Thursday, December 31, 2009

More Best of 2009 - Gawker's Top 100 Videos of 2009 in Less Than 3 Minutes!

While this video has already made the rounds a few weeks ago, I thought it would be a fun outro to 2009. So here is, The Top 100 Videos of 2009 in Less Than 3 Minutes - compilations - Gawker.TV

Video Description:
"Between pranks, sports, tech, video games, singing, dancing, and television— there was a lot to choose from. These are the top 100 videos that became famous on the web in 2009, all in less than three minutes."

See the full list here.

2009 Year-End Review: Best of Klessblog

Another year comes to a close as New Years Eve 2010 draws near, and so does the first decade in this millennium. In this annual review of 2009, I'm following a similar format as my post from last year to recognize and thank everyone who has helped contribute to this blog, and to those of you who have taken the time to read, subscribe, ReTweet and share your comments.

Even though the economy was spiraling into the abyss, 2009 was a breakout year for all things related to online video and mobile. Social media played a much greater role with the year starting with Barack Obama's inauguration, with millions watching online and on Facebook. That event and many others that followed generated much discussion about the missed opportunities for monetization online. But in 2010 many have speculated that it will be the year that online video will finally gets paid.

In looking back over the past year, if 2009 proved anything, it showed us that the power of video and social media can change the world. Throughout the year, I covered the online video space posting news and conversations that I had with a variety of online video executives and innovators to learn about their companies. As I said last year, I echo the same words by saying, there are so many others who I met along the way that I need to thank, but the list is really too long. Thanks to the many people who took the time to reach out me with relevant news and information, those of you who arranged for interviews and those who kindly agreed to be interviewed, for those of you who spoke on panel sessions I helped organize and also to those of you who helped me in 2009 with your encouragement, advise, acknowledgement, support and friendship.

I was incredibly honored and humbled to be on this years list of Streaming Media All-Stars and for the great opportunity to Co-chair the Online Video Platform Summit with Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen. I want to thank Eric, Dan Rayburn, Joel Unickow and everyone at Information Today Inc. for the great work that they do to support, educate and promote the streaming media and online video industry. Also, a big thanks to my good friend Mark Robertson, Founder of Reel SEO, who welcomed me into the fold as a contributor to Reel SEO and who for the last year has been trying to convince me to quit my day job and blog full time. Mark also gave me this awesome three wolf moon shirt which is both intrinsically sweet and fits my girthy frame. ;-) Photo credit Jose Castillo.

I have a lot more to come in 2010 with many interviews I tried to publish in 2009 that just didn't happen due to my busy work schedule. So to wrap up the year, I present the following series of posts from this blog as a "Best of 2009". Thank you to all my readers and friends and all the best to everyone in 2010!
Here's a few parting shots from 2009:
Me, Mark Robertson and Kevin "Nalts" Nalty!

Me and Jeroen "JW" Wijering!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tips for Web and Mobile Television Producers - Interview with Amanda Congdon,

At Streaming Media West 2009, I caught up with Amanda Congdon, new media producer and host of, Sometimesdaily, which can be seen on web and mobile television. Amanda and her small production team that consists of her husband Mario Librandi and brother Andrew Congdon, were at Streaming Media West to promote FLO TV, the live mobile TV service from Qualcomm. Their show is available on FLO TV handsets and has wide mobile distribution on FLO TV-capable phones reaching 200 million cell phone users throughout the United States.

Amanda became an Internet video star on Rocketboom, the daily news show that she hosted and produced from its debut in October 2004 to June 2006. She followed that with a number of other video projects including, Amanda Across America, a blog based on her travels, a weekly video podcast for ABC and another weekly video blog, Starring Amanda Congdon, produced by her production company Oxmour Entertainment. Amanda also was the co-executive producer of JETSET (now EPIC FU) for the first several episodes of the show. In this interview, she shares similar tips, as her friend Zadi Diaz did in the previous post, for people trying to break into the web and mobile television space.

Amanda says, to be successful you really have to do 3 things:
  1. Keep the content short (2-5 minutes max)
  2. Make content that you are the expert on (and passionate about)
  3. Find your niche audience (and build relationships through email, blog comments and social networks)
Amanda also discussed how the FLO TV distribution model works for her show, which is through licensing. She says their content is uncensored and is exactly as you see it, from the video edited on Final Cut to the FLO TV network. The wide mobile distribution through the FLO TV network expands the reach of SometimesDaily to hundreds of millions of mobile phones, far beyond what the web could provide.

FLO TV president Bill Stone kicked off Streaming Media West and addressed how mobile television is growing both on the mobile phone and on to other consumer devices. See the article by Tim Siglin and keynote video: Streaming Media West 2009 Keynote 1: Bill Stone, President, FLO TV.

Sometimesdaily is an interactive online variety show. Throughout the work week Amanda and company tackle the topics of the day through short videos handcrafted for easy digestion, just like homemade pasta. These episodes include Amanda-on-the-street interviews, quirky skits and news vignettes. Because videoblogging is an interactive medium, we incorporate viewer feedback throughout the show. Our viewer created tagline is: Sometimesdaily - Taming the bizarre for normal people to enjoy.

