollar investments in over 40,000 square feet of real estate in Maryland and Kansas City, combined with the addition of over 100 technical and operations staff, are just part of the company’s detailed business plan to support the live video distribution industry, which is facing numerous challenges around distribution and monetization.