Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Delivering Content to Mobile Devices

With the phenomenal success of Apple’s iPad and iPhone, and the increased adoption of Google Android-based phones, it’s never been more important to get your content on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. This session at the Online Video Platform Summit, features three industry experts in the field of mobile video delivery who discuss why you need to care about things like HTML5, Adobe Flash Mobile, and other video format-and standards-related topics, as well as provide an overview of how online video platforms can help you publish once and deliver everywhere. The session was moderated by Onlinevideo.net Senior Associate Editor Troy Dreier who introduced the session with data from Nielsen which stated 28% of U.S. mobile subscribers now have smartphones, and 41% opted for a smartphone over a standard feature phone, up from 35% last quarter. That number will continue to grow as consumers move away from the desktop and embrace the mobile experience. But of the 5.3 billion mobile subscribers (which is 77 percent of the world population) the largest growth is outside the U.S. and is led by China and India

According to Jeff Malkin of Encoding.com the growth of mobile has been fueled mainly by Apple's iDevices. Gannon Hall, of KIT digital says that mobile is important, because it's become the fastest growing video segment of video consumption and that they're seeing increasing demand from their customers to be able to make it much easier for them to deliver full featured, high-quality video experiences to mobile platforms. David Dudas of Sorenson Media agrees that the iPhone really was the game changer and with other devices entering the field, it's made video delivery to the various devices more complicated, primarily around video encoding. Dudas says if you're going to do it, spend your money wisely, hire a professional don't try to do it yourself. The complexities of device compatibility go far beyond the formats and if it's done wrong your encoded content may not play back, or it may look horribly compressed. Dudas says, "doing it right means your customers will be delighted rather than frustrated, captive rather than fleeting, which translates to more time and money spent with your business."

Malkin says that content producers are a bit shellshocked by all the complexity and says there's good new and bad news for the. The bad news is that it's going to get worse before it gets better – as far as having to prepare video the multitude of mobile devices, but the good news is that companies like his are getting better at making it easier for you. Malkin adds, "If there's any point I could make any more clear, it's something very complex that should not be done in house." Malkin admits that sound very self-serving and says, "Use somebody else then, don't use Encoding.com. The bottom line is that it takes a serious attention and focus to keep reinvesting engineering dollars into infrastructure to keep being able to prepare video for all these various devices. And from a content producer standpoint, I'd rather focus on content, the user experience, the community and not worry about the headache of transcoding video."

Watch the video below to hear more of the discussion on HTML5, H.264, WebM, Adaptive Bit Rate streaming and the growing format wars. Also, see my interviews with each of the panelist that followed this session.

Speaker Bios and Online Video Conversations

Troy Dreier, Senior Associate Editor, OnlineVideo.net
Troy is Senior Associate Editor for OnlineVideo.net and StreamingMedia.com, and is also a regular contributor to Computer Shopper, PCMag.com's blogs, Datamation, and Wi-Fi Planet. He writes a weekly consumer technology column which is published in the Jersey Journal newspaper. As a freelancer, he enjoys writing for many of the biggest magazines and Web sites in tech, and his favorite topics include online video, portable devices, GPS navigation, games, and all things Macintosh. He’d love it if you followed him on Twitter You can drop him a note here.

Gannon Hall, EVP, Global Marketing, KIT Digital

As Executive Vice President Global Marketing, Gannon leads KIT’s overall global marketing strategies. Gannon brings nearly two decades of entrepreneurial leadership experience within the emerging and established consumer Internet and enterprise software industries. Prior to joining KIT, Gannon was the COO of Kyte, a leading online and mobile video platform, where he led the company’s product strategy, marketing, business development and operations. Gannon also was a Principal at Horn Group, a premier technology marketing and digital communications agency. As head of the agency’s New York office, Gannon was responsible for client strategy, business development and operations. Under his leadership the agency won several industry accolades for their innovative approach to brand building through integrated digital marketing, communications and social media. Prior to Horn Group, Gannon led Hall Consulting, a pioneering San Francisco web design and development consultancy that he founded in 1994. Clients included a diverse set of software companies including Vitria, AvantGo (Sybase), Commerce One, and PlaceWare (Microsoft).

Read more: Connected TV: Why Google will succeed where others have failed - FierceOnlineVideo

David Dudas, VP of Product Management, Sorenson Media
As the vice president of product management, Dudas is responsible for defining and executing the online and desktop product strategies. He has more than 15 years experience developing consumer and enterprise product lines, including expertise in hosted digital media platforms and software-as-a-service. Prior to Sorenson Media, Dudas was co-founder and CTO at Eyespot, a cutting-edge technology startup that launched the world's first Web-browser-based video editing application in 2005. Under his leadership, the company filed for five patents and was granted numerous industry awards for innovation and usability. Previously, he was director of engineering at MP3.com, where his team developed the company's flagship product and helped build the company into the leading digital media service provider of its time. He has also held management positions at Universal Music Group and DivX, and holds a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from Michigan State University.

Jeff Malkin, President, Encoding.com

Jeff is a fearless entrepreneur with a proven track record for launching technology startups. He has been the CEO / founder of two venture-backed companies for the past nine years. The most recent, Razz Inc. (funded $12M by Mayfield, Cardinal VP, Siemens Mobile Accelerator, and Garage Technology Ventures), is a technology company providing consumers in the mobile and social media space with entertaining audio and telephony-based applications. Razz services have been distributed by leading wireless carriers around the world including Telefonica Moviles, Orange, AT&T wireless, T-mobile and Vodafone For Razz, Jeff led all aspects of the business including business development, strategy, product development, operations and financing.

Prior to Razz, Jeff was CEO of FreeSamples.com, a research and analytics service provider for the consumer package goods industry (funded $17M led by GE Capital, Advance Publications, United Business Media). He grew FreeSamples.com to be the leading online sampling and product research company with clients including The Proctor & Gamble Company, Unilever and Ralston Purina. Jeff graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Michigan and remains an active musician in the San Francisco community.

