Vizrt Unveils Virtualized Business Model For Its Storytelling Technology

Vizrt has announced a new business model for its content creation and distribution products that now makes them available virtually, in pre-selected workflow “solution suites”, at a monthly price. The company’s new Flexible Access initiative works like many SaaS offering in that a series of microservices behind the scenes can be spun up or down to provide access to Vizrt’s array of software products and its Viz Engine real-time 3D compositing, rendering and playout server.

The move is designed to counter a slowing advertising spend environment in the U.S. and elsewhere, one that Andrew Cross, President of R&D at Vizrt, said was akin to 1980’s spending. It offers customers a lower upfront cost while providing them with near unlimited flexibility and elasticity to expand (or reduce) usage as the broadcaster’s business needs do.

“Broadcasters are currently spending about the same amount, proportionally, as they did 40 years ago,” Cross said. “We realize that the world of Broadcast is changing. This creates a challenge for us and for our customers. The viewing audience has moved from traditional media to alternate forms of media consumption, so we have to move with the times.”

The new initiative includes a series of five suites—Vizrt Newsroom, Vizrt Extended Reality (XR), Vizrt Production Control, Vizrt Media Workflow and Vizrt Channel Branding—can be used in the cloud, on premise or as a hybrid of both, making them ideal for a wide variety of applications. Users can start at an “Essential” level and then move up to “Premium” and “Ultimate” levels of usage as demand requires.

The Vizrt Viz Engine workflow can be part of many of the new Flexible Access packages.

The Vizrt Viz Engine workflow can be part of many of the new Flexible Access packages.

Vizrt Newsroom features support for any newsroom computer system and adds customizable template graphics accessed via a browser-based interface that can be used in the studio or in the field.

Vizrt Extended Reality (XR) includes tools for creating augmented reality graphics, virtual reality environments, telestration and configuring videowall implementations.

Vizrt Production Control includes all of Vizrt’s existing graphics, automation and live production tools.

Vizrt Media Workflow features Vizrt tools for media asset management, team collaboration and content distribution.

Finally, Vizrt Channel Branding allows users to brand content in real time, and play out multiple channels for different media consumption platforms.

While the first three services are ready for subscription immediately, the latter two suites will be available in March.

“What we’re looking to create is a true partnership between our company and our customers, whereby they tell us what they need and we provide it in a form that is most beneficial to them,” said Daniel Nergard, President of Vizrt Global, adding that this new way of selling its technology is also “the next chapter” for Vizrt. “We want to give more content creators access to our storytelling tools, many who might not be able to afford it otherwise.”

In a statement Michael Hallén, CEO and President for the Vizrt Group said, the Flexible Access plan provides customers with “greater control over their operating costs, lowers the barrier to entry, and accelerates their return on investment.”

With Flexible Access, media producers pay only for what they need and can scale their access according to how many journalists need creative tools, how many studio outputs are needed, how many tracked cameras deliver augmented reality, etc.

Included in some of the various IP-enabled suites is support for the former NewTek’s NDI networking protocol and the SMPTE 2110 video-over-IP standard as well as Viz Vectar Plus, a software-only, IP-based live production solution that Vizrt introduced this past September and can be configured for on-premise or virtualized cloud environments.

“This industry has not been the quickest to adopt to this trend [of virtualized workflows],” said Hallén. “It’s about time that we help the industry to get on the bandwagon. Flexible Access is helping our customers take that first step. Our technology has always been software-based, so that makes it easy to offer it on different workflows.”

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