Subscribe to Sometimesdaily with Amanda Congdon

Monday, December 28, 2009

Behind the Red Carpet - Streaming Media West Interview with Zadi Diaz

This is a special "Behind the Red Carpet" interview from Streaming Media West 2009 with Zadi Diaz, new media producer, host and co-creator of the award web series EPIC FU. Zadi and her husband and long-time creative partner Steve Woolf are respected pioneers in the web television space. Zadi spoke at Streaming Media West 2009 panel session, Web Television Comes of Age and was interviewed on the Red Carpet by Peter Cervieri.

Zadi had a few minutes to share some advise to producers who are trying to break into the web television space.
"First, think about the story you want to tell. Really know the audience online. Who's the audience online? Who are you going to be talking to? What's the community like? Look at all those things and how you're story fits into that, look at all the niche audiences. "
Zadi said that partnerships are important, and that you should align yourself with passionate people behind the scenes. If you're good at storytelling but not editing, it will show and will bring your quality down. So focus on what you're good at and build your support system to get help with the things you're not good at, like videography, editing or marketing.

This is similar advise Zadi shared in this related post: Epic Fu on How To Make a Kick-Ass Web Show where she runs down all the tools you need to make an awesome web show, from ideas to equipment to distribution.

Zadi also talked about how storytelling is evolving, and how immersive it's going to be through online video and alternate reality gaming (ARG) experiences. She noted XBOX 360 Project Natal, which does away with the game controller for a hands-free gaming experience through motion detection and speech recognition, as an emerging next-generation social and entertainment network.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Qik Live Streaming App is Now Available from the iPhone App Store

Just two weeks ago, Qik submitted their Qik Live app to the iPhone App store in hopes of finally getting the popular live mobile streaming application approved. Their wish came true just in time for the holidays when the app was finally approved and appeared in the App Store. Over the past few weeks, Apple has approved live video streaming apps on the iPhone in accordance to Apple’s screen capture API, with Knocking's Live mobile to mobile live video sharing application, Ustream's Live Broadcaster and Bambuser's iPhone app. Qik had been available on jailbroken iPhones for over a year, since but not as a legitimate iPhone app due to the structure of AT&T's terms of service which in fine print forbid live video streaming.

Then in July 2009, Apple launched HTTP Live Streaming standard in iPhone 3.0, which opened up the platform for streaming applications to iPhone or desktop computers, using an ordinary Web server. HTTP Live Streaming bundles RTSP (Real-Time Streaming Protocol) traffic into HTTP packets to get through most firewalls. Unlike progressive download, it streams live video by essentially breaking the overall stream into small HTTP-based file downloads, with alternate clips at various data rates to adjust to varying network bandwidth conditions. Earlier this month, Apple stated that HTTP Live Streaming is now required for for all applications which deliver streaming video. The current implementation supports H.264 Baseline Level 3.0 and AAC and MP3 stereo audio with data rates as low as 100 Kbps and as high as 1.6 Mbps to iPhone.

It was over two years ago that Qik first appeared as a private alpha in December 2007 and out
of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Visivo Communications. It became a popular live mobile streaming application for a growing list of 130+ supported handsets (including Android, iPhones (original, 3G, and 3GS - previously jailbroken only), BlackBerry, Nokia Symbian, many Windows Mobile devices, and J2ME devices. Qik launched into public beta on July 21, 2008 and now comes pre-loaded on the Nokia N97, Samsung Omnia II and other mobile devices. The new iPhone app, called Qik Live (version 4.40), works on all the iPhones (iPhone 2g, iPhone 3g, and iPhone 3gs) and on all networks (3G and WiFi) and is available from the App Store. Qik also just released a desktop app for live video sharing called, Qik-in-Touch, which is currently in private beta.

I conducted this "Qik" test of the new iPhone app on a iPhone 3G with a Nokia N95 using the newest version 1.0.25 of Qik in the following videos. While it's not a great testing environment, and may not be a fair comparison given the N95's Carl Zeiss lens and native video capability, I tried to match the subject matter and quality settings between the two devices. There is a significant difference in quality with the video frame rate and audio, with the Nokia handling both much better. There's a slight difference in color depth with the iPhone colors looking deeper. I listed the video profile below each video.

Nokia N95 video settings
Video codec: H.264, 320 x 240, Million
Audio: AAC, Mono, 44.100 kHz
Frames per second: 30 FPS 14.88 FPS (average)
Data rate: 333.45 kbits/s

iPhone 3G video settings
Video codec: H.264, 320 x 240, Million
Audio: AAC, Mono, 44.100 kHz
Frames per second: 3-12 FPS (average)
Data rate: 301.96 kbits/s

The iPhone frame rate is much lower and looks close to 3 frames per second. The audio has a narrowband quality and seems to be more compressed than the Nokia, and there's a considerable amount of latency between the audio and video, which causes a lip synch issue.

Now that Apple has opened up the floodgates to live streaming, expect to see a tremendous focus on mobile video applications over the next year. Both Qik and Ustream have already announced higher quality streams and recording capabilities, and continue to hone and integrate their products into other platforms as the currents of the live streaming grows stronger.

