Saturday, March 27, 2010

Skytide Shares Insight for Online Video Publishers, Identify the “Sweet Spot" and What is "Good Enough"

In part two of my conversation with Roy Peterkofsky, VP of Product Management at Skytide, I asked what can publishers really get from analytics that could really help monetize their businesses. Roy suggested that businesses are waking up to the fact that the online video part of their organization does need to be a real business. He recommended that people should read Warren Buffet, because all businesses make decisions based on resource allocation. Among the core challenges facing online video publishers, is how to define the "sweet spot" and what is "good enough" when it comes to the affect that quality has on viewer engagement. Quality can be defined in terms of both quality of service (QoS) of the content delivery network, and the actual quality of the content that is produced and published online.

Some digital media companies assume that "more is better" and that the road to higher profits lies in maximizing QoS levels, thinking that it will result in higher viewer engagement levels, and in turn, more consumption of their content. Roy suggested that performace-based metrics can help with editorial and content programming decisions, whether a certain genre performs better than another. Or when data shows that viewers stop watching a 5 minute video after 2 minutes, viewer drop off can impact the production of future videos and dictate their total run time. Also, since the shelf life of a video online is pretty short – to get value out of analytics, you need to be able to use the analytics predictively.

Roy said:
"People talk frequently about the need to push higher resolutions, higher bit rates out to their customers – to be as close to HD, whatever that means in the Internet world – as they can be. But the question that remains unanswered is – is it worth it? Do you really get more viewer engagement to the extent that it drives monetization out of doing this?"
According to Skytide's customer data, there is a correlation between engagement and bit rate when it's down in the lower reaches and not good enough, people will abandon the video quickly. But once you get to a level that's good enough things really start to flatten out, and you really don't get that much added value.

So what is good enough?
"Well basically, it's kind of about if you're using the maximum capability of a typical DSL line. That seems to be good enough for most people. Above and that you're spending a lot on encoding, you're spending a lot of money on pushing out bits through your CDN – and you're not getting that much return from it."
Skytide advises that publishers measure and understand the impact of online video investments before spending the money.

See part one of my interview with Roy Peterkofsky here. You can also request a copy of Skytide's white paper Streaming Video Quality: Is more always better?

About Roy Peterkofsky, Vice President of Product Management
Roy is a seasoned software developer and marketer who specializes in turning new technology visions into marketable stories and profitable products. Before joining Skytide, Roy operated a successful product strategy and development consulting practice. Previously, he was Senior Director of Product Management at Enkata, helping transform it from a business intelligence platform company into an applications vendor. Prior to that, Roy served as Product Director at Oracle where he developed a new product that garnered $20 million of revenue in its first year. He was also a co-founder of eWorld Systems and Hawaii Superferry and a Product Manager at i2 Technologies. Roy holds a Master of Engineering degree from UC Berkeley, as well as Bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics from MIT.

Update 3/28/10: Added additional text and links to post

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Skytide Sees Big Changes Within the CDN Market, Releases Insight 2.0 Reporting & Analytics Solution for CDN Providers and Resellers

Skytide is a software-as-a-service company that provides reporting and analytics solutions for online video publishers and Content Delivery Networks. Today, the Oakland, California-based company announced the "next generation" of its Insight for CDNs reporting and analytics platform, upgraded to support what Skytide sees as "the innovative business models proliferating among CDN providers and resellers". Skytide has been around since 2004, and recently won a 2009 Streaming Media Readers' Choice Award for its Skytide Insight for Flash Video Players video analytics solution that combines viewer engagement and quality of service (QoS) metrics. Skytide's patented digital media performance management solutions pull high volume data from disparate data sources — like web analytics data, CDN logs and online video ad data — and integrates them into a single dashboard to help companies see the big picture of how their company works, and how the different parts are interrelated to each other.

According to Roy Peterkofsky, Skytide's VP of Product Management, it's all about resource allocation. Companies that publish and deliver online video need more advanced analytics that clearly detail how their content is used, in order to maximize their online video investments. While it's great to know about viewer engagement and quality of service, it's even better to know how quality of service affects viewer engagement – and how viewer engagement drives revenue, or sometimes not. I recently spoke with Roy about the latest release of Insight 2.0 and the significant changes his company is seeing within the content delivery space.

Roy said that:
    "One of the things we're seeing is really a change in the whole digital media supply chain – where a lot of companies are going to be entering the CDN space and doing so with innovative business models. So probably 6 months or a year ago, everybody thought the CDN market was commoditizing and was going to consolidate and there's only going to be two or three or four big ones left – but interestingly enough for various reasons we're seeing a lot of new companies enter the field, often they're Telcos.