Read more: Larry Kless' Weblog: Encoding.com Sees the Future of Video Encoding in the Cloud

The Online Video Platform Summit is a two-day event designed to help organizations of all types, not just those for whom video is their core business. Held on November 2-3 in conjunction with
Streaming Media West in Los Angeles, the Online Video Platform Summit is designed for video publishers of all types and sizes, whether small businesses looking to publish content for the first time, independent entertainment content creators, large media organizations, or anywhere in between.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Online Video Platform Showcase: STREAMOTOR by IMAVEX, KickApps

In this second of two sponsored Online Video Platform Showcases from the Online Video Platform Summit, this session features presentations by Steven Burzynski, STREAMOTOR by IMAVEX and Mike Sommers, EVP of Products, KickApps. Each of these providers have similar offerings, yet they differentiate themselves by their video publishing platforms, analytics and monetization features, scalability, integration, pricing, strategy and market presence.

STREAMOTOR is an easy streaming video solution that allows you to take a video in any format, upload it, organize and and publish into customized playlists. STREAMOTOR uses Limelight Networks and its global network as the backbone for all of the Flash and H264 based video streaming. Streamotor also partners with Kulabyte to deliver its STudio 360TV video platform. Kickapps provides an easy-to-use platform for creating interactive social video and web experiences. Core to KickApps' platform is its App Studio, which is a WYSIWYG web-based development environment that allows anyone to build customizable interactive players quickly and easily assembled and shared around the social web.

Watch the video below to and learn about their features and capabilities and visit their websites for more information and a free trial.

Company Profiles

IMAVEX launched STREAMOTOR in 2008 and is a leading provider of interactive and highly effective Internet marketing solutions specializing in LIVE and video-on-demand (VOD) streaming as well as web site design and content management. IMAVEX helps organizations promote and generate new business through search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) by utilizing a technique known as pay-per-click advertising and by optimizing Web sites and video for search engines. Imavex is a Google AdWords qualified company and utilizes the latest in tracking tools to understand and improve Internet marketing campaigns. Currently, there are more than 1,400 organizations around the world that utilize Imavex's Web site design, Internet marketing and video streaming media solutions.

STREAMOTOR by IMAVEX is a video content management system and streaming video solution that allows you to manage your online video content by organizing, customizing and publishing your videos. In addition, STREAMOTOR provides you real-time access to valuable usage reports and analytics. STREAMOTOR is intuitive and easy to use as it focuses solely on the management and delivery of your online video content. For more information, visit http://www.streamotor.com or http://www.imavex.com.
Follow Streaming Video (streamotor) on Twitter

About KickApps
KickApps was founded in 2005, and is a leading provider of customizable social software solutions consisting of a suite of hosted applications and services which are used by some of the world’s largest brands and recording artists including: NBC Universal, American Express, Live Nation, Scripps Network, Simon & Schuster, Viacom, The Washington Redskins, The Weather Channel, Madonna, U2, Kiss, Shakira and all the NHL teams. Its more than $12 million annual revenues are made almost entirely from recurring software license fees. On January 28, 2011, KIT digital acquired the privately-held KickApps Corporation, based in New York City. Its more than $12 million in annual revenues are almost entirely from recurring software license fees.

KickApps has added significant technology and product synergies to KIT digital. KickApps’ Open Source Media Framework (OSMF) App Studio has helped unify all publishing-layer technologies across KIT digital's family of products to deliver fully customized Flash and HTML5 experiences. KickApps' suite of self-serve deployable social solutions are created using an intuitive drag-and drop interface, ranging from full social website experiences to simple social widgets. The platform also includes KickApps’ proprietary WidgeADs ad format, that can be served in any IAB-standard ad slot and shared  across the web. Follow KickApps (kickapps) on Twitter

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Online Video Platform Summit 2010 Keynote: Brightcove CEO Jeremy Allaire, "The New Video Landscape: Multi-platform Distribution, Monetization, and Fragmentation"

In his keynote address at the Online Video Platform Summit, Jeremy Allaire, CEO and Chairman of Brightcove discussed the broad themes involved in the complex and fragmented landscape for online video publishing and the strategies organizations need to have in place to achieve success with their video initiatives. Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen provided a great summary of Allaire's keynote in his post, Brightcove: “Everyone is an Online Video Publisher” on OnlineVideo.net, which highlights Allaire's view of the changing face of video and content monetization, as more and more publishers look to expand their video initiatives to all three screens.

Allaire pointed out the rapid growth of online video in 2010 grew to a staggering 30 billion monthly views, and is now more than 50% of Internet traffic in the U.S., and it's estimated that it will will grow to 90% by 2013. Some of the key drivers fueling that growth are ad supported online video, which continues to grow faster than any other area of online advertising, and also the brand marketing and retail applications which are really exploding.

eMarkerter predicts that online advertising spend will be $28.5 billion in 2011, and that almost $2 billion of that will be online video advertising. This is really exciting for the industry, says Allaire, because corporations and institutions are expanding and investing in video as a way to enhance their customer relationships and customer touchpoints.

According to Allaire:
“Everyone is an online video publisher. Retail, small businesses, foundations, non-profits, and of course media companies. The use cases for online video are now as many as the use cases for the web in general.”
He added that online video platforms have emerged as critical partners to publishers by creating solutions that help them navigate the complex and fragmented online video landscape.
“For businesses, it’s less about the technology—which should be invisible—but about the business value."

Allaire said increased bandwidth capacity and demand for higher quality video experiences have required publishers to render multiple versions of their content for multi-bitrate streaming. In addition, there is a tsunami of new connected devices consumers are using to access video which all use a variety of video runtimes creating a fragmented publishing environment. Allaire said that the recent release of Brightcove 5, the company's cloud-based online video platform, addresses many of the issues that publishers face in the fragmented landscape and helps expand their reach. The new features include: distribution and synchronization with YouTube, iPad reference app, Apple HTTP streaming for the mobile Web and apps, cross platform Smart Players, new advanced analytics for Adobe® Flash® and HTML5 video developed in partnership with Tubemogul, and wide-ranging productivity enhancements.

I spoke with Allaire at length about his background and the early years of online video in this post from 2009. I also caught up with him following this keynote to get a summary of his view on the fragmented video landscape in this post, Jeremy Allaire, Brightcove: Reaching Viewers in a Complex and Fragmented Video Landscape. I've reposted the video from our conversation below.