See my original Qik post from December 2007: It Looks Like the Revolution Will Be Televised

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Read my post on ReelSEO, "Web Video Hosting is a Maturing Market" – Interview with Noam Lovinsky of Episodic

At Streaming Media West 2009, I spoke with Noam Lovinsky, CEO and Founder of Episodic, which recently launched as an online video platform for both live and on-demand content. The San Francisco, California-based company has been around for two years but has kept relatively quiet in stealth mode building the platform. Noam and I discuss the state of the online video platform space, which is described as a saturated market. Noam shares his thoughts on the subject and offers advise to content producers and businesses small and large, about the power of online video storytelling.

Noam offers an interesting analogy about how the online video industry as a whole is about the age of a 15-year old teenager. Being the father of two teenagers myself, it conjures up both an image of both a coming of age... with growing confidence, still maturing yet awkward too.

According to Noam, video monetization and delivery on the web and mobile devices have just begun to mature, he said:
"We’re really seeing the very very beginning of this space… The real competitors are not the saturated market… the real competitors are build vs. buy.

Episodic differentiates itself as an all-under-one-roof OVP, rather than having a network of partners like its competitors in the space. The Episodic publishing platform is made up of: video content management, content ingest and encoding, adaptive bitrate playback, monetization through advertising and credit card transaction, audience measurement and analytics, and syndication. Customers like Showtime Sports and other national cable networks, web publishers and small and medium businesses, use Episodic, for content management, delivery and monetization.

In 2010, Episodic will be expanding their live and mobile products and will be making some large customer announcements. To find out more about Episodic, visit their web site to take a quick tour or a free 30-day trial of their platform.

Read the entire post on Reel SEO - Web Video Hosting is a Maturing Market – Episodic Interview
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Monday, December 21, 2009

NewTeeVee Live Workshop Panel Session: Real Time Analytics that Drive Personalization and Monetization

Last month at NewTeeVee Live 2009, I moderated a workshop panel discussion titled, Real Time Analytics That Drive Personalization and Monetization. On the panel were , Jeff Jordan from Omniture, Matt Cutler from Visible Measures, Edmond Lau from Ooyala and Michael Shimbo from Live Daily. The goal of the session was to educate the audience on how analytics of all types can help drive greater brand exposure as well as increased revenue. As content owners and marketers move beyond the basics of getting video published on the Web, online video is becoming increasingly performance based.

Title: Real Time Analytics that Drive Personalization and Monetization
Description: As content owners and marketers move beyond the basics of getting video published on the Web, online video is becoming increasingly performance based. The discussion will focus on how content creators, brands, and creative agencies can effectively use this data to drive successful video campaigns.

Date: Thursday, November 12, 2009
Moderator: Larry Kless
Panelist: Edmond Lau (Ooyala), Matt Cutler (Visible Measures), Jeff Jordan (Omniture), and Michael Shimbo (Ticketmaster)

Why are analytics important?
The panel started off answering that question. Jeff Jordan said that, "at the end of the day, it's about differentiation," and user engagement metrics are core to knowing your audience. Matt Cutler said that "we're all in this together," and that effective metrics help tie into business results and can create brand lift. Edmond Lau noted that analytics help create a tight feedback loop that is data driven and that online video has that opportunity to monetize online video ads. Michael Shimbo said that analytics provide a wealth of information about what Ticketmaster customers are consuming, and that the more you know about your audience the better the revenue stream.

What are we measuring?
Jeff said that there's no magic bullet on what to measure but it's a combination of things that we are trying to monetize. Matt noted that many customers are really interested in reach and engagement. Edmond pointed out that the key metrics differ based on the use scenarios. Media companies care about impressions and click through rates and how best to insert ads. For brand markerters, video engagement is more meaningful and engagement reports help you see what parts of the video people watch, what part they seek or skip over. Michael said that there is no shortage of analytics and asked when is it too much since it could be overwhelming and hard to decipher. But knowing how to assemble the data, leverage it and have a qualifed user to interact with the data helps drive business decisions.

Many customers don't like the answer, "it depends on what your business is," when they really don't know what they want and just want a specific list of variables to measure. Jeff offered the advise, "start where the money is and work backwards." Jeff also had another Tweetable quote in regards to measuring social media metrics, "If you don't have social video then you don't have a video strategy."

The discussion moved into answering questions about behavorial targeting and personalization, analytics for the three-screen strategy, media buyer sophistication, how to choose an analytics provider (Omniture, Visible Measures, Ooyala) and the importance social media metrics.

Edmond posted on the video on the Ooyala blog and had this to day about the session,
"We discussed how analytics would shape the online video industry in 2010 and beyond, and how actionable analytics that closed the feedback loop between video publishers and their online audiences would be the major trend. Online marketers looking to build their brand would continue to improve their ability to understand engagement and demographic data about their users. A more complete understanding of their users would then empower them to fine-tune their video experiences and brand advertising to reach larger audiences and generate more conversions. Media publishers seeking to monetize their content through ads would benefit through the development of user profiles and preferences built from their past behavior, the behaviors of similar users in their demographic, and their current behavior on the webpage. These profiles could be used to power data-driven decisions for ads targeting or video recommendations."

Special thanks to Ooyala for inviting me to moderate this session and big thanks to Shalini Gupta for all her work at organizing it.

I also interviewed Jeff Jordan following the session about social media metrics and video marketing and will post the video sometime soon.

