AIMS and MNA Merge for Stronger Support of IP Interoperability

AIMS mna ip merger

The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) is merging with the Media Networking Alliance (MNA) to form a single trade association for promoting IP in the media and entertainment industry. The merger comes after a two-year history of collaboration, and it will enable the organizations to make a greater impact on the industries they serve. The new joint organization will retain the AIMS name and will be governed by the existing AIMS bylaws.

Like AIMS, MNA exists to promote a standards-based approach to IP interoperability. MNA is focused on AES67, and its membership consists of companies doing business in the broadcast, professional audio, pro AV and installation markets. In the past two years, AIMS and MNA have shared a strong relationship, formally executing a liaison agreement and cooperating to promote AES67 systems, which is common to both organisations' intentions for the future. Since the 2017 NAB Show, both organisations have also lent financial support to the IP Showcase, their largest and one of their best known efforts to inform the industry to date.

The merger between the two organizations will create support for common standards that benefit multiple market segments at once. For example, products designed for the broadcast segment are in many ways similar to those for professional audio, but often the standards for those markets segments are developed without much coordination. This merger allows AIMS and MNA members to work on adopting common methods for transport, registration and discovery, connection management and other topics concerned with interoperability, even as they focus on requirements specific to their own market segments.

Among the goals for the merger are greater efficiency and more choice. By creating standards that address a wider range of applications and market segments, AIMS members that are vendors will have fewer variants of the standards to support and will be able to cross-sell to other market segments more easily while making more efficient use of their R&D budgets. Meanwhile, AIMS members that are users will benefit from a wider selection of vendors whose products comply with standards on the AIMS roadmap. Finally, AIMS members that are also members of MNA will pay only one membership fee instead of two.

Full members of both organizations voted to approve the merger on 13 December 2017.

"The merging of the Media Networking Alliance and AIMS is great news for our industry. The MNA was formed by people and companies who wanted to support interoperability between various IP-based audio networks via the use of AES67. Likewise, AIMS members support standards-based IP audio and video interoperability," said Rich Zwiebel, chairman of Media Networking Alliance.

"Now, with the merging of the two organizations, we have a larger voice and a single place for technical and marketing discussions among a larger group of industry leaders. As AIMS, we will be able to provide a much more compelling message to the industry, assuring true industry-wide audio/video IP interoperability across the broadcast, installed systems, and live sound markets."