About Jeremy Allaire

Jeremy Allaire founded Brightcove in early 2004 with a vision for the transformation of television with the Internet. From his early days as CTO of Macromedia, where he was instrumental in evolving Macromedia Flash into a dominant platform for rich media applications on the web, Allaire envisioned that one day video would become as ubiquitous as text on the web.  As CEO and Chairman of Brightcove, Allaire leads the company’s technology, marketing and business development strategy. Prior to founding Brightcove, Allaire worked as a technologist and entrepreneur-in-residence for Cambridge, MA-based venture capital firm General Catalyst, where he worked on companies and investments in broadband media, mobile content, e-commerce software and digital identity.

Before General Catalyst, Allaire was Chief Technology Officer of Macromedia, where he helped define and launch the Macromedia MX platform for Rich Internet Applications, helping to evolve Macromedia Flash into a dominant platform for rich media applications on the Internet. Allaire joined Macromedia with its merger with Allaire Corporation, where Jeremy was a co-founder and Chief Technology Officer.  Founded in 1995, Allaire Corporation was a pioneer in using the web as an application platform, and its industry leading and award winning products power millions of websites, online services and business applications on the Internet.

The Online Video Platform Summit is a two-day event designed to help organizations of all types, not just those for whom video is their core business. Held on November 2-3 in conjunction with
Streaming Media West in Los Angeles, the Online Video Platform Summit is designed for video publishers of all types and sizes, whether small businesses looking to publish content for the first time, independent entertainment content creators, large media organizations, or anywhere in between.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

New Strategies for Marketing and E-Commerce

Businesses that sell product online can benefit greatly with an online video marketing plan. Studies show that video is more effective than any other medium for building brand recognition and generating sales. Although today’s consumers are savvier and more skeptical than ever, and will quickly click away from obvious pitches that don’t provide them with any intrinsic value. But according to Rico Nasol, Content Team Senior Manager for Zappos, "Online video is another way for the customers to see the product and the company culture.” The E-Commerce giant sells over 300,000 different products, and the company sells anywhere from 6-30% more merchandise when accompanied by videos. This session from the Online Video Platform Summit, "New Strategies for Marketing and E-Commerce", was moderated by Justin Foster, Founder of the non-profit Video Commerce Consortium, who was joined by a panel of retailers that are each using their own innovative strategy with video and social media to create brand awareness and loyalty, and to increase sales conversion rates.

Each panelist brought on interesting story to share how they are approaching the challenge of implementing social video. Foster shared some background on the state of video and e-commerce from a report by Forrester Research, Online Retailers' Adoption Of Online Video Content Is Ahead Of Consumers' Preferences, which found that 68% of the top 50 Internet retailers use video content on their Web sites, compared with 18% in 2008 – a 400% growth in one year. Sunday Sky's Quarterly Research Report, Q2 2010, "State of Video in E-Commerce" also looked on the same category of the top 50 North-American online retailers and found that more than 65% of retailers use videos.

BeautyChoice.com has a unique model of creating, or sourcing, user-generated content through YouTube.  They find YouTubers with a lot of subscribers and sign them into talent contracts, and then do product placement in their videos. Beauty.com's Jordan Blum says they've generated over 340 million views from those YouTube videos alone, with practically no marketing budget. Laurie Williams says Zappos.com uses their "quirky" company culture to build trust with customers. They have been producing short videos  featuring actual Zappos staff members who demonstrate and talk about the products in an authentic and relevant way. They have also been promoting, The Zappos Video Experience, which is a forum where customers can submit video testimonials to share their stories as well. Jimmy Healey says OnlineShoes.com uses a hosted ratings and reviews system that's embedded in the video to increase conversion rates. Watch the video of the session to see how these retailers are reaping the benefits of e-commerce video, social media and YouTube marketing.

Speaker Bios

Justin Foster, Founder, Video Commerce Consortium (Moderator)
Justin is Co-Founder and VP Market Development for Liveclicker, Inc., an early stage technology startup, where he is responsible for developing the overall market for video commerce in the e-commerce industry. Video commerce is a new paradigm for facilitating e-commerce through video content, leveraging both established and emerging online marketing channels. Additionally, Justin is President and Founder of the Video Commerce Consortium, the industry's largest trade group devoted to advancing the use of video in e-commerce. The VCC currently counts over half the Top 500 retailers as members. Justin has extensive experience in the online marketing industry, especially as it pertains to e-commerce. Prior to Liveclicker, Justin led the services practice for WhatCounts, Inc., an email marketing services provider, where he was responsible for all services revenue and management. He also founded the Email Marketing Roundtable, an industry discussion forum that represents over 1,500 email marketers worldwide including the majority of the largest online retailers in North America.

Jimmy Healey, Senior Manager Social Media, OnlineShoes.com
As the Senior Manager of Social Media and E-commerce Jim Healey leads the evolution of Social Commerce for Onlineshoes.com through the use of Social Media, Video, Blogs, PR, Community and Mobile. Including: the evelopment of campaign plans for Social Media as a channel within the overall Onlineshoes.com campaign calendar (PR releases, blogs, videos, and other content/events). Onlineshoes.com is the nation's first online shoe retailer. Profitable since 2000, it's also the only privately held Internet business among its competitors and continues to enjoy revenue growth rates in the high double digits year over year.

Laurie Williams, Video Product Manager, Zappos.com
Laurie helps make Zappos videos go. Laurie Williams is the Video Product Manager for Zappos.com, who she’s been an employee for since January 2005. Before that she served in the U.S. Army. Zappos.com was founded in 1999 with the goal of becoming the premiere destination for online shoes. Since then, Zappos.com has become much more than just an online shoe store.

