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