    Telcos, they really own the network that the Akamais and Limelights of the worlds are operating under. So, flashback to 10 years ago to Web 1.0, the original dot-com boom, the disintermediation was big then because it was all about using the web to eliminate middle men. So if you're a Telco and you've got the Akamais and Limelights of the world making money off of your network, wouldn't you want to know – why can't I be taking the margin for myself? Why don't I disintermediate that CDN?" 
    But the way Skytide sees it – it goes way beyond that, and it's really a dramatic change and disruption within the ecosystem with cable operators wanting to do TV Everywhere, Telcos moving into the CDN business, the rise of P2P networks, and what used to be an ISP can be a CDN,  or a CDN can be a conent aggregator and what used to be a publisher can be a pure content factory without its own website. Skytide is seeing it all and working with many companies that have projects that are so secret, they don't even know about them yet but they are providing the reporting and analytics for many of them.

    Skytide President & CEO, Michael O’Donnell also pointed out that “seismic changes are afoot in the content delivery arena" and that Skytide's new offering will help those companies emerging to challenge CDNs hold on the content delivery market. He said:
    "Those entering the space will need a reporting & analytics solution that can accommodate evolving business models and handle the massive amounts of data that CDNs generate — something that Skytide is uniquely capable of handling out of the box.”
    Among the new Skytide Insight Version 2.0 features are:
    • Custom Dimensions: Content delivery networks, CDN resellers and their customers and business partners can now measure traffic distribution by any desired attribute; for example, by content categories, customer types or service types.
    • ISP / Business Partner Portal: Content delivery networks and resellers can stay on top of rapidly changing business models by providing business partners - like bandwidth suppliers, content owners or syndicators - with their very own reporting portals.
    These new features augment Skytide's existing CDN reporting & analytics capabilities, including more than 144 distinct reports that can be used to isolate and correct service quality issues, forecast traffic and provision capacity, justify pricing and ensure accurate billing.

    Not all data that CDNs provide to their customers is accurate, and Skytide has found that in some cases that data is incorrect. Roy cited a few examples where data from their system when compared to an unnamed CDN, helped in one case, improve video start up times of content in a certain Asian country that had been unnecessarily rerouted through a POP in an entirely different continent. In another case, a certain type of content that was licensed only in the U.S. found that 20% of the views came from outside the U.S. Skytide's data helped the customer close the leak of the geo-blocked content that this specific CDN missed.

    Stay tuned for part two of my interview with Roy Peterkofsky where he further the discusses the changing CDN space, and how publishers can benefit from analytics to better monetize their businesses.

    About Skytide
    Founded in 2004, Skytide provides Digital Media Performance Management to leading digital media companies and content delivery providers with the most complete view of their operations, delivering the information necessary to make better-informed business decisions. Only Skytide's software-as-a-service and on-premise solutions can process massive amounts of disparate data sources - including CDN log files, ad insertion logs, and web analytics data - and consolidate them into a single 360° view. Skytide is venture-backed and works with leading digital media and technology companies including: Accenture subsidiary, Origin Digital; Cisco; Clear Channel Communications; Comcast subsidiary, thePlatform; IBM; MTV Networks and Qwest. Press Contact: Patrick Hurley, 510-435-9865
    Skytide has a series of white papers that you can request on download here.

    Saturday, March 20, 2010

    Kaltura and Partners Bringing Video to Wikipedia, Launch New Web Sites to Promote HTML5 Open Video Standard

    Amidst the format wars being waged in the press, on the web and mobile devices – open video, and the HTML5 video standard, continue to gain traction in the market. Just this week, Microsoft announced that Internet Explorer 9 will support HTML5 and native playback of H.264 video within the next version of the browser. Both YouTube and Vimeo also recently announced support of HTML5, which enables publishers to serve video directly into compatible browsers without the need of an external plug-in, using the simple "video" tag. While H.264 is emerging as a possible encoding standard for online video, the Open Video Alliance is pushing the free and open video cdec Ogg Theora.

    Open source video platform Kaltura, together with the Wikimedia Foundation, the Open Video Alliance and other partners, unveiled new initiatives to promote the HTML5 video standard, including two new websites – Let’s Get Video on Wikipedia  and Both sites serve as community and industry resources and have been launched as part of a mass campaign to bring video to Wikipedia. The Wikimedia Foundation believes that two things need to change for video on the web: video needs to break out of the Flash container and it needs to be in a free format without paying licensing fees. Let's Get Video on Wikipedia provides simple instructions on how to convert and upload video to Wikipedia.

    Kaltura launched as an industry resource for all things HTML5 video-related, including news, technology demos and more. In addition, Kaltura has released its HTML5 Media Library – already in use by Wikipedia – that works in all major browsers and includes a full set of HTML5 video tools – video and audio players, uploader and editor.

    video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

    In this video, Kaltura CEO and Chairman Ron Yekutiel discusses how Kaltura has been working with the Open Video Alliance and the Wikimedia Foundation to bring open video to Wikipedia.