See the related Guest Post from Tim Hawthorne on my other blog: Online Video Publisging [dot] com: Made to Measure - How to use Online Analytics Tools to Measure the Effectiveness of your Online Video

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Read my Guest Blog Post on Nalts' "Will Video For Food" Blog, "Video & Your Smart Business Marketing Plan"


After a few weeks of Streaming Media West 2009 Red Carpet interviews, I'm breaking from the coverage to share news of my guest post on Kevin "Nalts" Nalty's blog, Will Video For Food. I want to thank Kevin for the opportunity to be a guest blogger on his blog and thanks as well to Jan Ischinger for the great editorial work on the post. I'd encourage everyone to visit Nalts' site and subscribe to his blog to read his daily posts and posts by other guest bloggers.

Last month, I had the pleasure of meeting Nalts at at the Online Video Platform Summit where he spoke on our Redefining Monetization panel session. It was a lively session that included Benjamin Wayne from Fliqz, Peter Csathy of Sorenson Media and Teg Granager of The video from session should be online sometime soon. A few weeks ago, Kevin followed up with a note to "fellow online-video enthusiasts, virtual friends or BFFs" to see if there was interest in writing a short guest blog post on

Nalts said,
"I thought it would be fun to have a series of various subject-matter experts chime in on various online video topics as 2009 closes out and we look at future trends for 2010 and beyond."
I was excited at the opportunity, and it's something I've actually been wanting to do on my own blog for some time, and have done on my blog with a recent guest post by Tim Hawthorne, Creating a Frenzy with Online Video Contests, with another one from Tim in the works.

So needless to say, I wanted to join the fun and be a guest blogger on and sent a piece I had been working on to Nalts. It's an expanded version of the 250 word article I had sent to Streaming Media for publication in the December/January issue of the magazine, about looking back on 2009 and ahead in 2010 in social media and video.

Here's a short excerpt from the post...

December 17, 2009

Welcome WVFF Guest Blogger
Larry Kless

2009 proved the power of video and social media can change the world.

We experience the Presidential Inauguration with millions of friends on Facebook. We read breaking news stories from citizen journalists on Twitter. We saw live as-it-happens video on YouTube hours before the stories reached our televisions and the standard reports by traditional news agencies were read.

More than any other year 2009 saw the rise of video as one of the most effective communication mediums in world history.

Virtually, every aspect of video is now included in business. From concept, scripting, storyboards, production, editing, encoding, storing, managing, distributing, syndicating, tracking, analyzing, etc… Content producers, media companies, small and medium-sized business all have the same opportunities to build their business and become online video publishers like any major corporation.

Read the rest of this post on Will Video for Food

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Streaming Media West Red 2009 Carpet Interview - Jeremy Allaire, Brightcove on the Future of Online Video

In rounding out the Streaming Media West 2009 Red Carpet interviews, Peter Cervieri sits down with the man behind Brightcove, CEO and Chairman, Jeremy Allaire. Earlier that week, Brightcove released a major upgrade to its online video platform with Brightcove 4, and an entry-level version, Brightcove Express, priced for a broad market at $99. Jeremy also delivered the keynote address, Setting the Stage for 2010 and the Future of Online Video, at the Online Video Platform Summit. In addition, Brightcove won a Streaming Media Readers' Choice Award as the best premium online video platform by the readers of Streaming Media magazine.

Peter and Jeremy talk about the state of online video as a business, and how the management and delivery of video has evolved with their platform. I spoke with Jeremy on this subject in a CEO Conversations post from last month, and he described the growth as virtually every professional organization - from SMBs (small medium-sized businesses) to major corporations or media publishers - are investing in their web sites and are starting to realize that video is one of the most effective mediums for their marketing and communication and education objectives.

Grant Crowell of ReelSEO also caught up with Jeremy at Streaming Media West about his vision that “video would become as ubiquitous and pervasive as text on the web" and he had this to say,
"What we’ve seen happening over the last year is this incredible growth in the number of organizations and corporations, of all types, of all industries, of all sectors of societies, embracing video to enhance what they are doing on the web. I think it really reflects that the fact that end users on the Internet in this broadband age, in the online video era, expect that kind of content and respond really well to it."

Brightcove thinks about online video as a very horizontal technology, it's an incredibly diverse content type that has to live in many different applications. Brightcove's early development and leadership in the space fostered the Brightcove Alliance, which grew out of that horizontal platform with some 300 technology, distribution and solution providers with plug-ins, adapters and integrations with Brightcove. A recent example from just last week was Brightcove and TubeMogul announced an alliance in which Brightcove will license TubeMogul's InPlay analytics. Brightcove also announced major new customer wins in Japan, noting the accelerated growth in that market was fueled by the rapid adoption of their platform.

Look for part two of my CEO Conversation post with Jeremy in the next few weeks.

Special thanks to Brightcove for sponsoring the Red Carpet interviews and the Online Video Platform Summit.

