Friday, July 31, 2009

YouTube Proves it Can Make Money with a Wedding Video, "JK Wedding Entrance Dance" Boosts Sales of Chris Brown's "Forever"

By now, the latest viral video sensation JK Wedding Entrance Dance has amassed more than 13M views on YouTube since it was posted on July 19th and news of its success so been spread far and wide. YouTube blog hailed it as an overnight sensation which resulted in both the video and the song "Forever," by R&B artist Chris Brown going viral. While the married couple Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz did receive some fame and TV appearances it was the rights holders of the song "Forever" who were able to capitalize on the moment by adding Click-to-Buy links over the video. This created point of sale opportunities to purchase the music track on Amazon and iTunes and helped it rocket back up the charts.

The YouTube blog cited the Click-to-Buy CTR (click-through rate) increased by 2.5x in the last week and 2x the average of other Click-to-Buy overlays on the site. Technical account manager Chris LaRosa said searches of "Chris Brown Forever" also skyrocketed on YouTube making it one of the most popular queries on the site.

LaRosa argued that while many still question "the promotional and bottom-line business value sites like YouTube provide artists", this example clearly demonstrates their value proposition and their main goal "to help content creators effectively make money from the distribution of their content online."

Tim Street noted,
"It’s a shame that this couple from the JK Wedding Entrance Dance viral video in Saint Paul, Minnesota didn’t have a monetization plan in place before this video came out. They could have paid for their wedding already."
Ben Homer asked,
"So it’s great for YouTube, iTunes, Amazon, and the record label. But what about for the content creators? Is free distribution a fair value exchange, I’m not so sure. Your Thoughts?"
While it's a win-win for YouTube, Apple and the record label -- the only ones not making money are the newlyweds. The married couple took a different route than profiting from their fame and took the opportunity to draw attention to the serious issue of domestic violence knowing that Chris Brown, who had severely beat his then-girlfriend Rihanna, was receiving proceeds from the sale of the record. They launched their website, JKweddingdance, and are accepting soliciting donations to the Sheila Wellstone Institute.

On the site the couple said,
"Our experience since we posted the video has been incredible. We would never have expected this response to our wedding entrance in a million years. We hope to direct this positivity to a good cause. Due to the circumstances surrounding the song in our wedding video, we have chosen the Sheila Wellstone Institute. Sheila Wellstone was an advocate, organizer, and national champion in the effort to end domestic violence in our communities."
Congratulations Jill and Kevin!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009 Announces Major Distribution Partnerships with YouTube, Vimeo, Roku and Others; Launches New Show Creator Dashboard

For independent online video creators, the key to a successful business model is content distribution. Today, online media company -- who's mission from day one has been to make independent Web shows sustainable -- today announced major distribution capabilities, new partnerships to monetize and track advertising and viewership across its distribution network, along with a completely redesigned show creator dashboard. Blip says their building a next-generation television network in order to accomplish their mission.

The major announcements include:
  • A completely new Show Creator Dashboard (this is being rolled out slowly, starting with about a hundred show creators)
  • An expanded distribution network that now includes YouTube, Vimeo and NBC Local Media in New York.
  • Expanded television distribution via Verizon, Roku, Sony Consumer Electronics and TiVo.
  • New technology partnerships with FreeWheel Media and TubeMogul to drive richer analytics and smooth advertising trafficking across the entire network.

According to CEO Mike Hudak, blip launched four years ago with only two web television producers but today blip currently hosts 38,000 shows as part of its online television network. Blip is focused on featuring, promoting and monetizing the best original, serialized shows on the Web and offers free hosting, a variety of video formats and advertising with a 50/50 revenue share. The announcements today solidifies blip as the television network of the future. With YouTube on board content creators will be able to publish directly to YouTube for the first time.
"Before today we used to say that Blip reaches half of the video Internet," said Mike Hudack at the press conference. "Today I'm really happy to announce that we probably reach about 80 percent of the video Internet.
Blip shows reach 22 million viewers and total more than 72 million video views per month. According to Techcrunch, the average CPM that blip gets are between $10 and $20 and the YouTube deal should increase views while "putting downward pressure on CPMs. But if views go up faster than prices go down, Blip will end up better off."

TubeMogul will be powering the analytics in the new dashboard and will give content creators a second-by-second graph that shows drop off rate and rewind. "We're excited that TubeMogul InPlay audience and engagement data will be available to show creators within the dashboard," said Brett Wilson, TubeMogul CEO. "This is an important step towards bringing objective measurability to the creative process while maintaining the art of Web show creation."

Watch the replay of the press release powered by Livestream below

The vision is that content creators should focus all of their efforts on creating great shows, and can help with the rest: technology, distribution, marketing and publicity, and monetization. Shows on range from scripted sitcoms and dramas to newsmagazines, and top titles include WallStrip, Alive in Baghdad, Epic Fu, Break a Leg, Channel Awesome, Unleashed, and The Show with Ze Frank.