Jordan Blum, CEO, BeautyChoice.com
Jordan is the President of BeautyChoice.com, a leading online retailer of beauty and personal care products. At BeautyChoice.com Jordan has helped build its pioneering "LaunchPad" marketing platform that takes advertising to the next level by seamlessly placing products in highly popular beauty and fashion related online videos that are being watched by millions of engaged users worldwide. These videos are produced by "BeautyStars" who are credible and proven influencer's. Collectively, their videos have been viewed more than 300 million times and they have over 1.7 million followers on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. Jordan graduated from the University of Southern California with a business degree in Business Finance. Founded by beauty industry experts, BeautyChoice.com is trusted by consumers to carry only authentic, high-quality branded merchandise with a money back guarantee. BeautyChoice.com carries a complete line of premium and popular brands at the most competitive prices, including Andis, Babyliss, Chi, Barbar, Clarisonic, Conair, Elchim, Hot Tools, Helen of Troy, Mason Pearson, Oster, Solano, Wahl, Wigo, and others. Visit www.beautychoice.com for more information.

See this video: YouTube - Product placement on steroids with Jordan Blum, Beautychoice.com at SES New York 2010

Social video marketing for e-commerce: lessons from Streaming Media West

Following the session, I recorded this interview with Justin Foster by Grant Crowell which is posted on the Video Commerce Consortium. They discuss, "the new opportunities with video in for getting discovered and monetization, user-generated video innovations with retailers, and the different priorities around online video between marketers, talent, and producers." I've included a short excerpt of the transcript below. Grant also edited this video and you can read the full interview here.

Social Video Marketing for E-commerce from Grant Crowell on Vimeo.

Grant, ReelSEO: Justin, you had several notable panelists talking about new monetization with search and social media strategies. Tell me, how was that session like?

Justin: It was a great session. Each of the retailers on our panel is using their own innovative strategy to tap into social media using video. It was awesome to moderate.

Grant: What were some of the questions you asked the panelists about video marketing and video in e-commerce?

Justin: There’s been a lot of talk lately about the YouTube Promoted Videos program. So we were asking some of the retailers how many of them are actually taking advantage of Promoted Videos and understand the potential benefits of doing CPC buys with Promoted Videos. We found that it’s pretty early; we really don’t have a lot of retailers that are taking advantage of it yet. But you see a lot of people that are seeing a lot of opportunity.

Same goes for Facebook. I was really shocked that a couple of retailers on the panel really don’t make it possible to share a video that’s on their product detail page; but all of the panelists did think it was a good idea to enable sharing of their videos on the product detail page. So it seems like it’s pretty early. (more...)

The Online Video Platform Summit is a two-day event designed to help organizations of all types, not just those for whom video is their core business. Held on November 2-3 in conjunction with
Streaming Media West in Los Angeles, the Online Video Platform Summit is designed for video publishers of all types and sizes, whether small businesses looking to publish content for the first time, independent entertainment content creators, large media organizations, or anywhere in between.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

If You Publish It, Will They Come?

You can have the most compelling content in the world, but if people aren't aware of it and can't find it easily, it won't make any difference. From search engine optimization to social media marketing, there are myriad strategies for getting your content in front of as many people as possible. At the Online Video Platform Summit, this session "If You Publish It, Will They Come?", assembled some of the brightest minds in online video search and discovery, social media optimization and entertainment to examine the art and science of getting your videos seen. Tim Siglin wrote a great summary of this session in a post on Streamingmedia.com, that captured some of the key points the panelists discussed on the importance of both video SEO and social media recommendation. The following quotes in this post are excerpted from his post.

ReelSEO's Mark Robertson moderated the discussion and opened the session with new data from TubeMogul which pointed out that while Google is still generates the highest volume of video traffic from search, "referral traffic from Facebook and Twitter is growing faster than traditional engines as a source of video views."

Frank Sinton, of MeFeedia added that, "The portion of video watched when it has been recommended by a friend is significantly higher than viewing times for content found by search."

Mike Sommers of KickApps noted that the problem with video is that Google's search engine bots can't understand what video content is about as well as humans can. He said that search engine optimization (SEO) is evolving into friend engine optimization, "which is building your website in way that makes it sharable, that invites people to take our content, notify your friends about it and then drive traffic back to your website."

Patrick Starzan of Funny or Die, said that search is a bigger factor when it comes to their content being played and but social media media gives them more engaged viewers.  He said, "Our optimization may be driven by top celebrities we've worked with-Lindsay Lohan searches yield Funny Or Die as one of the top "found" sites-but then viewers spend a lot of time browsing and viewing other videos."

Adam Singolda of Taboola,  agreed that search and social media are both important and that said that publishers spend time optimizing their sites, "and look closely at the anchor videos which bring viewers to your sites, but remember that most sites-including those with interesting videos-are primarily still not video-centric sites."

Read more of Tim Siglin's article here and watch the video below for more of the discussion.

Speakers for this session include:

Mark Robertson, Founder, ReelSEO (Moderator)
Mark Robertson is the Founder and Creator of ReelSEO.com, The Online Video Marketer's Guide, which provides news, tips and trends on the online video industry and video marketing. Mark speaks regularly at conferences, webinars and industry events sharing his extensive experience in online marketing, particularly in Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Mark was previously the Director of Search for Freedom Communications and has worked with many newspaper and broadcast stations for optimization online content. Follow ReelSEO Video News (reelseo) on Twitter

Frank Sinton, CEO, MeFeedia
Mr. Sinton is responsible for product development, communications, advertising and media functions at MeFeedia. Before founding BeachFront Media, LLC/MeFeedia.com Mr. Sinton spearheaded the strategic technology vision at Sony Pictures Entertainment and was largely responsible for the search engine that powered the successful startup of Business.com ($340 million acquisition). Mr. Sinton is also the founder of Gotkidsnetwork.com, a parents social networking site. He received his B.S.in Chemical Engineering from Tufts University. Follow MeFeedia (mefeedia) on Twitter

Mike Sommers, EVP of Products, KickApps
As Executive Vice President of Product Management, Mike oversees all of KickApps’ product management efforts. He has over 15 years experience building Internet products. Before joining KickApps, Mike was VP of Product Development for AOL Search. In his 7 years at AOL, he was also responsible developing a variety of rich media, search and community products. Prior to joining AOL Mike worked for a variety of Silicon Alley startups in New York City.
Mike has a B.A. degree from Columbia University. Follow KickApps (kickapps) on Twitter

