Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Twistage Glues the Pieces of Video Publishing Workflow

David Wadler is CEO of Twistage, a framework he says  – that allows companies to build customized video experiences very quickly.  I caught up with Wadler at Streaming Media East 2010, who often pitches Twistage as a glue company – a series of disjointed pieces that they glue together to give publishers a customized video workflow. Most online video platforms, he says, are vertically integrated applications in silos and consumers are generally not given a choice to customize their video workflow. Twistage is built on a core set of open, REST-based APIs, and can seamlessly integrate into any existing workflow as a white-label product. Being a platform for other platforms is its sweet spot.

Wadler jokes that he works 79 hours a day, and runs his company lean and mean – as an agile shop of eleven employees, with a two week development cycle of new features and capabilities. Twistage was acknowledged as Contender in the November 2009 Forrester Research Wave™ report: US Online Video Platforms, Q4 2009, which evaluated six leading online video platform vendors.
The report noted that Twistage, "offers many out-of-the-box competitive capabilities and has focused on developing an API-based tool set that allows it to put together more custom back-end solutions. Even with a small development team, the platform has won business on leading consumer video sites and has built an impressive reporting application."

The New York City-based company was founded in 2004 and officially launched as a SaaS platform in 2006, however Wadler says that they've been marketing the platform only in the last 9 months. As a company that has been in stealth mode for more than four years, they've been getting a lot of inbound leads, which is taking some getting used to – as most leads have been through outsourcing the sales process through the channels.

While Twistage does a lot of the same things as other platforms, Wadler noted that his team has built a different product from other platforms, and are not competing for marketing and sales spend. 
"We really focus on engineering, and one of the nice things about being a platform for platforms is you get phenomenal scale at very very low cost to sales."
Key customers include Jive Software, Mochilla,, Mansueto Digital, KIDZ BOP and Drama Fever and a number of partners ranging from content delivery networks to various ad networks to production companies. Wadler pointed out that they've had these customers for a while now, but just didn't tell the world about it.

See this TV Worldwide video from Streaming Media East 2010 for a closer look at a few customer case examples and this Streaming Media West Red Carpet interview by Peter Cervieri, to hear about the early days of Twistage when the technology focused more heavily on distributed transcoding and delivery and how the founders conceived and developed, a Pre-YouTube UGC video sharing site. Wadler also told Beet.TV that Twistage Plans to Double Staff and Turn Profit in 2010, and described how the company "operates solely on a licensing fee model, earning revenue based on the number of streams delivered for customers."

Wadler also was a guest on Streaming Media TV: @C-Level Grill With Twistage's David Wadler in September 2009 where he discussed "the pros and cons of venture capital on a personal level, as the developer, financier, and the CEO." He was a featured speaker on the Encoding Best Practices and Strategies web event today hosted by Streaming Media that included presenters from Telestream, Sorenson Media, Twistage and ViewCast. According to Dan Rayburn, the session had a record 1,709 people registered for the event.

Beyond its white-label video solutions for content ingestion and management, video delivery, monetization, syndication and reporting, Twistage offers an image management product in addition to the video solution and audio management may be in their development plan for full rich media management.

Wadler said that Twistage is more focused on responding to customer needs than building out a strategic product roadmap:
"We're an agile shop. It's hard for us to look out a year, it's really about taking the temperature of the market, seeing where it's going and seeing if we can beat it there by a little bit."

About Twistage
The highly customizable Twistage SaaS (Software as a Service) platform supports a wide range of video formats, monetization options and business rules, allowing customers to incorporate video into their existing digital infrastructure. Built on a foundation of robust APIs, the platform embraces a “design your own video experience” methodology that helps content owners rapidly deploy and scale online video applications while allowing for greater return on existing investment. For more information, visit Follow Twistage (twistage) on Twitter

Update 7/1/10 - added new text and links to post.