Robert Miller, producer of blip shows Political Lunch and That Sports Show said, "The days before blip were like being flogged in a medieval torture chamber when we treid to distribute. It was very painful."

Web producers Zadi Diaz and Steve Woolfe, creators of the former Next New Networks and Revision 3 web show Epic Fu, relies on the ad sales from blip and YouTube to support their staff of three, says Michael Learmonth and that the show is their sole source of income. "It's tough to make a living off these shows at the moment," said Steve Woolfe. "We've been lucky to be able to hang on."

While online video has a long way to go to be able to bring the kind of revenue that network television brings in Mike Hudak said on the blog,
"We’re on our way. We envision a future — a not too distant future — in which the majority of video consumed by Americans is created by talented and hardworking independents. A world in which anyone with a voice and talent can create a self-sustaining masterwork of a show. A world of infinite channels where any show, created by anyone, can be viewed by anyone on any device and any relevant Web site. A world in which individual network executives no longer determine which artists are graced by the good fortune to be put in front of the public."
While blip has not provided a a roadmap regarding revenues and profitability the company says with these new partnerships it will be profitable by the end of the year. Read the full press release.

See the following news sites for in depth coverage:

About is an online media company with over 38,000 original Web shows and 72 million video views a month. Shows on range from scripted sitcoms and dramas to news and how-to programs. hosts and syndicates shows to iTunes, YouTube, Vimeo, AOL Video, Verizon FiOS, TiVO, Sony Bravia, The Roku Digital Video Play and Facebook. splits all advertising revenues with show creators 50/50. For more information about please visit

Updated: 7/29/09

Sunday, July 26, 2009

This Week in Online Video: 7/20-7/25/09

It's been sometime since I've done a weekly review and I decided to focus on news related to the online video industry. There were several announcements from online video platforms as well as news items that I've collected here. While it's not a comprehensive list, I included excerpts from press releases that I received as well as links from other news sites for more reading. I'll be highlighting interviews I've conducted with executives from several of the companies on the blog very soon, including Matt DeLoca of The Feedroom, Ron Yekutiel of Kaltura and Peter Csathy of Sorenson Media. Stay tuned!

The FeedRoom Introduces Comprehensive Online Video Solution for Media Relations and Public Affairs Professionals
SaaS Offering Enables Fortune 1000 Enterprises and Government Agencies to Add Streaming Video and Broadcast-Quality Downloads to Online Press Rooms in Minutes -- at Half the Cost of Branded News Sites

NEW YORK, NY -- 07/22/09 -- The FeedRoom, a pioneer in online video communications, and a market leader in live streaming video and digital asset management, today announced a new subscription-based, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering designed to address the needs of media relations and public affairs professionals looking to add high-quality video to their Web sites and online press rooms. The value-priced offering combines the unique publishing, distribution and measurement capabilities that Fortune 1000 and government communicators require to ensure greater transparency, control and global reach within the changing news distribution landscape, including social networking sites, bloggers, mobile applications and other new media...

Kaltura Shakes Up Online Video Industry with Launch of the World's First Free and Open Source Online Video Platform

Release of Kaltura's Community Edition Disrupts Commoditized Market and Increases Distance Between Kaltura and Proprietary Vendors

OSCON 2009, SAN JOSE, CA, July 22, 2009 – Kaltura ( today announced the public launch of Kaltura Community Edition, the world’s first and only open source self-hosted online video platform. The new product, available for free download on Kaltura’s community website, allows any site owner or web developer to easily and quickly integrate highly customizable video and interactive rich-media functionalities, including video management, publishing, uploading, importing, syndicating, editing, annotating, remixing, sharing, and advertising. The move puts Kaltura in a position to replicate in the online video space the impact and success of other open source companies such as Red Hat, MySQL, and Mozilla....See Kaltura Community Edition (CE) |

Sorenson 360 Video Publishing Platform Now Delivers Customizable Player, Security Options and Enhanced Workflow
- Sorenson Media’s Sorenson 360 Now Enables Customers to More Fully Control Branding, Functionality of Video Player
- Video Professionals Benefit from Enhanced Workflow through Video Password Protection, Streamlined Browser-Based Encoding via Industry-Leading Sorenson Squeeze Engine
- Enhancements Further Sorenson 360’s Capability and Reputation for Delivering Unparalleled Quality, Control, Ease-of-Use and Affordability to Video Professionals