    According to Ron:
    "One of the biggest or most important releases in our near future, is our project with Wikipedia, with the Foundation. Which would basically turn the largest encyclopedia today available on the web, from a simple text encyclopedia into a rich environment. We, using Kaltura and the Foundation will enable the mass peer-produced creation of rich media, similar to how it's produced today by way of text.

    So where people can create today an entry in Wikipedia, each one contributing a sentence, or a comma, or a word – in the future, in the next few months to come, people will together be able to sit back and create video clips, slide shows, each one potentially contributing only a picture. Imagine an event like Hurricane Katrina hitting, with so people running around with Flip cameras being to contribute what they had just found, and somebody with the tutorial skills being able to put it together with all of the back monitoring and filtering processes of Wikipedia to make sure that the best of breed product is at the end. So this is one example and we're very excited about the Open Video Alliance.

    And, I think that beyond letting the words of few be out there, it is about grabbing the pictures. You know they say that, a photo is worth a thousand words, and in 30 frames per second, what that means is that a video clip is worth a 30,000 words. So if you democratize one video clip, you've just democratized 30,000 words."
    The goal of the open video movement is to democratize video through open standards, open source, and open content. Wikipedia is the biggest site yet to implement fully open video with no dependency on proprietary video codecs or any commercial vendor for video ingestion, transcoding, playback, annotation and editing.

    Kaltura’s HTML5 video solution allows publishers to use HTML5 video today without having to worry about specific browser, format and codec support – with a fallback mechanism that serves up videos regardless of their browser, and format of the video. Wikimedia will be using the Kaltura HTML5 media library to enable rich collaborative video on the site. This includes use of the Kaltura video player, sequencer, client side transcoder, uploader and asset location system. Kaltura says that HTML5 video player will soon support all advanced video management capabilities, including analytics and monetization, making it commercially viable on devices like the iPhone and iPad that don't support Flash.

    More details on the new initiatives:

    Let’s Get Video on Wikipedia is a collaboration of three non-profit organizations – Miro, The Open Video Alliance and Mozilla Drumbeat – devoted to open video and free sharing of knowledge. Wikipedia video is powered by the Kaltura HTML5 media library.

    Kaltura HTML5 Video Solution: Kaltura has developed a full HTML5 Video Library, and is in the process of fully integrating it into the Kaltura Open Source Online Video Platform that is already in use by more than 52,000 sites. Kaltura's HTML5 video solution - in use by Wikipedia - works in all major browsers by using a unique 'fallback' mechanism while maintaining a single look & feel. The player is easy to skin and extend with plugins and other add-ons. The media library also includes an audio player, media uploader tool and online video editor. Learn more and download the library: A new website dedicated to the topic of HTML5 video. The site includes live demos of HTML5 video players including the Kaltura HTML5 video solution, industry news and resources, an invitation to the community to get involved and more. See more at

    About Kaltura
    Kaltura provides the world's first Open Source Online Video Platform. Over 52,000 web publishers, service providers, and developers use Kaltura’s flexible platform to enhance their websites, web-services, and web-platforms with advanced customized video, photo and audio functionalities, including publishing, management, syndication, monetization and analysis, as well as content uploading and remixing. The free community-supported self-hosted software and source-code is available for download at A commercial version of the software can be obtained at along with Kaltura services such as streaming, hosting, transcoding, analytics, ad serving, support and maintenance packages, and professional development. Founded in 2006, New York-based Kaltura is also a founding member of the ‘Open Video Alliance’ (, a coalition of organizations dedicated to fostering open standards for online video.

    Update 3/20/10 3:52 PM PT: Video transcript and Kaltura player added to post 

      Monday, March 15, 2010

      KIT digital Acquires Multicast Media for Approx. $18 Million, Online Video Platform Consolidation Heats Up

      In a move that further consolidates its IP-based video assets, KIT digital, Inc., will acquire online video platform Multicast Media Technologies, Inc. for approximately $18 million, comprised of $4.9 million in cash and 1.3 million shares of KIT digital common stock, plus approximately $4.6 million in assumed debt. This is KIT digital's sixth acquisition in recent years, following the purchases of Narrowstep, Visual Connection, Morpheum, Kamera, The Feedroom and Nunet (of which both The Feedroom and Nunet brands were both acquired and retired in late 2009), and this deal follows a $15 Million equity offering that KIT Digital closed just week.

      KIT digital is based in Prague, Czech Republic and is known as a leading global provider of on-demand software solutions for managing and monetizing Internet Protocol (IP)-based video assets. It now adds Multicast Media's live event broadcasting, Internet video management and targeted multimedia communications business to its portfolio. The acquisition further expands KIT Digital's U.S. customer base which in 2009, nearly 1,000 organizations used Multicast's hosted solutions to broadcast 50,000 live events and serve more than 250 million video streams.

