Vid.ly is both a clever and unique service that allows publishers to upload videos and get back a universal video url that will play your video everywhere, on any desktop browser or mobile device. When the video is uploaded to Vid.ly, it converts it into a variety of different formats and bit rates and once the video is transcoded, Vid.ly provides a short url and embed code for publishing. The beauty of Vid.ly is that publishers don't have to worry about the pain of video encoding, transcoding, file formats, display resolutions or any of the headaches involved in preparing, storing and delivering video online or to mobile devices. Vid.ly takes care of it all and when viewers click on the url, Vid.ly detects the device or browser type and delivers the correctly formatted and optimized video.
Publishers can embed the HTML5 code provided by Vid.ly directly into their web pages or Flash players, or can share the provided short URL via SMS, Facebook, Twitter or other social media outlets.
According to Encoding.com's President Jeff Malkin, Vid.ly takes on the heavy lifting that is usually done by online video platforms (OVPs) by delivering important and basic functionality (transcoding, storage and delivery through partners) along with device and browser detection all wrapped up in a single url, and he says, "The feedback we're getting is how simple it is, that's what's resonating."
Malkin says that the key features of Vid.ly Pro include, first and foremost, the API, which mobile app developers and video platforms can now all build Vid.ly directly into their content management systems, apps and workflow. Among the many new features in Vid.ly Pro, developers can now control the 25 output profiles, create unlimited source video file size, adaptive bitrate streaming for all Apple iOS devices and have a choice of CDN, either Akamai or AWS Cloudfront and more CDNs will be added throughout the year. Down the road Encoding.com plans to add analytics and a customizable HTML5 video player, and as Malkin says, "The whole goal is to maintain the simplicity of the platform."
One of the key verticals that's embraced Vid.ly, Malkin notes, are the ad agencies, which he says are signing up left and right. Mainly because they are all moving into video for their giant consumer packaged goods and branded customers, and they don't really have the video infrastructure to manage large campaigns.
"For them it's all about speed to market," he says, "so Vid.ly just removes all of that headache for them, and obviously does it for them in a very simple way."The other key factor for agencies, says Malkin, is that up until now they've really had no choice but to use YouTube which has been what he calls "a necessary evil", but they'd rather not use YouTube. Brands want to build their own sites and not be branded as a YouTube video. "So with Vid.ly," Malkin says, "they can do that."
Another vertical that he says is very obvious, is the mobile app world, which is waiting to explode with video as the mobile photo app world already has done so. The mobile video apps world hasn't yet exploded because it also requires a massive video infrastructure, and only a few like SocialCam, Qik, Skype and Ustream each have its own massive video infrastructure. But Vid.ly takes that all off the table, says Malkin, and in fact Encoding.com is creating a wrapper for its Vid.ly API right now in Objective-C code for iOS devices that they will be releasing in about a month to make it "drop dead easy" to create video apps for the iPhone and iPad and from there move onto the other platforms.
Another use case that Malkin says they never imagined, but seems to be generating a lot of Vid.ly usage is the QR code vertical. It's gaining serious popularity with advertisers, retailers and big box stores to tie print to digital. While video is a perfect medium for QR code campaigns, it hasn't been well utilized because you never know what phone is scanning the QR code and therefore you don't know what video format to serve to that device. But storing a Vid.ly url in that QR code is simple, he says, and a prime example is a giant real estate platform that produces thousands of mailers of homes for sale and can embed a video walk through of an open house within the code. Another is big box retailers that use QR codes that can be scanned to bring up how to product videos.
Malkin says that they are getting some amazing data on where video views are coming from by platform, based on approximately 5 million views from the past 3 months of Vid.ly operations. iPhones lead the pack with 62.52%, Android 23.98%, Blackberry 11.12% and followed by iPad 2.38%. Browser views were: Firefox 51.3%, Chrome 22.2%, Internet Explorer 20.6%, Safari = 3.3% and Other 2.6%. This information will be updated quarterly on the Vid.ly homepage at http://m.vid.ly/
In April of this year, the company announced a $2 million funding round from current investors, that was used to expand the scale of Encoding.com’s operations and customer acquisition efforts. Revenue growth has been steady month over month, but Malkin says, that Vid.ly Pro will likely be the tipping point to move its revenue to the upward trajectory. While the company has received several acquisition offers, it has turned them down and it continues to focus on enhancing its products and customer experience.
"For us, our sweet spot seems to be the tens of thousands of video content publishers, agencies and app developers that live between YouTube or Vimeo and the big OVPs." says Malkin. "With Vimeo on one end of the spectrum and the heavy OVPs on the other end of the spectrum who simply need a solution that's going to have their video work regardless of where the end user in trying to view that video. That's the huge gap that Vid.ly's filling."
Encoding.com, the world’s largest video encoding service and provider of Vid.ly, the universal video platform, powers over 2,000 companies, including leading brands across media and entertainment, eLearning, retail, telecommunications, lifestyle, and advertising. Blending a flexible SaaS model using cloud-computing platforms, Encoding.com enables publishers and developers to instantly scale, while eliminating expensive video infrastructure investments, and supports all popular web and mobile formats. Gartner recognized Encoding.com as a “Cool Vendor 2011.” For ongoing company updates, please see http://blog.encoding.com, http://blog.vid.ly or follow @encodingdotcom, @vidlyURL on Twitter.
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