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.