SAN DIEGO (July 22, 2009)—Sorenson Media ( today announced several significant video management enhancements to its Sorenson 360 Video Delivery Network (VDN), providing video professionals with the ability to more fully control the functionality and branding of the Sorenson 360 video player. Users can now incorporate their own identities, including company logos, into Sorenson 360. Video professionals can also create unlimited players, and customize a variety of key settings for each player — from screen modes to content sharing and specifying a particular branded player for each video. View a demo of Sorenson 360’s new customizable video player at:

Other news:
Updated links: 7/27/09

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Amazon Buys Zappos for $928M and Produces Video Explaining the Deal for $1.98

If you track tech news then you couldn't miss the big news yesterday that bought online footwear retailer Zappos for an estimated $928M. News stories about the deal filled the echo chamber and only a few focused on the unique way Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos used online video to communicate the news. His delivery is direct and honest and he offers a compelling "rags to riches" story that looks like it was shot for $1.98.

Dan Rayburn said,
"You gotta love it when a company like Amazon users the power of video to get their message out. Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos has an eight minute video uploaded to YouTube to explain the company's acquisition of Zappos. Now that's how video should be used. As good as the content of the video is, the quality is terrible for me. Wish Amazon had used a service other than YouTube."
Dan's right too, the video quality is so poor that I found myself getting distracted by the video compression. There isn't even a high quality version you can switch to so you're stuck viewing the low quality version. While some editing is done with the shots varied between medium and close ups it looks like a single camera shoot done on a Flip Video camera.

The only other blog that I found that commented on the video quality was by Sorenson Media CEO Peter Csathy who said,
"Folksy" is good, especially for Amazon -- which has always prided itself in being the "regular guy" on the Internet giant block. But, terrible video quality is not. And, take a look at the video quality of Bezos's YouTube video -- it is downright horrible! As my head of marketing, Eric Quanstrom, wrote to me yesterday, "what were Amazon's marketing people thinking????" Quality, quality, quality -- that is job 1 for Internet video. To maximize impact -- including viral distribution (i.e., getting your videos seen by the most people) -- the experience of the viewer is paramount."
Peter gave Amazon an "A" for effort and marketing ingenuity but "F" which he upgraded to a "D" for execution. From a quality standpoint, I think though what helps save it is that Jeff Bezos is wearing a lavalier microphone which helps keep you engaged because the audio is clear. The backyard setting offers an authenticity akin to the UGC (user-generated content) approach that a studio setting or green screen approach can't touch. But come on Amazon, you just spent $928M on Zappos. Can't you spend more on video quality?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Twitcam Goes Live on Twitter, Trumps the Competition

I had a chance to test Twitcam this past evening, the new live video streaming Twitter mash-up from Livestream (formerly Mogulus), and see firsthand what happens when live video meets Twitter. According to Livestream, Twitcam is the first application that lets Twitter users add live streaming video to their Twitter feeds with a webcam and a click of the button. was taken from concept to product in a week thanks to a soon-to-be-announced player API (application programming interface) from Livestream and trumps CamTweet, the offering by live video streaming competitor that debuted just ten days earlier at TechCrunch's Real Time Stream CrunchUp and entered in a private beta today.

Erick Schonfeld noted that,"It is a really simple, but powerful idea. So simple, in fact, that one of Justin.TV’s competitors, Livestream CEO Max Haot (who was watching the demo from New York via UStream, another live Web video competitor) decided to create the exact same product using Livestream’s new, yet-to-be released APIs."

pointed out that learned a painful lesson about being discrete with a business idea until it goes live and confirmed through a Livestream spokeswoman that Max Haot did in fact see the live demo and quickly created his own app saying, "it shows how rapidly Livestream, and technology in general, is moving."


From a user standpoint it's really easy to use and I was able to start "video Tweetcasting" within just a few minutes after a few simple steps. Twitter users need only to log in to with their existing Twitter account and a webcam and press the ‘Broadcast Live’ button. Twitcam automatically detects the camera, creates a page and live video player for the broadcast, and posts the link in the user’s Twitter feed so followers can join in live. A Livestream account is not needed and a unique Twitcam live broadcast page is created from your Twitter profile. Recent broadcasts are stored on your profile page.

Within minutes of starting my broadcast and sending my first Tweet I was joined by several friends who were able to watch my live video feed and chat with me. Thanks to @Schuras @SafetyGeeksSVI @Gennefer @spotcher and anyone else I may have missed for helping me with the test by joining the live broadcast.

From my page I could see all the Tweets centralized within a real-time chat interface. Each Tweet is created when you enter something in the live chat and the Tweets include the broadcast page URL along with a mention of your Twitter name. @Gennefer said, "It was fun! I've been wanting to check it out and assess potential use cases. Would've been perfect for #dewlabs interaction." She also thought that "Could be interesting for cooperative entertainment experiences, but I couldn't see the other viewers' posts."