About Brightcove
Brightcove is an online video platform. Media companies, businesses and organizations worldwide use Brightcove to publish and distribute video on the Web. Founded in 2004, Brightcove is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business with offices across North America, Europe and Asia.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Streaming Media West 2009 Red Carpet Interview - Peter Csathy, Sorenson Media on Redefining Monetization

In this Streaming Media West 2009 Red Carpet Interview, Peter Cervieri talks to Peter Csathy, President and CEO of Sorenson Media. Sorenson Media has a long history as an encoding solution that powered the early development of online video in Quicktime and Flash. Peter Csathy took the reins of the 14-year old video encoding and compression company turned video delivery network earlier this year. 2009 saw the successful launch of Sorenson 360, and the release of a major upgrade to Sorenson Squeeze 6 last month, which garnered the 2009 Streaming Media magazine Readers’ Choice Award for Encoding Software under $1,000 for the third year in a row. Peter also spoke at the Online Video Platform Summit on the Redefining Monetization panel session, which I had a lot of fun moderating. I've also spoke with Peter on several occasions this past year and recently featured him in two-part post, CEO Conversations: Peter Csathy, Sorenson Media's Digital Media Mastermind. He blogs regularly on his own personal blog about the digital media industry at Digital Media Update. See my post, Online Video Platform Summit - Sorenson Media to Showcase Squeeze 6 and Sorenson 360 Video Delivery Network for more on their integrated video workflow and delivery solution.

Peter Cervieri also just posted his write up on Sorenson Media in his post, ScribeMedia.Org: Sorenson’s Online Video Platform. As a long-time Squeeze user, he provides a great overview of his production workflow with actual screen shots of the interview while encoding. Peter says that combined workflow of Squeeze with Sorenson 360 might just convert him into a full-time customer of their online video platform. The automated publishing and notification features in particular really help ease the "pain points" for video professionals like him.

The Q&A that follows was conducted with Peter Csathy for the Online Video Platform Summit panel session. He discusses his unique perspective on the topic of monetization of online video.

The title of this panel is Redefining Monetization. What do you think this is referring to?

Peter Csathy: The popularity of Internet video has many businesses searching for ways to monetize this powerful tool. The conventional thinking surrounding this monetization question focuses on serving ads to monetize videos themselves. While this way of thinking works for video destination sites like Hulu and YouTube, it is completely irrelevant to the other 99 percent of businesses on the Internet that are not content destination sites. For the vast majority of businesses, ad serving not only is irrelevant, it is counter-productive. The focus, instead, should be about how to use the extremely powerful medium of Internet video to drive more sales, better showcase products, and more fully engage current and prospective customers.

Peter, you often say that monetization in many senses goes beyond selling ads around videos online, what do you mean by that?

Peter Csathy: What I mean is: Can businesses use video on the Internet to spur sales, engage better (and longer) with customers and potential customers, and otherwise market more effectively? It cannot be doubted that the answer is a resounding “Yes” -- Internet video can be, and has been, effectively “monetized.” Countless businesses today use video on the Internet to drives sales and engage with, and educate, their customers and potential customers. Think showcase videos that are far more descriptive and engaging than textual or pictorial depictions of goods and services. Think engagement videos that hook you into a site to dig deeper and discover more. Think instructional videos. The travel business is one great example of the power of Internet video to monetize -- and monetize in a big, big way.

What role will video play in web development in the future? What kind of timeframe are we looking at (years, months, weeks)?

PeterCsathy: In 2010, expect the business of professionally produced online video (and those services enabling it) to expand dramatically. We will see accelerating use of video by businesses of all sizes to more effectively market and showcase their goods and services; communicate who they are in the marketplace; interact with customers and prospective customers; and ultimately grow their revenues and monetize their business. In other words, businesses will increasingly use video to drive their overall success.

What is the current market for businesses to incorporate video into their Web sites? How will some providers excel in this competitive market?

Peter Csathy: This accelerated realization of -- and dependence on -- the unique power of video will not just result from proactive foresight. Much of it initially also will happen reactively. Many businesses will see their competitors increasingly use video to give themselves significant advantages in the marketplace. In other words, they better jump on the video train before it leaves them behind. Why? Because there is no more effective medium to communicate messaging than video - video is far more powerful than text or mere images. We are visual creatures, and we will be drawn to video over all else...

... So long as that video is done right. “Right” in this context means high video quality and overall process simplicity, in addition to the actual video content itself. This will increasingly separate the winners and losers in the video-enabling world in 2010. Those who enable services that make it easy to publish the highest quality video over the Internet will realize this online video market opportunity. Quality is absolutely essential, because quality is credibility. Video quality reflects on the business’ products, services, and overall brand.

See this related post, Video is an Effective Sales Tool – Interview with Sorenson, on ReelSEO. Grant Crowell interviews Eric Quanstrom, VP, Marketing & Strategy at Sorenson Media.

