Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Video Publishing Platforms and the Value They Bring to the Market

This video is from a panel session I moderated at Streaming Media East 2010 on, Media Framework: Video Publishing Platforms, and features a diverse panel from the online video world, including Bismarck C Lepe, President, Products, Ooyala; Krish Melon, CTO, Synaptic Digital; Ron Yekutiel, Chairman, CEO, Kaltura and Jason Liebman, CEO, Co-Founder, Howcast. The goal of the session was to describe what publishers need and how much they should expect to play for managing content, what are the process and main features of publishing platforms, and the viability of build vs. buy. In the presentation, each speaker shared customer use cases that demonstrated how businesses are using online video, along with capabilities and new features available from their platforms.

I conducted separate video interviews with Ron Yekutiel and Bismarck Lepe, which you can watch for a demonstration of the new product features available from both Kaltura and Ooyala. I also spoke with Jason Liebman, in this Qik video interview, who gave an overview of Howcast, where it is within that market and why every company should be a media company.

A103: Media Framework: Video Publishing Platforms
Moderator: Larry Kless, Founder, President, OnlineVideoPublishing.com
Bismarck C Lepe, President, Products, Ooyala
Krish Menon, CTO, Synaptic Digital
Ron Yekutiel, Chairman, CEO, Kaltura
Jason Liebman, CEO, Co-Founder, Howcast

Session description: A number of vendors offer video publishing platforms, the features and functionality-not to mention cost-vary widely. Some vendors focus their solutions on content management and monetization, while others are geared towards enabling syndication and interactive advertising campaigns. Adding to the confusion is the fact that different platform vendors have different metrics for billing, and costs rise as content owners become more successful. This session will lay the groundwork for content owners to better understand what type of publishing platform they need and what they should expect to pay for managing content.

While the description of this panel session focused primarily on the cost perspective of video publishing platforms, the panel session took a different course, and the speakers described more of the core components and value that platforms bring to the market and shared customer use cases. The following is a summary of the highlights of the panel discussion.

What is an online video platform? What are the components and what are people asking for?
Ron Yekutiel pointed out video is becoming an integrated portion to everything on the web, and companies any size need video tools for the variety of business, training, marketing and e-Commerce applications. The core components of a platform that are needed to publish video for online and mobile experiences include tools to upload, encoding, manage, syndicate, monetize and view analytics. Important aspects of online video platforms are the ease of integration and flexibility to scale and customize the feature sets for specific customer needs.

Krish Menon spoke to the importance of businesses having delivery methods that best fit the communication need. He said that for his clients it's key to "create once and deploy many" and the overall platform serves the purpose of getting your content out to the right audiences in the right way.

Bismarck Lepe also emphasized that video platforms make it easier for customers to build businesses with online video, and that it's not just about on-demand content but also live streaming. He noted that video platforms are on the forefront of the market and better understand the consumer's video viewing patterns, and are best suited to help businesses better innovate with video.

Jason Liebman shared a different perspective with Howcast, and how they have built their own platform to help third parties tap into their ecosystem to create high quality content and syndicate it in a lot of different environments. Howcast thinks more of the video end-to-end video life cycle, and uses data on what people are searching for and viewing to drive creative and business decisions.

How do I get started? What's it going to cost?
Bismarck Lepe said that first and foremost, you need to ingest your content into a system and transcode it, then add metdata, apply permissions, syndicate it, monetize it using ad networks and analyze the viewing data. Ron Yekutiel pointed out the Kaltura has both a SaaS offering that is a good fit for smaller companies and you pay a monthly service cost but they also have a completely free Community Edition that you can download and put behind your own firewall. Overall, there was consensus among the panel the costs are varied, and can range from a few hundred to several thousand a month. Yekutiel also noted that all the platforms have a full featured 30-day free trial.

How about cost savings for using a video platform?
Liebman noted that analytics are key and getting accurate viewing data has helped drive their business decisions. Lepe acknowledged that not having to build out your own encoding and analytics clusters are huge cost savings to businesses – but we're getting to the point where it's not just about cost savings, but adding value. It's about creating more revenue using analytics and monetization tools, as he said, this has to be about the creation of a value center and not just about a cost center.

To see more videos from Streaming Media East, go to: http://www.streamingmedia.com/ConferenceVideos