There are a few issues that need work and with the open API there may be possible improvements. Not seeing each others posts is a real drawback and it would be ideal for the Tweets to be aggregated into an interface for all viewers to see. The video size of the archive recording at 320 x 240 is a little small for most applications. I also didn't embed the video in this post because the default for the video is autoplay which most people find extremely annoying. You can though see my broadcast test here.

Amit Desai listed a number or ways that both that Twitcam and CamTweet can strengthen relationships going beyond simple chat to deeper video communications for marketers, businesses, researchers, academia and families. 

Adding live video to Twitter really turns the worldwide talk show into a real live talk show. It makes the makes the conversation a real conversation with a live video stream driving the Twitter stream.

Twitcam is free and available today at

Follow Livestream (livestreamcom) on Twitter

About Livestream
Livestream ( - formerly Mogulus) provides everything needed to easily webcast live, build an engaged audience and monetize these efforts. Founded in 2007, the company is based in New York and includes Gannett Co. as a minority shareholder and investor. Producers can use Livestream to create live, linear and on-demand Internet television to broadcast anywhere on the Web through a single embeddable player widget. The service comes in two flavors: Free (ad-supported) and Premium (ad-free, white-label, higher-quality). Unique features include the ability to mix multiple live cameras, overlay graphics, and desktop streaming with 3D effects.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Streaming Media Webinar on July 30th: Video SEO - The "Reel" Story on Getting Your Online Video Discovered

There has been an increasing attention on search engine optimization (SEO) and for marketers it's the best tool for customer acquisition. There's also been a shift in how people discover video and data shows a rise in videos discovered via search engines and a slight decrease of videos discovered on social video sharing sites. According to an eMarkerter report, the spend in US search marketing will reach nearly $23.4 billion by 2013 and "marketers will be spending more on search engine optimization (SEO) than on contextual advertising." Marketers understand that SEO is crucial for their company to achieve a high search ranking in results relevant to their brand, products or services. 

In a recent post, I highlighted a presentation by my good friend Mark Robertson, Founder of ReelSEO, about the importance of SEO for video titled, Video + SEO – Not Smoke and Mirrors, Just Best Practices for E-commerce Video Publishing. Videos dominate universal search and the key is "to create unique and valuable content, and to publish that content with best practices for SEO in mind," says Mark. "Nothing works as well for SEO as creating good, unique, and valuable content." 

Mark will be sharing his opinions and expertise on video and SEO as a featured speaker along with Marcien Jenckes, Co-President of Grab Networks on an upcoming live Streaming Media Webinar produced by Streaming Media magazine and on July 30, 2009. Register now for this free web event

Also for more on Video and SEO please read Nico McLane's excellent in depth article, In Search of Video SEO That Works, in which she says, "we need to break down what VSEO really means, what it looks like, and how to devise an ROI measurement for the effort." According to Nico the secret to good video SEO strategy is in the sauce "but nobody's sharing their recipes." The article first appeared in the June/July 2009 issue of Streaming Media magazine. Click here for your free subscription. And also read Mark's follow up article on ReelSEO, In Search of Video Search Optimization that Works - Beyond the Hype, in which he reached out to Everyzing CEO, Tom Wilde, who also participated in Nico's article for more insight on the subject.


As online video distribution becomes a mainstay in today’s technological world, companies continue to struggle with how to spread video easily and profitably. When done right, video SEO is an effective tool to help achieve that goal. But the right requirements and processes remain unclear, and there are many solutions emerging that claim to be the fix.

Please join online video and search experts as they discuss the “reel” deal when it comes to video SEO. Attendees will learn best practices for optimizing videos for search, including:

  • Automating metadata extraction and analysis for SEO
  • The importance of contextual relevance and HTML content
  • Creating search-worthy URLs, titles, tags, captions and MRSS feeds
  • Exposing keywords to search engine crawlers automatically
  • Leveraging search-friendly distribution outlets like YouTube
  • Available solutions to help you maximize your video SEO efforts

From developing backlinks to automating metadata generation, this webcast will provide you with the know-how to successfully optimize your online videos for search and grow your audience.

Dan Rayburn
Streaming Media
Marcien Jenckes
Co-President Grab Networks
Mark Robertson

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Online Video Platform Summit Program Now Online, Registration is Open

I'm happy to announce that the program for the Online Video Platform Summit is now online. The registration is also now open for this two-day event held in conjunction with Streaming Media West in San Jose on November 18-19th. The Online Video Platform Summit is designed for video publishers of all types and sizes who are looking to publish content for the first time and need help with solutions and strategies. Attendees will also learn about the value that online video platforms can bring to an organization and will hear from a variety of industry leaders and see a showcase of leading online video platforms demonstrate their features and capabilities. We also have an exclusive keynote by Jeremy Allaire, CEO and Chairman of Brightcove who will discuss the future of online video. See the program below and visit the Online Video Platform Summit site for more information. I'll post more details as the speaker slots are filled.