About Sorenson Media
Sorenson Media offers comprehensive, award-winning solutions that empower businesses and video professionals to easily and affordably publish the highest-quality video to the Internet and other media. Included among its products and services are the Sorenson 360 Video Delivery Network (VDN), Sorenson Media’s re-imagined video publishing platform; Sorenson Squeeze, the gold-standard for video encoding applications; Sorenson Squish and SquishNet, which together create an easy-to-use browser-based video publishing platform for user-generated content; and Sorenson Spark, the industry’s most widely used video codec, which enables mobile devices and other consumer products to playback the largest selection of video on the Internet today. Since its inception in 1995, Sorenson Media has been instrumental in bringing Internet video to mainstream applications and is committed to dramatically improving the online video experience for both content creators and consumers.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Streaming Media 2009 Red Carpet - Tim Siglin, Braintrust Digital on Making Metadata More Meaningful

Tim Siglin admits that drop off rate for readers his very high when you mention metadata. But in his recent article, Metadata: What You Need to Know (And Why You Need to Know It), he pointed out two very important reasons we should care about metadata, that is, money and future growth. In this Streaming Media West 2009 Red Carpet interview, Peter Cervieri helps bring out the inner geek in Tim Siglin, to discuss the current state of metdata and how to make it sexy. Tim Siglin is a contributing editor for He serves as Chairman of Braintrust Digital, a digital media production company, and is a co-founder of the go-to-market consulting firm, Transitions, Inc. He has been involved full-time with strategic consulting and integration in the visual communications and digital media fields for over fifteen years. Tim also moderated two Online Video Platform Summit panel sessions, SEO Panel - Optimizing Video Search and Discoverability and the Interactive Video Panel - Building Value With Real Interactivity.

Tim noted that one of the inherent problems that we've had within the video industry, is the loss of metadata throughout the production process. Camera equipment and editing systems create metadata, which is in an "island" unto itself and doesn't transfer to the master tape or DVD. The industry is well aware of this issue but has yet to address it in full, but that's changing slowly. Tim's article does a deep dive into the space to see how the problem is being addressed. Online video offers a greater opportunity to retain rich metadata, which helps with search and discovery. Publishers are seeing the value of metadata because it makes their content more searchable and monetizable.

In this interview, Tim provides an industry snapshot on current end-to-end solutions like Adobe Story, offered as an online service, which Tim says,
"Adobe Story takes a holistic view on script development as one of the keys to production and postproduction, using the act of script creation as a way to mask a powerful underlying metadata repository."
He identified three basic markets for metadata:
  1. The overall market for making search more easier - which limited to search companies
  2. Entertainment - bringing search capabilities to broadband enabled devices like XBOX 360 and others
  3. Corporate training and lectures - long form and highly unscripted content, speech detection and OCR software to detect Powerpoint slides with synchronized presentations
He says that we're on the cusp of innovation with metadata and we should see some big changes within the next few years that will make metadata more meaningful.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Streaming Media West Red 2009 Carpet Interview - Tom Wilde, RAMP on Monetizing Discovery and Engagement Through "Content Optimization"

In this 2009 Streaming Media West 2009 Red Carpet interview Peter Cervieri sits down with Tom Wilde, CEO of RAMP, the company formerly known as EveryZing, and the industry’s leading "Content Optimization" platform for media publishers. Tom also spoke at the Online Video Platform Summit on the SEO Panel - Optimizing Video Search and Discoverability, and is a recognized leader in the field of Internet search and online advertising. His newly rebranded company made the announcement at Streaming Media West with a new name, new and improved tools for video search and discovery, and new focus. The new Software as a Service (SaaS) platform platform is divided into four core solutions: RAMP:workflow, RAMP:discovery, RAMP:engagement, and RAMP:monetize, and is designed to help media publishers expand video search and discovery and ramp up engagement monetization of all types of web content though, "content optimization."

RAMP has an interesting history in that it's portfolio of technologies spun out of a company called BBN Technologies, one of the world’s foremost research organizations with more than $100M government funded research, in speech-to-text and natural language processing technologies and search for the Department of Defense. The technology was developed primarily for monitoring phone calls and broadcast television mediums. When the company was acquired by venture capitalists they decided to spin out some of the technology which was over 30 years of R&D and included 20 patents that his company acquired. Some of the problems that the government was trying to solve was speaker, topic and format independent technology, which has very similar requirements to that of big media companies.

RAMP began as PodZinger, a podcast search engine, and started trying to figure out how to create rich metadata from audio files to make audio podcasts more discoverable. PodZinger used speech-to-text technology to create a text index of the audio, which enabled users to find content anywhere within podcasts and jump directly to the point of their keyword. They moved to a B2B media merchandising platform solution soon after rebranding as EveryZing, and opened up their platform to include all forms of online multimedia content. Tom identified the challenge of video discoverability as one of the key emerging problems of the web, and that rich media content misses out on monetization opportunities when it can't be discovered through search engines.

RAMP Content Optimization and RAMP Platform Solutions suite is more of big media company play with startup fees roughly in the low tens of thousands, with monthly fees usually between $5,000 and $15,000. Licensing costs can be paid either on a monthly or annual cycle, based on the amount of content that is processed. Many media companies use RAMP's speech-to-text algorithms to auto-generate transcripts and tags for third-party content. Customers in specific market verticals include news, sports, local, infotainment, print publishing and web.

On Vator News, Tom said that the re-branding was,
"largely driven by the completion of our solution to a business-to-business SaaS provider to media companies. Everyzing was an older consumer destination name and we didn't feel it was reflective of what we do now and what we're doing going forward. RAMP has a nice set of meanings; ramp up your traffic, ramp up your sales, it's easier to remember."
According to Tom, 2010 will bring more focus on social media, mobile and managed services and he noted that the pervasiveness of video across all verticals will continue to grow.