      The deal is set to close at the end of this month, and according to the release several Multicast executives will be appointed to KIT digital's global management team. For now, Multicast's 90+ employees will continue to be based out of Atlanta, Georgia, which will become KIT digital's hub for client delivery in both North and South America.

      KIT digital's chairman and CEO, Kaleil Isaza Tuzman affirmed their stake in the North American online video market. In the press release issued today, he noted:
      "Multicast complements and substantially expands our North American client base, as well as our capabilities in serving video to the 'three screens' of the mobile device, browser and IP-enabled television... While KIT digital has achieved the leading market share position for enterprise-class IP video management on a global basis, the acquisition of Multicast now makes us the clear number one provider in North America, and strengthens our dominance in the global arena." 
      Multicast's clients include government, non-profit and faith-based organizations, as well as a number of Fortune 500 companies, including ncluding FedEx, The Knot, Home Box Office, The Christian Science Publishing Society,, and AstraZeneca. Multicast earns an estimated $12 million a year recurring licensing fees for its IP video management software, and additional professional services revenues. Multicast's online video platform, Media Suite, is an end-to-end solution for live and on-demand IP video and multimedia presentations. Multicast was recently awarded first place for Streaming Media Magazine's 2009 Readers' Choice award in the "Transcoding SaaS" category and also sponsored and participated in the Online Video Platform Summit.

      According to Multicast Media Founder and CEO Lou Schwartz, the privately-held Atlanta, Georgia-based company had not been looking for a buyer. Schwartz commented:
       "As a profitable and long-term player in the IP video platform industry, we had numerous strategic options. We are excited to be teaming up with the global leader in IP video management and are confident that our collective strength will yield exceptional value and benefits for our newly combined customer base."
      In a post today on, Ben Homer acknowledged that KIT digital has come a long way since it's embattled days as ROO. He noted that three years ago the company was headed to the Deadpool, but since Kaleil Isaza Tuzman was installed in December 2007, the company has rebounded to become a viable player within the online video market. KIT Digital earned $47 million in revenue in 2009, and forecasts a 60 percent growth to more than $75 million in 2010. Time will tell if Multicast Media will become a strong component in KIT digital's global growth strategy, or if it will follow the same recent fate as Nunet and The Feedroom.


      Sunday, March 14, 2010

      Have You Taken the 2010 Video Marketing Quiz? EyeView Tests Your Video Marketing Skills

      According to EyeView, an effective video experience is the best way to increase conversion. Since it was founded in 2007, the Tel Aviv-based company has specialized in online video content creation, marketing and conversion as B2B solution for big name customers that include Google, Yahoo!, HP, and eBay. They've learned a lot about how video performs as marketing tool, and decided to share the data in a fun way using social media. This past week, EyeView launched its 2010 Video Marketing Quiz which follows up on the success of last years quiz, which you can still take here, and showcases some of the results of optimization tests that EyeView has performed for its clients.


      The quiz is composed of five questions that challenges your video marketing instincts. Each question compares two videos side-by-side and asks you to choose which one had a higher conversion rate.
      1. Still image vs. video
      2. Dynamic Call-to-Action pointers
      3. Launch triggers
      4. Auto-play vs. Press-to-play
      5. British accent vs. American accent
      All comparison data was collected during A/B tests where 50 percent of the incoming traffic would see one version of the page and the remaining 50 percent would see an alternative version. In each case EyeView's customers saw the conversion rate for particular landing pages increase by as much as 85 percent. The question that pitted two videos with voice-overs by British and American accents, was a way to discover whether the old adage about everything sounding smarter in an English accent translated into increased conversions – and the results were surprising.

      According to Tal Riesenfeld, Co-Founder and VP Marketing for EyeView:
      “The quiz is a fun way to expose marketers to the proven concept that video solutions increase conversion and generate greater profits. Etailers have already woken up to this idea with early adopters like committing resources to video, but we are also seeing companies from the financial, software, lead generation and gaming sectors benefiting from the improved performance video offers.”
      Daniel Sevitt, EyeView’s Director of Corporate Communications, told me that people really love the quiz and while they're a B2B company, they love using social media to connect with peers and consumers. EyeView’s previous Video Marketing Quiz included a book giveaway of Chris Brogan's New York Times bestseller, Trust Agents, and EyeView returned to the microblogging network again for their 2010 quiz. Everyone who completes the quiz is invited to tweet their results with a simple in-game link. The quiz launched at 10 am ET on Wednesday May 10, 2010, and EyeView randomly gave away five vouchers ($20 each) every hour for the first eight hours to anyone tweeting their score and helping spread the word about the quiz.

      You can also download the answer key once you've completed the quiz to see how well you scored.