Patrick Starzan, VP of Marketing, Funny or Die
Funny or Die, www.funnyordie.com, is an award-winning website that has become one of the top destinations for comedy on the web. The site has averages over 5 million unique video views per month. With hundreds of exclusive celebrity videos and a steady stream of huge viral hits, Funny or Die has become the "place to be seen" for comedic celebrities, and the obvious destination for a daily comedy fix. Funny or Die's founders are Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy. Mr. Apatow is also a partner in Funny or Die. Follow Funny Or Die (funnyordie) on Twitter

Adam Singolda, CEO and Founder, Taboola
As the chief executive officer of Taboola, Adam Singolda is leading the company business strategy, execution, and business development, while maintaining a unique company culture of competitiveness, quantitativeness, and innovation. Prior to founding Taboola, Adam served as an officer in a mathematical elite unit in the Israeli National Security Agency (I-NSA) for almost seven years. Adam’s focus in the unit was data-mining and “unsolvable problems.” His background uniquely prepares him to lead Taboola’s efforts toward technological advantage that focuses on scale and quantifiable value to publishers, advertisers and users. Adam is an honored alum of the IDF's elite "Mamram" computer-science training program, and he finished first in his class in the officer's academy of the IDF. Adam's vision for Taboola is to change the way people around the world discover the videos they like no matter where they are. Follow adam singolda (adamsingolda) and Taboola (taboola) on Twitter

The Online Video Platform Summit is a two-day event designed to help organizations of all types, not just those for whom video is their core business. Held on November 2-3 in conjunction with
Streaming Media West in Los Angeles, the Online Video Platform Summit is designed for video publishers of all types and sizes, whether small businesses looking to publish content for the first time, independent entertainment content creators, large media organizations, or anywhere in between.


Monday, April 11, 2011

But What About the Content? Curation, Aggregation, and Creation

Perhaps the biggest pain point for many organizations isn’t getting their video online, but rather getting their video created in the first place. Whether you need to create your own content, have your customers or employees create it for you, or collect it from other sources, there are ways to get high-quality video content on your site without breaking the bank. At the Online Video Platform Summit, this session, "But What About the Content? Curation, Aggregation, and Creation", examines the growing field of video curation and aggregation services, as well as offer pointers for getting your own content made quickly and inexpensively. According to panelist Steve Rosenbaum, an evangelist on the power of curation who recently released his new book, "Curation Nation: How to Win in a World Where Consumers are Creators", we are drowning in data and curation is the only way to remain competitive in the future. Rosenbaum says that information overload has led to publishers to shift from being an authority, to curating a conversation.

One of the main topics of discussion focused how video quality could affect your brand. Speaking as a long-time filmmaker, Bruce Alfred said it's important to hire a professional video producer – who both knows the art and craft of visual storytelling and technical competencies to create high quality video – if you want break through all the noise out there. With more than 35 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, having a professional produced video helps distinguish your brand as high quality professional content and not just another amateur Flip camera production. Eric Larnard of Thomson Reuters said that video is a structured communication in a narrative format with key messages and calls to action. But that's not all -- getting your video to right audience that you're trying to communicate with using the right combination of curation, aggregation and syndication tools is just as important as content creation itself.

Rosenbaum said that quality is in the eyes of the audience and that website owners should think about what they are trying to accomplish with their site and how video can help meet those goals. While professional video helps empower your brand, there still could be a place for authentic user-generated videos to help build community around your site though contribution and site traffic. Joseph Rueter of Curation Station emphasized that it's all about your goals and strategy and that if the aim is true it will reach the right audience regardless of quality and that usage correlates to value.

Watch the video below for more of the discussion.

Speaker bios

Paolo Tosolini, Social Media and Online Video Consultant, Enterprise & Partner Group and Microsoft Services, Microsoft (Moderator)
Paolo is an Enterprise Social Video consultant with a passion for people and creative ideas. At Microsoft, he focuses on the utilization of social media, online video and enterprise podcasting to foster employee knowledge sharing within the company. Prior to this role, Paolo worked in several other groups at Microsoft including Enterprise & Partner Group, MSN and Office, where he managed the Office 2007 partner early adoption program that resulted in more than 500 partner solutions developed at launch. Paolo also blogs and podcasts about Italy and travel. Follow Paolo Tosolini (tosolini) on Twitter

Eric Larnard, Global Head, Multimedia Communications for Financial Markets, Thomson Reuters
Eric Larnard is presently the Global Business Head for Thomson Reuters’ Multimedia Communications Services business specializing in the Financial Markets. Eric’s business empowers video and online communication in one of the world’s original online social networks: the Financial Markets. Eric has over 10 years of experience driving information-based businesses within the financial industry, empowering communications between corporations, investment banks, financial advisors, research analysts, and institutional investors. Prior to heading the Multimedia Communications Services business, Eric led Thomson Reuters’ mobile application development initiatives for the financial markets space, developing a deep, primary-source insight on mobile behaviors and expectations within professional communities. Prior to this Eric grew Thomson Financial’s First Call research and analysis business, and helped drive Thomson Financial’s StreetEvents business from its infancy to $50mil in annual revenue. Eric resides in suburban Boston and is the proud father of eight children under the age of 12. Follow Thomson Reuters (thomsonreuters) on Twitter

Steve Rosenbaum, CEO and Founder, Magnify.net
Steve Rosenbaum has been at the forefront of emerging media technologies, curated content and storytelling styles since he founded his media company in the early ‘90s. Always focused on empowering emerging filmmakers, and providing tools and outlets for new voices, Rosenbaum is acknowledged as one of the early innovators in both Video Journalism and User-Generated Video. Magnify.net is Rosenbaum’s launch - a video publishing platform that allows web sites, media companies, and content entrepreneurs to empower their communities to embrace User-Generated Video. Currently Magnify.net powers over 2,000 channels of User-Generated Video, and is working closely with a wide variety of media makers, communities, and publishers in evolving their content offerings to include content created by, sorted and reviewed by community members.