In his Red Carpet interview he said,
"In the end, virtually every company of significant size out there has to begin to think like a media company. They have to produce media because that's how the marketing conversation will happen through video and through social. So I think all of this converges in the future, where there won't be any major company that isn't behaving like a media company."
See Mark Robertson's post on ReelSEO for more on RAMP's Content Optimzation Platform. Also see Andy Plesser's interview with Tom on Beet.TV where he talk about how companies like CNBC, Thomson Reuters, FOX have implemented the service and OVPs like thePlatform, Brightcove, and YuMe have partnered with hosted solutions.

About RAMP
RAMP is an advanced Content Optimization SaaS platform providing publishers’ workflow, discovery and engagement solutions to drive monetization of online content to users’ search and browsing behavior. RAMP offers publishers an open, flexible and modular capability to optimize large amounts of content, including text, audio, video and images, within dynamic publishing environments. As a result, publishers’ content becomes positioned for discovery and precise targeting, both on search engines and within publishers’ own websites. Users rely on such precision to discover and engage with content, thereby increasing the commercial viability of content for publishers while curtailing publishing costs.
Leading publishers using RAMP include – FOXNews, NBC, DowJones, Meredith, and others. For more information visit:, or contact us at


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Streaming Media West 2009 Red Carpet Interview - Teg Grenager, on Online Video Advertising and Monetization

In this Streaming Media West 2009 Red Carpet Interview, Peter Cervieri talks with Teg Grenager, Vice President of Product & Marketing, and Co-Founder of about online video advertising and monetization. Teg guides the product vision, roadmap, architecture, and user experience for their flagship product, OneSource, a comprehensive video ad monetization platform. OneSource helps more than 300 publishers globally manage and serve their own ads, or tap into premium global ad networks.

Just last month, OneSource became the first dedicated video ad serving platform to earn ad measurement certification by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). What that means is that OneSource accurately captures impressions and clicks as defined by the IAB. The IAB is comprised of more than 375 leading media and technology companies who are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. Compliance with the strict IAB ad measurement guidelines enables brand advertisers, agencies, and publishers to fully trust the accuracy of the reports they receive when trafficking their ads through OneSource. With the IAB accreditation,'s OneSource joins the ranks of other leading display ad servers such as DoubleClick’s DART, Atlas AdManager, and Yahoo! APT.

According to the IAB, in the first half of 2009, online video ad spending increased by 38% to hit $477 Million. While forecasts vary, the industry is slowly maturing and eMarketer predicts that online video ad spending will continue to increase by 40.4% in 2010. More standardization of ad unit display and measurement should also be expected.

Earlier in the year announced a partnership program with a number of the leading online video platforms Brightcove, thePlatform™, Livestream, VMIX, Twistage, Kaltura and others. Teg says that while all the OVPs have some form of ad serving capability, it's enough to run a business, but in combination with OneSource it makes it extremely easy for their customers to deploy video advertising and monetization with their full range of video capabilities and added-value services.

Teg and Peter talk about optimizing online video advertising from both the publishers, brand marketers, the need for standardization and compatibility between video player and interactivity with ad server networks, the facing the industry and other topics which Peter highlights in his post on: ScribeMedia.Org | Teg Grenager -

Teg also spoke the Online Video Platform Summit on the Redefining Monetization panel session, and had this to say about participating in the conference,
"As video viewership starts to move online in large numbers, publishers stand to gain from sharing their ideas and success stories in addressing the challenges of this rapidly changing industry. is excited to participate in the Online Video Platform Summit, and contribute to publishers' understanding of tools and best practices for one of online video's biggest challenges: effective monetization."

Look for a Q&A with Teg in an upcoming post and the video of the panel session in the next few weeks.

How One Source works
Their online video ad management platform OneSource helps more than 350 web publishers to monetize hundreds of millions of video streams each month in 71 countries. OneSource has developed robust ad serving, ad management capabilities and dynamic analytics all within a central platform.

About Inc. is the creator of OneSource, the first online video advertising platform that empowers publishers with comprehensive tools to monetize and grow their online video business. gives publishers the power and flexibility to intelligently manage and serve their own ads, or tap into premium global ad networks. Through OneSource, more than 300 web publishers monetize hundreds of millions of video streams per month in 71 countries, while providing their viewers a rich and engaging experience. Based in San Mateo, CA, the company is privately held and is backed by Spark Capital, Redpoint Ventures and the Gemini Israeli Fund. For more information please visit


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Streaming Media West 2009 Red Carpet Interview - Brian Shin, Visible Measures on True Reach and Video Engagement

In this Streaming Media West 2009 Red Carpet interview Peter Cervieri talks with Brian Shin, Founder and CEO of Visible Measures, a media measurement firm that provides independent third party measurement solutions for Internet video publishers and advertisers. Visible Measures specializes in measuring the consumption and viral distribution of Internet video. According to Brian, their patented technology platform integrates within existing video players to measure audience video engagement through a combination of how users interact with Internet content; the amount of interaction they have; and the viewing time independent of where that video content is, either on your sites, partners or blogger sites. Every interaction with the video content from each play, pause, rewind, fast-forward, share, embed and true reach is exposed for analysis. This helps online video publishers know if they're growing their audiences and helps video advertisers understand whether or not their brand messages are actually being delivered to their target audiences.

