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You.i TV Cashing in on Multiscreen Migration

Jeff Baumgartner

For cable operators, telcos and satellite TV providers, pay-TV isn't quite the business it used to be. The margins aren't nearly as sweet as broadband, and gobs of video customers are cutting the cord and fleeing to a new mix of OTT services.

But if your business is about developing and launching multiscreen apps for that entire group -- OTT services, traditional pay-TV providers and even the programmers themselves -- business is probably looking relatively bright right now.

Such appears to be the case for You.i TV, the Ottawa, Canada-based developer of apps and interfaces for a wide range of screens, including mobile devices and TV-connected platforms. The big differentiation is that You.i TV relies on a unified codebase that helps its partners keep the management of ongoing device fragmentation in check while allowing a speedy app development cycle.

You.i TV is privately held and has raised about $27 million. But the company is expected to achieve a $38 million annual run rate of revenue by Q4 2019, with up to 40% of that revenue coming from international business, according to Needham & Company analyst Laura Martin.

Her estimate is based on comments by company CEO Jason Flick that You.i TV expects to double in size every year over the next three years and generate more than $150 million in revenues by the end of 2021.

The company, she explained in a recent report about You.i TV, has made some hay selling under a software-as-a-service model to partners that have in-house development teams. "In effect, You.i TV's product helps development teams create unified cross-platform user interfaces for a broad range of consumer devices, which enables faster development times, longer engagement times and new ways to generate revenue from the subscriber base," Martin noted.

And that approach has enabled You.i TV to be well positioned as content owners continue to launch direct-to-consumer streaming services.

Increasingly," she added, "sports leagues and video library owners want their content available on every consumer device, including set-top boxes, smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, game, consoles, etc. You.i TV's products lower the cost and the time to market of achieving this goal."

And the company has deals in place with several media giants that have developed or are developing new OTT-fueled direct-to-consumer video services. That list includes Fox (now part of Disney), WarnerMedia and AT&T, as well as some NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball teams.

"All companies are looking for nimble, differentiated experiences -- and they see that the most efficient and most effective route is owning the tech stack in-house," Flick told Martin. "They are bringing development back in-house. We've seen this shift worldwide -- be it for D2C, operators or digital-first organizations."

Although the market is flush with app and UI developers, Flick sees You.i TV's biggest competition as "native bespoke app development."

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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