Registration is also open for Streaming Media West and all keynotes are free to attend for both OVP Summit attendees and the general public. Dan Rayburn just announced today that Marc Whitten, the GM of the Xbox LIVE division at Microsoft will be the keynote speaker on Wednesday, November 18th which is day one of the two-day the Online Video Platform Summit. Marc joins Bill Stone, President of FLO TV and Emil Rensing, Chief Digital Officer of EPIX as the other keynote speakers for the show. Emil is the featured keynote for day two of the Online Video Platform Summit.

Help support the Online Video Platform Summit by posting a banner on your site and link to or your favorite content page on the Online Video Platform Summit site.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

9:00 AM
STREAMING MEDIA WEST KEYNOTE (open to all Online Video Platform Summit attendees)
Marc Whitten, GM, Xbox LIVE
10:30 AM
Defining Online Video Platforms and Video SaaS

There have never been more people publishing online video, and there have never been more online video platform solutions on the market. But with so many choices, it can be confusing to decide what services are right for your online video initiatives. This “lay of the land” session will set the stage for the rest of the summit, and panelists will highlight the specific value associated with the capabilities of online video platforms and video software as a service to provide attendees with a working knowledge to better publish, distribute, and monetize online video content.

11:45 AM
Online Video Platform Showcase

Come see the platforms from Kyte, VMIX, Kaltura, and Delve Networks in action, learn about their features and capabilities, and get answers to your questions from the platform providers themselves.

1:45 PM
ONLINE VIDEO PLATFORM SUMMIT KEYNOTE - Setting the Stage for 2010 and the Future of Online Video
Jeremy Allaire, Chairman and CEO, Brightcove
3:00 PM
Measuring Success

Without solid, performance-based metrics, there’s no way to measure the success and ROI of your video content. The ability to measure video traffic beyond “views”—including audience drop-off, what sites and search terms are referring viewers, and audience geography—offers content publishers deeper insight into both the viewing habits of their audience and the extent of their video’s reach. Panelists in this session will demonstrate video metrics in action and talk about what to measure, how to measure it, and how to turn those measurements into actionable business intelligence.

4:15 PM
Best Practices Round Table: Online Video Publishing Strategies and Tools

The opportunities have never been greater for businesses to promote their brands, products, and services with compelling online video content. The barriers in creating and distributing professional-quality video have been eroded with the development of affordable content creation tools and the solutions available from online video platforms. Still, if video is not one of your core competencies, it can become a costly and time-consuming effort. This session brings together leading industry professionals to discuss and demonstrate cost-effective tools, techniques, and best practices for online video publishing.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

9:00 AM
STREAMING MEDIA WEST KEYNOTE (open to all Online Video Platform Summit attendees)
Emil Rensing, Chief Digital Officer, Studio 3 Partners/EPIX
10:30 AM
Optimizing Search and Video Discoverability

Video discovery via search has seen rapid growth during the past few years with the explosive increase in the online video market. But it’s not enough to achieve a high Google ranking; making video more discoverable through video search engine optimization (SEO) is key for businesses to maximize visibility, drive traffic to their sites, and reach a targeted audience. Panelists in this session will discuss the importance of increasing user engagement with video SEO—using keywords, metadata, relevant content, media RSS, and video syndication—and social media marketing through demonstration of use-case scenarios.

11:30 AM
Online Video Platform Showcase

Come see the platforms from Multicast, Datpresenter, Sorenson 360 in action, learn about their features and capabilities, and get answers to your questions from the platform providers themselves.

2:00 PM
Redefining Monetization

Different organizations have different goals and business models when it comes to monetization. Some monetize their video content directly with advertising through pre-rolls, post-rolls, overlays, and product endorsements or by a pay-per-view or subscription model. But most organizations will benefit by using video as a way to build value by driving sales, highlighting products, expanding brand awareness, and increasing customer engagement. This panel will look at monetization and show examples of successful practices.

3:30 PM
Building Value With Real Interactivity

Video is more than just a one-way communication. At its best, it actively engages viewers in a lean-forward experience by allowing them to interact with the content in a unique way, including the ability to comment, rate, and share it across social networks; explore clickable objects within the video player; and even remix their own video responses using webcams or mobile devices. Live video streaming can offer even more functionality and an even higher level of interaction through realtime chat, live comment streams, and status updates. Our speakers will show examples of what you can do to make your video more of a targeted and personalized experience.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Streaming Media West Advanced Program Now Available! Call for Speakers Open

Now in its 11th year, Streaming Media West is the only show that covers both the business of online video and the technology of streaming, downloading, Webcasting, Internet TV, IPTV and mobile video. Covering both corporate and consumer business, technology and content issues in the enterprise, advertising, media and entertainment, broadcast and education markets, Streaming Media West 2009 combines cutting-edge exhibitors and intensive conference sessions with more than 100 speakers, giving attendees the chance to hear and see the best and the brightest minds in the online video industry—at the podium, in the Exhibit Hall, and among the fellow attendees.