Prior to launching Magnify, Rosenbaum was involved in a variety of initiatives supporting the development of user generated content. In 1995 he Created MTV UNfiltered, a program that put the very first user-generated video on MTV. During his career in mainstream media, Rosenbaum produced films for A&E, Discovery, TLC, The History Channel, National Geographic, Court TV, Trio, HBO, VH1, MSNBC, and CNN. As a feature Director, he is best known for his film “7 Days in September”, which chronicled New York’s reaction to the 9/11 attacks. Follow steve rosenbaum (curationnation) on Twitter

Joseph Rueter, Co-Founder, Curation Station
Being the son of a contractor means a couple things: You grow up with a sense of wonder as well as an interest in building and making things better. That background, in addition to studying Theology, Philosophy, and Design gives Joseph a unique lens into the way ideas are formed and executed. Joseph applies his expertise in thinking and making to business and digital products to create "awesome" ideas and ways forward. Curation Station, one of those "awesome" ideas, is a web based software service co-founded by Joseph. It provides a tool kit for organizations to select and "play" relevant online content on their websites much like DJs do for radio stations. Additionally he serves on the programming boards of the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association and Minnesota’s TED event, TEDxTC. Joseph enjoys Twins baseball and drawing connections between baseball, strategy and business. He and his wife are raising their newborn daughter to have the same sense of wonder that was much a part of Joseph's childhood. Joseph's client experience includes: Marshalls, 3M, Allianz Life, PwC, XM, Pillsbury, Jostens, CPPNA, Cadillac and Best Buy. Follow Curation Station (curationstation) on Twitter.

Bruce Alfred, President, Cobblestone Inc.
During his 25 years in the business of non-fiction media, Bruce Alfred has produced works for broadcast, web, corporate, and non-profit clients including PBS, A&E Television Networks, and Mayo Clinic. Alfred founded Cobblestone in 1995, and his projects have taken him from the operating room to the board room, from a Somali immigrant community to the south of France.  One of his better-known documentary projects was a four-hour mini-series on the group of French impressionist artists.  Alfred led all creative processes on The Other Revolution:  The Impressionists, which became one of A&E Television’s most sophisticated and successful Biography programs.  The series continues to sell well on DVD, and has been rebroadcast multiple times.  Projects prior to his establishment of Cobblestone include his role as coordinating producer for Ken Burns' Baseball, the eighteen-hour series for PBS.

Alfred has long embraced emerging technologies when such technologies open new doors in production and distribution.   As streaming video on the web became practicable, Alfred saw the challenge and opportunity in delivering a highly satisfactory results-oriented web video experience.  As a consultant, Alfred analyzes and interprets web video news, technologies, and modalities for small and medium business clients advising on web video strategies, and optimal delivery methodologies and resources. Since moving away from the New York City area in 2003, Alfred has lived in balmy southern Minnesota (nearly equidistant from New York and Los Angeles) with his wife, four medium-sized children, two small cats, and one big dog.CobbleStone Films is an independent cinema company that is committed to discovering and producing intelligent films that are artistically inventive, brassy and have the potential of being financial and critical successes. Follow bruce_alfred (bruce_alfred) on Twitter.

The Online Video Platform Summit is a two-day event designed to help organizations of all types, not just those for whom video is their core business. Held on November 2-3 in conjunction with
Streaming Media West in Los Angeles, the Online Video Platform Summit is designed for video publishers of all types and sizes, whether small businesses looking to publish content for the first time, independent entertainment content creators, large media organizations, or anywhere in between.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Online Video Platform Showcase: Kaltura, ClickstreamTV, Unicorn Media, Limelight Networks

As part of the Online Video Platform Summit, six of the leading online video platform providers showcased the features and capabilities in two sponsored sessions over the two-day event. This session features presentations by Ron Yekutiel, Chairman, CEO of Kaltura, Kevin Yahl, President of ClickstreamTV, AJ McGowan, CTO of Unicorn Media, and Edgardo Nazario, VP of Products for Video Platform Solutions of Limelight Networks. While each of these providers have similar offerings, they all differentiate themselves by their video publishing platforms, analytics and monetization features, scalability, integration, pricing, strategy and market presence.

Kaltura is an open source video platform with both a free self-hosted community edition and an enterprise management system and considered one of the top three OVPs in the space along with Brightcove and Ooyala. ClickstreamTV offers an easy to use Do-It-Yourself streaming platform with an affordable entry package starting at $59. Unicorn Media offers scalable solutions that center around simplifying video workflow and syndication. Limelight Networks offers both an online video platform (OVP) and content delivery network (CDN) through its acquisition of Delve Networks. Like many others OVPs, the Limelight Video Platform offers a cloud-based end-to-end solution to manage, deliver, publish and measure viewership.

Watch the video below to and learn about their features and capabilities and visit their websites for more information and a free trial.

Online Video Platform Company Profiles

About Kaltura

Kaltura provides the world's first Open Source Online Video Platform.  Over 100,000 media & entertainment companies, enterprises, SMBs, educational institutions, service providers, platform vendors, and system integrators use Kaltura's flexible platform to enhance their websites, web-services, and web-platforms with advanced customized video, photo and audio functionalities.  Kaltura's features and products enable easy deployment of custom work-flows involving video creation, ingestion, publishing, management, syndication, engagement, monetization and analysis.  The free community-supported self-hosted software and source-code is available for download at www.kaltura.org.  A commercial version of the software can be obtained at www.kaltura.com 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 a founding member of the 'Open Video Alliance' (www.openvideoalliance.org), a coalition of organizations dedicated to fostering open standards for online video.  For more information: www.kaltura.com, www.kaltura.org and http://exchange.kaltura.com/. Follow Kaltura (kaltura) on Twitter

About ClickStreamTV

The ClickStreamTV system streams On Demand, Live, Pay-2-Watch and Mobile from the same platform. ClickStreamTV, an automated DIY (do-it-yourself) video delivery solution, is a product of Digital One Internet Services Inc., Orland Park, IL. Find out more at www.clickstreamtv.com. ClickStreamTV has emerged as the industry leader in enabling small and medium sized businesses to add video to their web sites. What makes ClickStreamTV different from the competition is how simple it is to use. Using ClickStreamTV enables small to medium size businesses to optimize their marketing dollars and reach new markets with streaming video. The most revolutionary aspect of ClickStreamTV is in our just added 'Mobile Phone Delivery' which allows your video to now be streamed to iPhones and BlackBerry's worldwide. Find out more at www.clickstreamtv.com. Follow ClickStreamTV (ClickStreamTV) on Twitter

