Monday, June 21, 2010 Sees the Future of Video Encoding in the Cloud

At Streaming Media East 2010, I spoke with Jeff Malkin, President of, to hear about how his company's cloud-based encoding business model works, and how the company and customer base has shaped up over the last year and half. According to Malkin, is the world's largest encoding service, which he says both seriously and facetiously – and described his company as the dominant player in the encoding SaaS (Software as a Service) space, which he admits is a new and emerging space.

Since its launch in September 2008, San Francisco-based has delivered over 6 million encoded videos, and encodes an average of 30,000 videos per day for its growing customer base. With more than 700 customers, powers the encoding and transcoding services of many leading video publishers and platforms including Cisco Eos, MTV Networks, WebMD, CarDomain, MySpace, Nokia, Kaltura, Vzaar and Giant Realm. While their roster of customers are impressive, Malkin admits that he's most excited by the various use cases of how their customers are applying the service, for media and publishing, user generated content, online education, news and information – just to name a few.

Before came along, Malkin says that most companies invested a lot capital expense into infrastructure and teams to manage in-house encoding requirements. helps solve the "build vs. buy" conundrum by offering a SaaS model that leverages cloud infrastructure through an XML API.  The company is the only video encoding SaaS provider integrated with both EC2 and Cloud Servers, with storage choices with Rackspace and Amazon.

He maintains that makes it easy at a very high level:
"You tell us where the source file is located – that can be at a CDN, cloud storage, secure FTP –  the one or many ways you want each file to be transcoded, and where do you want us to deliver it to. Which is 9 out of 10 times to your CDN for serving." 

Malkin described's value through cost-savings, quality, and a scalable solution:
"By approaching the market this way, we solve some critical pain points for our customers. Number one is this instant notion of infinite scalability. No longer do you need to worry about making these large investments up front or being able to predict your video encoding requirements. There's this notion of having to manage this in-house – as many of us know in the video encoding space, video encoding is somewhat of a black art, there's lots of errors that occur, it's not really a science yet – and by outsourcing it to an automated platform such as, it's our job to manage that effort for you, and as you know, stay on top of the latest and greatest of the technologies that continue to evolve." supports all the major and emerging web and mobile media formats, including Apple's HTTP streaming and Google's new open source WebM format. In a guest post for VideoNuze, Malkin offered some insight and advise on how to navigate the video format wars.  With confusion in the online video marketplace with HTML5/H.264 vs. Flash vs. Silverlight vs. WebM, he says it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

According to Malkin:
"While both H.264 and VP8 are good quality codecs, only VP8 is currently royalty-free and therefore, has a great opportunity to emerge as the new leader within the next year or two. However, for web distribution today, we recommend encoding your videos using the H.264 video codec in an .mp4 container. This is a high-quality output format already supported by Flash, and the leading HTML5 browsers including Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer v9."
Malkin says that the mastermind behind is his partner, Greggory Heil,'s Founder and CEO, and for him it was born out of necessity. Heil was running a software company focused on building and managing user-generated video sites, and wanted to streamline the incompatibility issues he kept running into with encoding and ingesting of video content. He found only expensive hardware solutions on the market and saw an opportunity to fill a gap in the market using his background in product development and application hosting services. Heil relaunched as a SaaS video encoding platform in September 2008, moving into the cloud and away from the company's roots of the mid-1990s where they hand coded and archived source video content from videotape formats. was named one of seven finalists in Amazon Web Services' 2008 $100,000 Startup Challenge. also received praise from Streaming Media EVP Dan Rayburn earlier in the year, in a post: Would Be On My List Of Top Companies To Watch In 2010 | The Business Of Online Video.

Rayburn said:
"One of the things I really like about is that they are small, focused and want to be the best at only one thing. Their executives know the market, have spent a great deal of time and effort to create a very good platform and frankly, I think they are really smart. They know what they want to be, where their service fits into the market and what problem they need to solve. In just about every piece of the video ecosystem, be it content delivery or video management, there tends to be many players, but one clear leader. While is not the only SaaS based transcoding service on the market, they are already by far the leader in the space and I expect them to further dominate this segment of the market this year."
In addition, Streaming Media magazine selected as an, “Editors’ Picks 2010 – The Best of the Best”, as one of the top ten hottest companies in the world of online video.

Last week, the company released a new API that allows customers to offer as a white-label solution within their own platforms. In December 2009, closed a $1.25 Million Series A funding from VC and angel investors. Malkin says the company will use the funds to fuel aggressive sales, marketing, and brand awareness initiatives. plans to stay hyper focused on their core business and customers. 

Malkin also spoke at Streaming Media East panel session: B203: Automation and Workflow Solutions for Transcoding Your Video Content and you can view the archive of that session here: Conference Videos -

About, the world's largest video encoding service, makes video transcoding into all popular formats easy, cost-effective and instantly scalable for global enterprises and SMBs including video sites, agencies, and website development platforms. As the first and only encoding service offering service level agreements, removes the necessity for its customers and partners to make heavy investments in expensive hardware/software solutions and overhead required to manage high-volume video transcoding needs and backs it with a wait-time service level guarantee. received Series A funding in 2010 from Metamorphic Ventures and angel investors: Patrick Condon, Fred Hamilton, Zelkova Ventures, Dave Morgan and Allen Morgan. It was selected as an Editors’ Pick for 2010 by StreamingMedia. This Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business is based in Denver, Colorado and San Francisco, California. For more information about, visit