Brian also spoke at the Online Video Platform Summit on the Analytics Panel - Measuring Success and discussed the importance of true reach and video engagement.

In a recent post on ScribeMedia.Org, Peter Cervieri summarized some of Ben's key points on video monetization through advertising, audience engagement and reach.

Peter says,
"Reach is a metric that makes sense to advertisers.

In this respect, Visible Measures tries to give brands a sense of what they call True Reach™. For example, when a movie studio is building up to a movie launch, there are multiple types of video that connect the brand to consumers that affect reach, frequency and impact.
  • paid media (buying an ad on a site such as Yahoo, ESPN, NBC,
  • owned media (promotional video content uploaded by a brand or its agency to drive traffic and audiences to some destination controlled by the brand)
  • earned media (social video and viral video - consumers embedding, emailing or remixing a brand video, or creating their own videos inspired by the brand)
  • benchmark against relevant competitors"

Continue reading Peter's post on ScribeMedia.Org.

As part of a service to the industry, Visible Measures publishes a series of weekly and monthly Top 10 charts on the viral success and reach of the most watched video ads, film trailers, webisodes and viral videos. The Top 10 Viral Video Ads Chart, is updated Thursday mornings and published with Advertising Age reveals the Web's top-performing brand-driven ad campaigns. The Top 10 Film Trailers, updated Friday mornings and published with Variety showcases the Web's best-performing movie trailers. The Top 10 Webisode Series of the Month is updated at the beginning of each month and published with Mashable, highlights the Web's most-watched episodic video series. The 100 Million Club is the Web's only list of the most-watched viral videos of all time.

Just this past week Visible Measures announced that it has collaborated with BETC Euro RSCG to measure the Evian Roller Babies advertisement and compare it against the top-performing ads in online video. Visible Measures was able to accurately measure the total online viewership for Roller Babies and confirm that it has become the most-viewed online video advertisement in history. The video generated a True Reach of over 45 million views across more than 1,200 unique video placements and over 30 video destination sites.

Visible Measures' Enabling Technologies
Visible Measures' Internet video measurement solutions are powered by three core technologies, our Video Placement Multiplier, Viral Reach Database, and Video Metrics Engine. Their Video Placement Multiplier uploads videos to more than 40 video sharing sites in a single step while providing you with control over brand placement. Their Viral Reach Database gives you complete visibility into viral video placements and audience growth by tracking more than 200 million videos across 150+ video-sharing destinations. Their Video Metrics Engine processes viewer engagement with millions of video streams everyday in real-time, recording every interaction by every viewer from every video on your network.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Streaming Media West 2009 Red Carpet Interview - Ben Weinberger, Digitalsmiths on the Importance of Metadata

In this Streaming Media West 2009 Red Carpet interview Peter Cervieri talks with Ben Weinberger, CEO and Co-founder of Digitalsmiths, the leading indexing and analysis company that creates advanced time-based metadata and publishing solutions for clients like Warner Bros., Telepictures and Ben also spoke at the Online Video Platform Summit on the Analytics Panel - Measuring Success about how do you collect all of your audience data and metrics, what do you with it and how do you effectively monetize your video.

Digitalsmiths just announced yesterday, the newest version of its flagship product, VideoSense® 2.5. The new version adds enhanced video intelligence and monetization tools including: direct asset upload, advanced clip creation, YouTube integration and a new reporting dashboard for analytics. Digitalsmiths focuses exclusively on Tier 1 content (TV Shows, movies and sports for Hollywood studios, broadcasters, distributors and publishers) using a variety of computer vision, speech algorithm, facial recognition, scene classification and object identification to build a unique and deep metadata framework.

Digitalsmiths was founded while Ben was still in college at Southern Illinois University and was originally a Web design company. In 2002, they began indexing TV show content for TV studio clients, for example, reporting on how things like how many times Kramer mentioned Cuban cigars on "Seinfeld" or where certain scenes took place, at Jerry's apartment or the diner. In 2005, the company began developing a system for automated analysis of time-based metadata which became VideoSense. Their technology was developed by a team that Co-founder and CTO Matt Berry assembled comprising of computer vision scientists out of places like NASA, the FBI, academia and Fortune 500 companies.

Ben offers this advise to media companies and publishers to better measure success:
"You need to come at the publishing process from a holistic approach of, it's not just broadband and it's broadband as a separate business, it's an integrated digital media workflow that you absolutely have to have data. If you don't have data, you're publishing a dumb asset. Your asset is at a a disadvantage compared to every other asset that we're involved with. So put all the data around it, look at ways to generate revenue today and tomorrow that you're going to usethat asset. And once you make a blue print of that asset you can use it over and over again. You don't have to reinvent the wheel."

How VideoSense® 2.5 works

Digitalsmiths’ suite of visual interpretation tools processes each frame of video using proprietary algorithms such as facial recognition, scene classification and object identification to build a unique metadata framework – or MetaFrame – of informed video tags. Specific time-based metatags are assigned across a rich set of variables that go beyond common descriptors like name and date with criteria related to each frame (people, places, objects, dialogue, subject matter) or critical commercial matters such as rights management (geography, music issues, content sharing permissions, licensing concerns). This provides content owners powerful analytics, reporting and search capabilities bundled with publishing tools for direct revenue through syndication and ad targeting and audience building.