About Unicorn Media 

Unicorn Media, Inc. is a digital media management provider that offers solutions that change the way content owners deliver their media assets online. With a focus on publisher profitability, Unicorn lowers the costs of video management and improves revenue generation capabilities through actionable real-time information. Unicorn’s flexible platform architecture enables customers to choose the services that best suit their needs by allowing them to augment their existing system with individual components or by utilizing the entire end-to-end suite of services. With real-time cloud analytics for understanding audiences and dynamic media syndication for delivering content to any Internet-connected device, Unicorn Media has revolutionized the process for running a profitable online media property. Founded by Limelight Networks founding CEO, Bill Rinehart, and headquartered in Tempe, AZ, privately held Unicorn Media, Inc. has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. For additional information, please visit: http://www.unicornmedia.com. Follow Unicorn Media (UnicornMedia) on Twitter,

About Limelight Networks, Inc.

Limelight Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: LLNW) provides on-demand software, platform and infrastructure services that help global businesses reach and engage audiences on any mobile or Internet-connected device, enabling them to enhance their brand presence, build stronger customer relationships, optimize their advertising, and monetize their digital assets. For more information, please visit http://www.limelightnetworks.com. Follow Limelight Networks (llnw) on Twitter

The Online Video Platform Summit is a two-day event designed to help organizations of all types, not just those for whom video is their core business. Held on November 2-3 in conjunction with
Streaming Media West in Los Angeles, the Online Video Platform Summit is designed for video publishers of all types and sizes, whether small businesses looking to publish content for the first time, independent entertainment content creators, large media organizations, or anywhere in between.

How to Choose the Right Online Video Platform for Your Business

The online video platform market has exploded in the last few years, with dozens of new vendors offering solutions. Different platforms offer different features and target different kinds of content and customers, and with more than 90 online video platforms to choose from, how do you determine which online video platform (OVP) is the best fit for your business?

An OVP provider is typically a SaaS (software as a service) solution providing end-to-end tools to manage, publish and measure online video content for both on-demand and live delivery. Typical components of an OVP provider include video hosting, encoding, custom players, syndication, analytics, as well as interactivity and monetization through a variety of online advertising options typically 3rd-party ad-servers/networks. Most OVPPs offer scalable product packages for both self-serve SMB publishers up to large media companies. (from VidCompare)

At the Online Video Platform Summit, this introductory session, "How to Choose the Right Online Video Platform for Your Business", featured a panel of online video platform users comprised of a cross-section of independent entertainers, business, and education who discussed their decision-making process and the features they looked for to help them advance their goals speak and best fit their needs.

The video from the session featured above was moderated by Kris Drey, Founder of Vidcompare who offered this great summary of the discussion on VidCompare blog:
"The panel I moderated, How to Choose the Right OVP for Your Business, had 3 fantastic panelists which, in my opinion, stole the show. Last year I sat on a similar panel with 3 OVPs who walked the audience through how they provide online video solutions for businesses, this year the coin was flipped and the panel was occupied by 3 unique business executives whom explained their experiences of finding and working with their online video platform of choice.

Panelist number one, Austin Brooks is a Master Magician and uses Brightcove to power his website of amazing magic tricks which he performs all over the world. Our second panelist, Peter Himmelman is a musician and entertainer with tons of online video of his many shows, backstage passes, and a web series called Himmelman’s Furious World. And our third panelist was Curt Van Inwegen, an interactive online marketer and Vice President of Client Services at LEVEL studios who uses Kyte to manage their online video needs.
Like I said, an all-star cast of people who have first-hand knowledge of the pain and pleasure of selecting an OVP for their unique use case. Peter kept the crowd laughing with his artistic view on life and the world of online video, Austin captivated us with his practical and insightful commentary on why Brightcove is best for his needs, and how he uses and tracks his online video. And Curt was our resident technologist explaining to the crowd, and our panel, how to get the most of online video, why a multi-device strategy is critical, and how to customize video players to match his customer’s particular use cases."

Speaker bios

Kristopher Drey, Founder, VidCompare.com (Moderator)

Kris has worked within online video for the past 3 years as an executive in the online video platform space. Over the years he's watched the OVP sector become increasingly crowded and complex as new providers came into the mix offering competitive top-to-bottom, white-label video platform solutions. As a result, Kris realized the need for a service such as VidCompare that would bring clarity and guidance to business decision makers looking for video services. Kris tapped into his 6 years of building and managing unbiased comparison engines at CNET Networks to create a data-driven, fair, and deeply informative interactive directory of Online Video Platform providers helping first-time buyers of video find the right solution for their needs.

Austin Brooks, Independent Magician, Austin Brooks Magic
Austin Brooks is vice president of an internet marketing company and moonlights as a professional magician performing for some of America’s top corporations such as Pepsi, Warner Brothers, IBM and Sony. He began his magic career at the age of 17 when he was accepted to the famed Chavez College of Magic. After two years of intense training, Austin was the youngest person to ever graduate from the college and ranked top in his class. At the young age of 19 Austin took his show on the road and performed all over the country. He performed for companies like Pepsi, Arm and Hammer, Virgin Records, numerous colleges and nightclubs and even spent 18 months in Las Vegas performing for various Casinos and Corporate events. While on the road he wrote his first book “Making Magic Art” and quickly sold out it’s first printing, becoming a must-read for magicians everywhere. The book was proclaimed the bible for “alternative thinking” in magic.

Always wanting to learn more, Austin set out to earn the rare title of Master Magician. To earn the title Master Magician is not an easy task. Not only must you master all of the styles of magic such as illusions, street magic, sleight-of-hand, comedy, and mentalism, you have to be able to perform your craft across all demographics and events. Austin Brooks is one of the few individuals in the world that have been given the title of master magician. Currently, Austin performs for America’s top corporations and elite parties. He develops products for other magicians and consults for feature films and television shows when they need a magic effect created for their project.