      [Disclaimer: I actually won a $20 voucher after Tweeting my score, but I have no financial interests in EyeView, nor is this a sponsored post.]

      About EyeView
      Founded in 2007, EyeView is the leading provider of video solutions for performance advertisers with offices in Boston and Tel Aviv. The company has assembled a dedicated team with a wealth experience from leading companies, such as Google, YouTube, and HP. Among EyeView’s clients are eBay, Yahoo!, LendingTree and many SMBs around the world.

      Friday, March 12, 2010

      NAB 2010 Special Giveaway for Destination Broadband, The Online Video Experience

      The NAB Show has a history of over 80 years, and brings together attendees from all over the world – from content holders to broadcasting and movie industries and manufacturers of broadcasting equipment and software/hardware. The show has evolved over the years as broadband and mobile networks have eroded the old power of the traditional broadcast models.  The new focus is on broadband video, digital media, online content, IPTV, widgets and social media. This year at the 2010 NAB Show, the annual trade show produced by of the National Association of Broadcasters will include a new conference and exhibit area focusing on advances and applications for broadband technology. Destination Broadband and the Broader-casting Conference are the newest broadband-centric additions to the NAB Show coming up April 10-15 in Las Vegas.

      I have a special registration code for the readers of this blog, giving you access to the show – a $150 value - for FREE. This special pass includes the exhibit floor, the Opening Keynote and State of the Industry Address, Info Sessions, Content Theater, Destination Broadband Theater and Exhibits. All readers need to do is register at with the code A913.

      Destination Broadband, will feature more than 50 leading-edge companies and a presentation theater, with three days of conference sessions focusing on back end infrastructure to revolutionary technologies for the home. A pavilion within Destination Broadband will feature three specialized areas - Broadband Innovations, Mobile Solutions and Broadband Lifestyles, a living room-like setting for consumer products and services. The pavilion will comprise more than 25 companies showcasing the latest in content delivery network solutions, online video, IPTV, video streaming and advertising and monetization platforms enabled by broadband.

      Also located within Destination Broadband, the Destination Broadband Theater, sponsored by Ambrado, Inc., will offer informative discussions, case studies, research and top level insights on delivering and monetizing broadband content. The power panels featuring "Bits and Bytes" segments will also address how the evolution of broadband is changing traditional content distribution. The Destination Broadband Theater is co-produced by the Society of Satellite Professionals InternationalWorld Teleport Association, VideoNuze, The New Media Minute, Interactive Television Alliance (ITA) and other industry experts. Will Richmond and Daisy Whitney will be among the many industry voices that will be heard.

      ITA President Ben Mendelson said:
      "It's terrific to see the NAB Show stepping up to meet the challenges brought by the digital revolution. Not only is the venerable show adapting, it's aggressively pursuing innovations on the floor and in the conference. Clearly, the NAB Show intends to expand its relevance within the 21st Century television and media landscape."
      Also debuting at the NAB Show, the New Broader-casting conference gathers leading media executives, content creators and technicians for an in-depth examination of the intersection of creativity, technology and developing business models. Programming streams include a Business of Media, Creative and Technology track.
      • The Business of Media Track offers keynotes, topic-driven panels and case studies devoted to uncovering the strategies and business of digital media.
      • The Creative Track provides a sampling of in-depth curriculums provided by NAB Show partners and is specially designed for talented professionals from the entertainment industry.
      • The Technology: Broadband and Telecom 2010 covers most recent developments in standards in technologies driving the broadcast entertainment and information media industries with a focus on IPTV and broadband.

      Register here or View the schedule.

      The NAB Show is about Content, Digital Asset Management/IT Workflow Technologies, Motion Capture, Digital Signage, Online Video, Gaming, Social Media, Advertising, Film, Video, Set Top Boxes, Radio, Streaming, Distribution, Content Monetization, Broadband, Mobile, Broadband Networks, Animation, IP, HDTV, 3D, Editing, Production, Post-Production, Software, Widgets, and much much more. Plus it's in Las Vegas! ;-)

      Twitter – NAB Show (NABShow) on Twitter
      Facebook -
      LinkedIn - NAB Show - Where Content Comes to Life group | LinkedIn

      NAB Show Fast Facts
      • More than 85,000 audio, video and film content professionals
      • 157 countries represented
      • $30 billion in purchasing power
      • 500+ conference and training sessions
      • 1,500+ exhibiting companies and 800,000+ net square feet of exhibit space
      • 1,300+ members of the press
      • 82 years of industry leadership
      About NAB
      The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at

      Wednesday, March 10, 2010

      Kyte Releases Kyte LivePro Unwired, Live Mobile Broadcasting Backpack

      Online video, mobile and social platform Kyte has announced the upcoming release of a new product today called Kyte LivePro Unwired that enables high quality live video streaming from a battery-operated wireless backpack. The San Francisco-based company has teamed up with LiveU, makers of hand-held video uplink devices, to offer this as an add-on component to the Kyte Platform. The product is identical to the Livepack which was launched by Livestream last September also through a partnership with LiveU – aimed at replacing expensive satellite trucks with a mobile broadcast solution.

