Arbor Media – A history of continuous focus on software

Today, software is king in the audio visual and broadcasting industry. But it was hardly so in October 1991, when Ron Smits founded Arbor Media and started developing software for the emerging multimedia market: back then, graphics on a computer screen was a true innovation. Since then, software has been Arbor Media’s first and foremost focus.

Arbor Media started out with providing software solutions for in-store kiosk systems where customers could get information on products and their availability. Nothing special today, but quite innovative in the nineties and deployed by well-known store brands across the Netherlands.

Entering the world of radio

Part of the solution was the possibility to digitize sound, which first attracted the attention of the German radio station WDR. Radio stations still worked with analog tapes which was cumbersome and time-consuming. Digitizing radio broadcasts was seen as a revolutionary way to transform the audiovisual industry. Ron Smits started optimizing the software to support this process and soon other major German radio stations followed suit. And when the BBC turned to Arbor Media for its digitization needs, Arbor Media’s name was established and many other European radio broadcasters knew where to find the Dutch company.

Next step: video

From audio to video is a logical step. After extensive growth in audio solutions, Arbor Media began to focus on digitizing video, at first mainly for the broadcast market. But when governments started setting up projects to boost engagement with citizens by recording and broadcasting public meetings, Ron Smits and his team jumped on board and developed tailor-made conferencing solutions that are fully software-focused and therefore do not require an array of different hardware appliances.

Today, Arbor Media’s conferencing solutions are used by numerous government customers, including the Dutch and many other national parliaments, an increasing number of county councils and municipalities, the European Parliament, European Commission, United Nations organizations, such as international Tribunals, OPCW and the UN World Food Program, to name just a few. In addition, many large broadcasters use Arbor Media’s software to store, retrieve and stream video.

Development and 24/7 support

With its roots in software development, Arbor Media is continuously working on improving and expanding its portfolio of broadcast and conferencing solutions. In addition, a dedicated support team is available 24/7 to customers, who greatly appreciate the hands-on mentality and professional support the team delivers. The key component of all activities is quality. That was the basis in 1991 and it still is today.

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Maik van Brug
Maik van Brug Software Engineer