The advance program for Streaming Media West scheduled November 17-19, 2009 is now completed and currently available for download as a PDF file or view it below. According to Conference Chairman Dan Rayburn, "In the next few days we'll have the entire program online and will open registration. Now that the session topics, presentations, keynote speakers and workshops have been decided upon, I have to start the task of going through the hundreds of speaking submissions and placing speakers. I have about two months to place all the 100+ speakers but typically, 75% of the speaking spots are filled in the next two weeks. If you didn't get a speaking submission in when the call for speakers was open, you need to e-mail me right away with a proposal, like today."

I'm pleased to say that I'll be planning and coordinating a session for Streaming Media West titled, "Web Television Comes of Age." It will be a panel discussion featuring producers in this growing space who will discuss what it takes to create, market and sell a web television series and debate the future success of web television. I'm working on filling the speaker slots and once that's done I'll highlight it here, so stay tuned!

Following the huge success of his year's Streaming Media East conference that had a record attendance of 3,733, Streaming Media West will be featuring the new Online Video Platform Summit, of which I'm the Co-Chair with Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen, OVPS Chair, who wrote a great article on how the success of this year's Streaming Media East conference led to the launch of the Online Video Platform Summit. I've been busy working with Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen on the agenda for the two-day featured event at Streaming Media West designed to help organizations of all types, not just those for whom video is their core business but for video publishers of all types and sizes, whether small businesses looking to publish content for the first time, independent entertainment content creators, large media organizations, or anywhere in between.

All the session descriptions have been completed and like Dan, we're sorting through all the submissions to fill the speaking spots. I'll share more as the details are finalized in the coming weeks. In the meantime, look for our Twitter updates @ovpsummit with hashtag #ovps09


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Vote for Comedy Duo Dave & Tom's "Fate of the Duel" on's Star Wars Fan Film Challenge

Longtime online sketch comedy duo Dave Beeler and Tom Konkle (better known as “Dave & Tom”) know how to make comedy and in own their words, like chocolate and peanut butter, "they are two great tastes that taste great together." Dave & Tom started performing together in 1999 in the seminal British comedy revue, Beyond the Fringe and went on to form Pith-e Productions in 2005 to create comedy content for the emerging new media of online video. With over 12 million aggregate views, their work can be seen on over 200+ web portals and their new comedy web series, Safety Geeks: SVI which chronicles a CSI-like team investigating safety accidents, leaving a swath of comedic chaos and destruction in their wake airs exclusively in hi-def on Koldcast TV.

In a recent New York Times article, Dave & Tom spoke about the success of original web television series and the rise of web video viewership and growing attention spans. Tom told Brian Stelter that, “A few years ago, three minutes ‘watching’ your computer felt like a novelty; now, it’s as familiar as your television set.”

Their latest online short "Fate of the Duel" a Star Wars parody, was selected as editor's pick on Revver and is a finalist on the Exclusive Star Wars Fan Film Challenge at There's still time to vote for their fanfilm, follow the link to the voting and look for their video at the bottom center of the page. Be sure to vote and clicking the thumbs up is not a vote for the film. The voting continues until July 10th at 12:00 noon PDT and opened on the 1st. Watch it and rate it and you'll be helping Dave & Tom make George Lucas laugh.

Star Wars: The Fate of the Duel

The video is about a lone Jedi (Dave) who is abandoned to his fate on a Sith world, where he encounters a dark Sith (Tom). Tom says this is a fan film done with great love and affection for Star Wars, one of the films that made them want to entertain for a living. He also pointed out that it is truly a two man operation. Tom directed he film with no help other than Dave. No one else was there at the video shoot. Tom set up all the shots and did all the video recording and all the sound later. When Tom was in the shot he set it up and stepped into the frame while Dave hit the record button on the camera. Tom also did all the post production editing and sound and Thor Melsted did the composites of the buildings and lightsabers.

They'll be at ComicCon International in San Diego promoting Safety Geeks:SVI and, as finalists, have been invited to the Awards Presentation by LucasFilms.