      Kyte LivePro Unwired is a portable device small enough to fit into a backpack and includes six load-balanced 3G/EVDO modems for redundancy over three carriers (AT&T, Verizon and Sprint) with data plans are that covered within the price. It allows you to go anywhere with a complete roaming camera setup with data rates at 700-1000 Kbps. Any video camera with a FireWire (IEEE 1394) output can be used and video can be live-streamed directly to any online Kyte Player and also available for on-demand online and mobile viewing.

      In this video, Kyte CEO Daniel Graf demonstrates the new product to Techcrunch editor Erick Schonfeld. Kyte will be debuting Kyte LivePro Unwired at SXSW this weekend and in conjunction with the launch, SPIN Magazine will be using the technology for live coverage and behind the scenes from SXSW music. Graf says that most mobile video solutions can only acheive 200 Kbps and Kyte LivePro Unwired offers TV quailty with streams up to 1 Mbps.

      In the press release Graf added:
      “As we’ve seen with a number of recent news events, the cycle of reporting is getting smaller and the public is thirsty for footage from places that would be impossible or costly to access through traditional broadcast means. Kyte LivePro Unwired gives content producers an edge over the competition by making it easy and cost effective to broadcast high quality live video to online audiences."

      Graf added that the product ideal for for brands, agencies and media companies.

      No release of costs yet, but Livestream's similar offering has a month-to-month rental without commitment of $2,500 per month, and yearly rental is $1,500 per month plus shipping.

      About Kyte
      Kyte is the online, mobile and social video platform for live and on-demand content. The Kyte Platform enables media companies, brands and organizations to deeply engage audiences through 360 degree social video experiences. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with offices in New York, London, Hamburg and Zurich. Customers include ABC, Armani Exchange, Clear Channel, ESPN, Fox News, HomeAway, MTV, Monster Energy, NATO, NBA Digital, Nokia, Tyra Banks, and others

      Tuesday, March 9, 2010

      Seawell Announces $7 Million in Series A Funding, for "Next Generation" H.264 Scalable Video Coding (SVC)

      I had an opportunity to speak with Seawell Networks CEO Brian Collie the other day about how his company is coming out of stealth mode and ready to make a splash in the online video market – starting today with their first public announcement of a $7 million Series A round of investment, including the conversion of seed funding. The Toronto, Canada-based software company was founded in 2008 and provides Internet video delivery products for content producers and their content delivery partner organizations. SeaWell leverages video compression standard, H.264 scalable video coding (SVC), which they see as the next generation of video streaming.

      H.264 SVC is standards‐based technology that enables adaptive distribution of multiple streams to a range of target platforms with much greater efficiency and granularity. Instead of producing separate streams, the SVC encoder converts the source into layers in an "encode once serve many" model. The SVC stream is comprised of Base, Clarity and Size layers and each layer adds information to the lower layers, rather than just duplicating information into multiple bit rates. This allows multiple bit rates to be derived from a single file with a little headroom of only 10 to 20% larger than the highest bit rate required, and up to 1024 unique layers are allowed within the standard.

      H.264 SVC been applied to the videoconferencing and surveillance industries and as Brian Collie noted, his company saw it as a perfect fit for dealing with the issues of video delivery to multiple platforms. Seawell has a 5-page white paper, "The Next Generation of Adaptive Streaming on H.264 SVC" on the benefits of H.264 SVC which you can request here.

      Brian Collie is a self-described serial entrepreneur with previous successful startups, and he believes that his company's technology is a game-changing innovation. While he couldn't name any names due to Non-Disclosure Agreements, he said that they are working with some of the biggest content producers in North America, and CDNs and Telcos are also looking at the technology. Those announcements will be made later in the year, not necessarily as endorsements for Seawell, as Collie noted, but as endorsements for this new way of thinking about what they call "next generation adaptive streaming."

      Since Seawell is not an online video platform or CDN, they are not trying to compete within the space – and while Collie says he's not naive to think that they will be the only one in the space – to his knowledge they are the first to pioneer this technology for optimizing and delivering Internet-ready video content with TV-like viewing experiences across platforms.

      Online video veteran Andy Beach, author of Real World Video Compression, has joined Seawell as Chief Evangelist and Kris Alexander from Akamai and Richard Mavrogeanes founder of VBrick Systems, Inc. have both joined Seawell's advisory team. The company has some great momentum, according to Collie, who says that we're seeing just the tip of the iceberg right now in adaptive streaming and that typically ever two or three years there is a breakthrough. He predicted that many of the players within the video space that have adopted H.264 AVC will embrace H.264 SVC for its scalable platform.

