Global tech company Evertz invests big in Media Cluster member Sixty

Published 31.10.2020
This means that Sixty´s product Ease Live, now separated into its own company, will be deeply integrated with Evertz cloud production solutions for the benefit of its live sports, live events, and linear to customers all over the world. - A day to celebrate, says CEO of Sixty, Kjetil Horneland.

– It is simply an amazing achievement by the entire team and we feel very proud now that Evertz is investing in the technology further - it is a testament to the innovation that was created in the media cluster in Bergen over the years, says Horneland, who will be the CEO of Ease Live AS.

Ease Live – a platform for interactive TV

A few years ago Sixty set out to create the ultimate TV viewing experience, allowing users to interact with TV graphics directly on their own devices. To realize this vision they built Ease Live, a cloud platform that today is capable of publishing interactive graphics to millions of end-users in real-time, worldwide - all through the cloud.

– This platform will now get rocket fuel from Evertz

– We strongly believed in the potential of the product and in making it all about the end user's experience, says Horneland. 

Check out the Ease Live Showreel

With the announcement from Evertz, a Canada-based provider of worldwide cloud media and entertainment technology solutions, the future now looks very bright for the Media Cluster Company. By the acquisition of Ease Live, Evertz customers all over the world will be offered live interactive graphic overlays, at the edge, that will drive interactive experiences for OTT Video Service Providers. In a press release, CEO of Evertz Romolo Magarelli, says that "Evertz are excited to bring interactive graphics to the edge. Our customers are looking for fast implementations of graphics that can drive new ways to engage their audiences.

Check out the new Ease Live website here.

Born and bred in the Media Cluster

Sixty as a design and technology company was in many ways a direct result of the innovative environment in the Media Cluster in Bergen.

– We were born and raised here and fortunate to be able to work with companies such as Vizrt and TV2, delivering TV graphics for most of their productions over the years, from the Olympics to news and sports, Horneland says.

In 2017, Kjetil Horneland won the Media Cluster Prize "Cluster Navigator" (in Norwegian "Klyngefarer") for his efforts helping other members and students in the Media Cluster.

Over the years, Sixty evolved into delivering user experiences for TV - creating leading TV streaming services for Sumo, Altibox, RiksTV, C More, and many more - and also exported this across Europe. The journey led us to build a very innovative solution for the next generation of TV graphics, today used by some of the leading sports leagues in the world.

– This platform will now get rocket fuel from Evertz, and we are very excited about where it will take us. So in many ways, we are grateful for all the years we got to be part of the cluster, and we're looking forward to the journey ahead for many years to come, Horneland continues.

Ease Live - a great user experience

The platform allows you to build stunning user experiences in a matter of days which is shown on top of OTT streaming services. Everything is done online in Ease Live Studio, a browser-based graphics creation tool that outputs modern HTML5 overlays as well as linear graphics for on-premise rendering.

Rendering graphics on the end user’s devices also have benefits in understanding how the users view and interact with the streams. Ease Live measures detailed viewer insights/analytics data, from every single interaction completed to trends over time. As content is getting more specialized another important feature is to be able to publish different content to targeted user groups, by geo, device, partnerships or to combine other business-critical information about the users To deliver targeted content. This opens up new revenue opportunities by combining external ad services or other business features with the ecosystem.

Overall we see an amazing effect of this interaction, with poll response rates as high as 68% of all users answering what is presented on the screen. Another key measurement is increased viewing duration time by more than 50%. In the end it is all about delivering a viewing experience that the end-users really enjoy using. That is the definition of a great user experience.​

A difficult, but rewarding journey

Across the world, the consumption of media services is increasing and TV is changing. It is also a battle with the streaming giants across the world, and the industry shifting towards OTT viewing. This is why Horneland strongly believes in creating new revenue opportunities for broadcasters by innovating how they interact with their end-users.

– The goal is to deliver an experience to the end-user which generates increased viewing duration time, new forms of revenue streams, and lasting user interaction, enabling new content formats to come to life. Sounds difficult? It actually is - but nothing great was ever achieved by giving up - the art of the impossible simply takes longer to realize. Along the journey we had a lot of assistance, from our board, investors, the media cluster, and not least; our customers and international partners who also closely followed the media cluster. Locally in Bergen we also built a strong network, from our bank (Sparebank 1 SR-bank) to Innovation Norway who really believed in the potential of the business more than once.

Sixty is an award-winning company, and have brought home several coveted prizes for Ease Live over the last few years.

About Evertz

Evertz Technologies Limited designs, manufactures and markets video and audio infrastructure solutions for the television, telecommunications and new-media industries. Evertz provides complete end-to-end cloud solutions to content creators, broadcasters, specialty channels and television service providers to support their increasingly complex multi-channel digital, ultra- high definition (UHD) and next generation high bandwidth low-latency IP network environments.