Follow Dave and Tom on Twitter:

Press inquiries:
Dave Beeler
dave [at] daveandtom dot com

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Veeple and TubeMogul Announce Distribution and Syndication Agreement

Iin another strategic partnership Veeple has announced an agreement with TubeMogul that will offer greater distribution and syndication choices for marketers, agencies and social media leaders using Veeple's Interactive Online Video (IOV) platform. The agreement allows Veeple customers the use of TubeMogul’s signature “Load and Track” service which gives users the capability to upload videos once and automatically deploy them with as many of the top video sharing sites as they want, within the users’ specified accounts. TubeMogul, in turn, will recommend Veeple as one of TubeMogul’s three primary online video platform providers. Veeple and TubeMogul expect to deliver the new capabilities by the end of July.

According to Brett Wilson, TubeMogul CEO and co-founder, “Veeple understands the needs of today’s marketer who is responsible for telling a compelling story while building a well-respected brand through the powerful tool of online video. TubeMogul is pleased to enhance Veeple’s service offering through the ability to help increase the distribution of the interactive videos that Veeple’s customers are creating.”

I asked Scott Broomfield, Veeple CEO and co-founder, about how the new partnership evolved and he said that TubeMogul found them first as their customers began to ask them about online video platforms. Veeple also saw the need for wider distribution and syndication is a key element, along with embed, url, RSS, and video SEO. Interactive works if the destination site allows embed, url or metadata tracking. This means for sites like Ning or Wordpress, but not for YouTube or Metacafe. Over time Veeple plans to add an 'onion skin' that will ride along with the InPlay API that will make everything interactive.

Broomfield added that, “Veeple is all about enhancing, engaging and measuring online video campaigns. Our customers expect not only simplicity in our service but also a platform that quickly evolves with their needs. As we evolve the Veeple service we knew that syndication was a top priority for our customers who are increasingly adding online video to their marketing mix.”

To see interactive video in action see Veeple's customer web sites

Follow Veeple and TubeMogul on Twitter
About Veeple
Veeple is the leader in simple, Interactive Online Video (IOV) solutions for marketers looking to deepen customer engagement through online video. With Veeple's cloud-computing solution people have easy access to use interactivity, full content management for multiple clients, branded player video delivery and full clickable analytics. Veeple has the solution for successful online video campaigns. Veeple is a private company headquartered in Palo Alto, California. For additional information go to

About TubeMogul
TubeMogul is the first online video analytics and distribution company serving publishers
large and small who need independent information about video performance on the Internet and automated upload to the Web's top video sharing sites. TubeMogul's analytic technology aggregates video-viewing data from multiple sources to give publishers improved understanding of when, where and how often videos are watched. TubeMogul offers tracking far beyond the traditional metric of video "views." TubeMogul InPlay, which can be activated within minutes, tracks rich viewership metrics such as audience engagement, attention span and site performance -- all in real-time.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ooyala is Focused on Personalizing the New Media Experience

In part two of my interview with Ooyala CEO and Co-founder Bismarck Lepe, he talks in more detail about how his company is expanding their offering within the online video platform market with a key focus on personalizing the consumer experience and at the same time helping their content owners build a real business. In the previous post, he described that in the new media consumption world of today the consumer is the new brand manager and is in control of what they see when they want to see it. Ooyala has analyzed where the industry is headed, based on data collected by Quantcast, and believes that the current market for online video platform is roughly of 300,000 customers who are people who are willing to pay for an online video platform. For startups within the online video space, Lepe emphasizes that you need to know how to make your customers successful and help them build their businesses.

Larry Kless: When we spoke a few months back you talked about the subscription model and your plans to roll it out in Q2. Where is that now?

Bismarck Lepe: We've already started rolling it out with a couple of sports teams as a white-label and a pay-per-view model and one of the other monetization options that we're most likely going to be adding is licensing, and actually allowing content owners to license their content out to distributors. This has definitely been as evolution. When we look the majority of the dollars being made in the offline world the majority is actually made at the licensing phase. People who are taking digital rights and buying it for a certain window and a certain region and then figuring out how to target that content and sell that content to their market. There's so much content that's being created for online that the need for that marketplace is actually pretty rich, and I think it's also very rich for people who are taking their offline content and pushing it online and creating little clips for it. So I think it's going to be another monetization opportunity for content owners that will really start helping subsidize the creation of high quality content.

Larry Kless: What's next? What are you going to build on from there in terms of expanding throughout the following quarters? What's important?

Bismarck Lepe: I think what's really important for us right now is personalization and bundling of content. Really figuring out our audience either at the profile by profile level or if we're provided any individual log in and customizing the viewing experience for each one of those viewers. One of the problems with monetization today is that most people look at it on a title by title basis. But if you can actually create these dynamic and virtual networks around an audience then you can actually get bigger ticket prices. You can almost create a hybrid subscription and monetization model that mimics a lot of what the cable industry does today. So it's this hybrid of you pay your monthly cable subscription but then you also see advertising. And lot of what we're doing right now is being able to create these dynamic networks on the fly based on the content that's flowing through the system.