      Seawell's funding was led by BDC Venture Capital, the round also included Northwater Intellectual Property Fund and Ontario Centres of Excellence. SeaWell will use the funds to expand business development and marketing efforts. Seawell will be making more announcements in the coming months and will be demonstrating their technology at the NAB show next month and at Streaming Media East in May.


      Saturday, March 6, 2010

      Duarte Design's Five Rules for Making Presentations that Don't Suck

      Everyone on some level must hate PowerPoint, because it evokes the image of endless hours slide boredom and train wreck presentations. PowerPoint first appeared in the mid-1980s and became the De facto standard for business presentations competing against early players like Aldus Persuasion and Harvard Graphics. Over the years it's become one of the most abused pieces of software because, in essence, it's a design tool for presentations and not everyone is good designer. But there are people out there who are trying to make a change and save the world from "Death by Powerpoint". Garr Reynolds and Nancy Duarte are two that come right mind as they have built their businesses and brands on creating inspirational presentation designs.

      Nancy Duarte is author of slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations, and CEO of Duarte Design, the firm that was created Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth presentation. This video, Duarte’s Five Rules for Creating World-Changing Presentations, expands on the trailer that was included in the release of Microsoft Office 2010 Public Beta last fall and was created using PowerPoint 2010.

      Rather than look at this video as a marketing tool for Duarte Designs (which it does a great job at doing) – consider this as a public service announcement.

      Nancy Duarte shared the 5 Rules in a guest post, 5 Tips on Getting PowerPoint to Sing! on the The PowerPoint Team Blog:

      "The foundation of the script came from the Manifesto: The Five Theses of the Power of a Presentation from our book slide:ology which are:
      1. Treat Your Audience as King: They didn’t come to your presentation to see you. They came to find out what you can do for them. Make it clear what they are to do.
      2. Spread Ideas and Move people: Communicate your ideas with strong visual grammar to engage all their senses and they will adopt the ideas as their own.
      3. Help The Audience See What You’re Saying: Guide your audience through ideas in a way that helps, not hinders their comprehension. Appeal not only to their verbal senses, but to their visual senses as well.
      4. Practice design, Not Decoration: Don’t just make pretty talking point. Instead, display information in a way that makes complex information clear.
      5. Cultivate Healthy Relationships: Display information in the best way possible for comprehension rather than using slides as a crutch." - from The PowerPoint Team Blog : 5 Tips on Getting PowerPoint to Sing!

      Thursday, March 4, 2010

      Online Video Platforms Roundtable with Delve Networks, Kaltura, Kyte and Ooyala, Streaming Media Webinar on March 11, 2010

      It was almost a year ago that Streaming Media magazine and hosted their first Online Video Platform Roundtable, and since then the number online video platform providers have grown, along with the exponential growth of online video ecosysem. Over the last few years, online video platforms have evolved to provide a wide array of capabilities for businesses as an outsourced video solution for content management, encoding, advertising, syndication and monetization. According to the The Forrester Wave™: US Online Video Platforms, Q4 2009, an evaluation of six leading online video platform vendors, "71% of the US online audience watches video on the Internet, and the number of streams consumed should more than double by 2013", so whether you're a large media publisher or a small retailer, every organization needs a video strategy and online video platforms power video for an organization.

      For many businesses, launching an online video portal can be challenging when you don't know what you need to power your video. You may have existing assets and infrastructure, databases, tracking methods, proprietary builds, or you may be starting from scratch. Most companies don't have in-house creative or technical teams, and are faced with the question of build vs. buy vs. free online video solutions. The Online Video Platform Summit addressed many of the needs of the growing population of video publishers looking for solutions to publish their online video content. It's interesting to note that three of the four presenters on this webinar, Alex Castro, Bismarck Lepe and Ron Yekutiel, were also speakers on our opening Online Video Platform Summit session, Defining Online Video Platforms, which was also moderated by Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen. Additionally, all four companies on this webinar presented their platforms as part of the two Online Video Platform Showcases.

      Last month, I covered the Online Video Platform Summit in depth with a series of posts that included videos from each session and related commentary. I listed links to those posts below the announcement for this upcoming free webinar, which is an event you'll not want to miss.

      Register now for this FREE live Web broadcast
      THURSDAY MARCH 11th, 2010 • 11am PT / 2pm ET

      Online video platforms are moving towards the center of the video universe. But with so many on the market, it can be difficult to determine what features you need and which platform will work best for you.