Peter Himmelman, Independent Singer/Songwriter, Host of Peter Himmelman’s Furious World
Among rock musicians who matter, no one has check-listed those items more winningly than Peter Himmelman. During his multi-pronged career as a singer, songwriter and all-around performer, as a children's entertainer, TV and film composer and pioneering webcast star, he has maintained remarkably high standards. He is also Bob Dylan's son-in-law, being married to his daughter Maria Dylan.

Nominated for an Emmy Award in 2002 for his "Judging Amy" contributions, his music has also been featured on the television series Bones. He was nominated for a Grammy Award for his children album, “My Green Kite”. USA Today called Himmelman "one of rock's most wildly imaginative performers". He is also the creative force behind his USTREAM live Internet show broadcast every Tuesday evening at 7pm (Pacific time) from his studio, called Furious World. The show features original live music with his band, video segments that range from philosophical to comedic, and special guests. The show can be accessed through peterhimmelman.com or furiousworld.com.

Curt Van Inwegen, VP Client Services, LEVEL, a Rosetta Company
The Smooth Operator. Leveraging senior-level marketing, strategy and account management expertise, Curt leads his team with the charter to elevate the identity and value of Client Services in the agency experience and runs point on all LEVEL partnerships. Ardent about superior service versus servitude, Curt maintains solid relationships across all LEVEL clients and studios to ensure unequivocal customer satisfaction. His smooth style blossomed in the 80s while cruising his IROC-Z listening to Foreigner. Prior to LEVEL, Curt served on the Orb Networks, Inc. executive team where he managed strategic partnerships with brands like Vodafone, Intel and Nokia. Before that, he ran the Wirestone San Diego office and led client teams for Apple, eBay and HP while keeping things consistently profitable and beach-friendly. The Jesuits let him by with a BA from Loyola in Maryland and an MBA from Loyola Marymount, Los Angeles. Curt's smooth style has matured as he now cruises his Lexus while listening to Rodrigo y Gabriella.

The Online Video Platform Summit is a two-day event designed to help organizations of all types, not just those for whom video is their core business. Held on November 2-3 in conjunction with
Streaming Media West in Los Angeles, the Online Video Platform Summit is designed for video publishers of all types and sizes, whether small businesses looking to publish content for the first time, independent entertainment content creators, large media organizations, or anywhere in between.

Disclaimer: VidCompare is a sponsor of this blog.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

My 600th Blog Post!

The Silver Surfer by Jack "The King" Kirby
I started this blog to join the voices of the streaming media community as a way to share my knowledge, ideas and analysis of the online video industry. That was 599 posts ago, with my first post written on November 22, 2007, and so much has changed since then. This blog has become my main channel of conversation and more than anything it's helped me connect with so many amazing people in communities all over the world. While I wasn't a journalism major in school, which I think shows sometimes in my writing style and errors in punctuation and grammar, I do love to write and report on the online video industry as it has matured and grown over the last several years.

This blog has help me develop my voice and define my brand. Before I started blogging, I'd been in the enterprise video sector producing corporate videos, videoconferences and live events for the better part of 20 years, and while I had a challenging and rewarding career, I wanted to step out of the daily grind and do something different, something new, something of my own, something that would give a me chance to break out of my rusty cage.

I actually thought I'd start a podcast since I lived and breathed media production and just weeks before starting this blog I had the opportunity to be a guest host on an episode of the Lame Podcast, which was created as part of Jose Castillo's pre-conference seminar on "Planning, Building, and Launching a Successful Podcast" at Streaming Media West 2007. It was my first attempt at podcasting and it turned out to be a lot of fun and incredibly easy to do. I didn't realize it then, but the seeds were planted for what would later become my series of videos I call, "Online Video Conversations with..."

If you're interested, you can listen to that podcast below.

So when I returned from Streaming Media West I was inspired to start my own thing and "join the voices of the streaming media community", but rather than launching a podcast I followed the advise of my good friend Juan Aguilar who suggested that I start a blog since I could add audio, video, pictures and text, and as the the old cliche goes... the rest is history.

AP: Klessblog celebrates 600
As I approached this 600th post I thought a lot about what I should say and how best to reflect on own experiences and the massive changes within the online video, technology and social media landscape. I decided that I really didn't need to go into great detail on the industry or even delve to deep into myself to acknowledge this milestone. I really wanted to say the same thing I said on my 100th blog post, and that is to take this opportunity to thank you all. Many thanks to all my friends, followers, readers, subscribers, community members, colleagues, people who I've interviewed, PR people who've kept me up to date on the latest news and really to everyone who has helped contribute, support, read my posts, comment, retweet, watch video and share something.

I also want to say a special thanks to my friends Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen, Joel Unickow and Dan Rayburn at Streamingmedia.com and OnlineVideo.net who have given me great opportunities over the years to get more involved in the Streaming Media conferences; to Mark Robertson, online video superstar and publisher ReelSEO who has been a great friend and supporter of my work; and also to my friend Kris Drey, founder of VidCompare who has been a great supporter and also a sponsor of this blog. Last but not least, a heartfelt thanks to my wife Elaine for being my biggest supporter and for putting up with me and my crazy schedule and to our kids Marley, Mitch and Sam for their ongoing inspiration.

For many of you who have followed this blog for some time, I'm sure you've noticed the frequency of my posting has decreased, largely due to that thing we call life. Since blogging is not my day job and something I usually do by night, I generally fall behind on reporting the news. But with so many great new sources covering the space, I've tried to shift my focus from the daily news to provide richer content and analysis in the form of video interviews and conversations with industry shakers and movers, thought leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. What I love most about writing this blog is that I get to meet so many people across the industry and learn how their companies, products and services and technology innovations help shape the online video industry.

It's been an incredible journey and I appreciate the encouragement, advise and guidance from so many of you along the way. I've grown so much since that first blog post and the online video industry has come a long way since then as well. I'm excited by what lies ahead and for the adventures that are in store for all of us.

Thank you all for your continued support and stay tuned for much more to come!