Larry Kless: Can you talk about the journey? Where you started and where you're at now. I understand that initially the tools were built because of the idea to be a destination site but the tools were just so great that changed.

Bismarck Lepe: I think we've taken advantage of the fact that content owners are putting more and more of their content online and we're realizing that the content owners want to be the masters of their future and they don't necessarily want to work with individual destination sites to power all of their video. Even today although Hulu has been successful in terms of getting mindshare, I don't necessarily know if that's going to be the model that's going to work for all content owners. Because again, it's very difficult for a destination site like that to get to profitability when they're only taking a fraction of a fraction of a dollar.

Larry Kless: Hulu is a good example too of the studios doubling down on two of the screens, computer and television and an iPhone app sometime soon.

Bismarck Lepe: I think that they're are going to be successful in gaining mindshare but ultimately I think what's going to be most successful is, a lot of these individual sites are built around a specific audience base as oppose to trying to aggregate as much viewership around all of the content that's out there. Because I think the economics are just not going to work for a lot of these property owners. But we'll see, I think what Hulu has done is actually get a certain level of adoption and acceptance at the studio level that is also helping raise all ships in the video space. You know people who are providing analytic solutions, people who are providing ad serving solutions, people who are providing CDN services.

Larry Kless: Finally from the distribution standpoint for content owners they're finally able to sink their teeth into real analytics with online video versus the Nielsen ratings. In looking at your list of customers on your web site it's pretty diverse. It must feel good to be able to provide this level of service to such a wide variety of customers.

Bismarck Lepe: Yes, and in June some of the customers we signed include Warner Media that owns Rolling Stone and US magazine, the Philadelphia Eagles and even Cesar Millan "The Dog Whisperer."

You know, I'm extremely bullish on this industry as is true with most sea changes in technology or ways of thinking. There are a lot of players, there are a lot companies that try to blaze a new trail. Some of them are successful and some of them are not and I think we're now starting to see some really good traction with the people that own the content and the people who are consuming the content online.

Larry Kless: So you've built in the API structure and extensible modules. How about the pricing structure?

Bismarck Lepe: So again, were focusing on the top 300,000 publishers that are out there and we have an enterprise solution that gives big companies multi-level access and multi-level access controls to the individual pieces of content, sophisticated analytics, live streaming and at the low-end a five figure annualized deal to six figures annualized deal and then we have our self-serve product that is available to anyone and everyone that wants to publish. Obviously they need to pay an hourly basis for the content that they use but we want to make sure that we enable the building of businesses all sizes with our platform and on our platform.

Larry Kless: So what drives you? What make the company tick? Being a long distance runner, what makes you put on those shoes and run everyday in this race?

Bismarck Lepe: For me, it's making sure that we are personalizing that media experience. I should never have to see a tampax ad I should only see content that's interesting to me and the Internet allows us to do that. And more and more of video is going to be delivered over IP which means across all screens we're going to be able to personalize that experience and that's our goal. Our goal is not just to build a publishing platform but to build a personal media platform.

Larry Kless: What sort of advise would you give a startup getting into this saturated market? What are the key differentiators?

Bismarck Lepe: I think you need to know how to make your customers successful. It's not just about taking their money but it's about helping them build businesses, and the way we think we're going to help our customers build businesses is by focusing on the consumer and continuing to drive the best possible experience with our platform. Now as a business owner and starting a company, at the end of the day, as long as if you're in a good industry and you have good people it's going to be sheer force of will. As a startup you either sink or swim and that's it, there's no middle ground.

Larry Kless: In terms of your company, it seems that anytime you see news now you almost can't see a sentence that says Brightcove without seeing Ooyala in the same sentence. You also mentioned having drinks with Jeremy Allaire recently. How is it within the online video platform space? Is it a community of innovation or cut-throat competition?

Bismarck Lepe
: I think that the people who are going to be successful in this space are going to realize that there's so much opportunity out there and that at this point everyone should be focused on helping make the pie as big as we can make it, and then we'll figure out it gets divvied up. But in the near term on the higher end there actually isn't that much competition and there isn't enough business out there for everyone who is approaching it the right way.

Larry Kless: So you never take a day off, do you?

Bismarck Lepe: You know, this really isn't a job so everyday is a day off. I love what I do.

Larry Kless: So overall it sounds like it's been a good journey so far with plenty of road left to cover.

Bismarck Lepe: I've been very lucky to have great team mates, great founders, great investors and a phenomenal industry. Back when I first got a taste of this when we were working on Google's first foray into the video space with Google Video, the studios and the broadcasters weren't as receptive to testing online video initiatives. But that has definitely changed, I think everybody understands that all video will eventually be delivered over IP, that the consumer is going to be in control and that they need to come to the table and talk to startups and they themselves need to push initiative in order to be relevant 5 years from now.