      This roundtable will help you make an informed decision based on your organization's needs, whether you're a small business, independent content creator, educational institution, enterprise, large media organization, or anywhere in between. Speakers will address a wide range of topics including user experience, customization, monetization, syndication, metrics, and live vs. on-demand video. Most importantly, they'll take attendee questions so you can get the answers you need to make the right purchasing and deployment decisions.

      Join this Roundtable Webcast to learn about:

      • Use of video for internal, B2B, and B2C communications
      • Real-world examples of successful video use cases
      • Increasing viewer engagement with interactivity and social media
      • The pros and cons of live vs. on-demand video
      • Using video for marketing, branding, ecommerce, education, training, and more
      • Delivering video to mobile devices

      Reserve quickly —space is limited. Audio is streamed over the Internet, so turn up your computer speakers!



      Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen
      Streaming Media


      Alex Castro
      CEO and Co-founder
      Delve Networks

      Gannon Hall
      Chief Operating Officer

      Bismark Lepe
      Co-founder and President of Products

      Ron Yekutiel
      Chairman and CEO

      Update: Be sure to check out Jan Ozer's new article on
      • Choose Wisely: Selecting An Online Video Platform - Today, if streaming video is at all integral to your enterprise, and if you're currently hosting your own videos or posting them to user-generated content (UGC) sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, it's time to consider using an online video platform. - Thurs., Feb. 25, by Jan Ozer

      Online Video Platform Summit posts:

      Monday, March 1, 2010

      And the Nominees Are... The 2nd Annual Streamy Awards Nominees Announced Today

      The 2nd annual Streamy Awards, celebrating the best in web television from 2009, announced their official nominees this morning in a live webcast via Ustream. Now in its second year, the Streamy Awards includes a total of 35 categories of web series honoring overall series, directing, writing, acting and craft awards. 12 new Streamy Awards categories reflecting technology advancements and creative innovations embraced by the web television community this past year have been added to the 2010 program – including awards for Live Production, Foreign Series, Vlogging, Interactive Experience, Branded Entertainment, and Mobile Experience. The nominees were selected by the Academy of Web Television (IAWTV), a member-run non-profit organization comprised of leaders and stakeholders within the growing web television industry, and the official presenting body behind the Streamy Awards.

      According to Marc Hustvedt, Tubefilter News Editor and Streamy Awards Executive Producer, Academy voters had their hands full this year in pairing down the submission of some 2,000 web shows from over 100 different countries. Last year’s inaugural Streamy Awards received over 100,000 unique public submissions from over 89 countries, hundreds of thousands of votes for 10 Audience Choice Award Finalists, and a groundswell of support from both the traditional and new media communities. See Marc's post on Tubefilter News for a summary of this years nominees.

      While many of the nominees were predictable based on both the star power and popularity, with returning nominees like The Guild and Legend of Neil, I was glad to see that two of my favorite web series, Safety Geeks: SVI and The Web.Files each made it into a category. Liz Shannon Miller noted that this years nominees included celebrities, underdogs and our very own Avatar in the form of The Bannen Way from the Sony Pictures' web television network Crackle. She pointed out the dilemma that The Streamy Awards will probably always have:
      "to find the right balance between celebrating homegrown heroes, helping lesser-known talent get new recognition, and honoring the Hollywood influx that has increased the medium’s profile. But that very dilemma is itself a larger metaphor for the current state of this industry. The intrusion of old media into new media is an issue we all go back and forth on, I think."
      The live Awards Ceremony will be live broadcast online on Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 7:30 PM at The newly formed 90-member International Academy of Web Television completed the first round of selections of nominees in 24 categories. The video in this post is a replay of today's announcement with Shira Lazar and Jim Festante who announced 10 of the 35 categories of official nominees for the 2nd Annual Streamy Awards, that included:
      • Best Comedy Web Series
      • Best Drama Web Series
      • Best Hosted Web Series
      • Best News or Documentary Web Series
      • Best Companion Web Series
      • Best Male Actor in a Drama Web Series
      • Best Female Actor in a Drama Web Series
      • Best Male Actor in a Comedy Web Series
      • Best Female Actor in a Comedy Web Series
      • Best Guest Star in a Web Series
      Click here for the full list of Streamy Award nominees

      Congratulations to all the nominees!

      About The Streamy Awards
      Presented by the International Academy of Web Television, the Streamy Awards recognize excellence in global web television programming for broadband distribution across 35 creative categories, from acting and directing, to editing and special effects. Members of the International Academy of Web Television review shows submitted through a free, public submissions process and vote on the final nominees and winners for each category. The Audience Choice Award for Best Web Television Series is selected by members of the public. Winners of the 2nd Annual Streamy Awards will be announced on April 11, 2010 at the Streamy Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles, CA. Founded in 2009, the Streamy Awards are co-hosted by a consortium of new media companies including Tubefilter Inc.( and NewTeeVee ( For more information, visit, follow @streamyawards on Twitter and become a Fan at