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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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  • RealGravity Seeks to Shake Up Video Platforms and Syndication With All-in-One Solution

    Newcomer RealGravity is looking to shake up online video platform/publishing and syndication with a no-commitment, risk-free, all-in-one solution. RealGravity hit my radar recently as it is powering CineSport, which has become one of the top online video sports properties this year (recently with more viewers than Yahoo Sports, ESPN and SI Digital) by focusing exclusively on syndicating its content to larger 3rd-party publishers.

    As VideoNuze readers know, online video syndication has been a focus of mine for several years, as I'm a big believer that it's critical for generating audience and revenues, particularly for smaller content providers that lack well-trafficked destinations. RealGravity is providing important infrastructure for fueling syndication, and recently I caught up with Luke McDonough, co-founder and CEO to learn more about what makes RealGravity different.

    As Luke explained, RealGravity's goal is to offer a robust video platform solution that content providers can use across their own site(s) and 3rd-party publishers. The RealGravity player can be custom-branded and skinned so that it fits into any 3rd-party environment. RealGravity's analytics allow the content provider to get a complete view of how 3rd parties are performing as well as its own site(s). A big differentiator from other online video platforms (OVPs) is that RealGravity doesn't require a commitment or charge a monthly fee. Rather, it charges a flat, CPM fee against streams that run with ads (there's also a CPM option for streams that run ad-free). RealGravity believes its cost is 50-90% lower than other OVPs.

    RealGravity also includes an ad server to support publishers' direct sales efforts and is also integrated with all of the largest video ad networks. RealGravity does not have its own ad sales team, a distinction that Luke notes is important because it keeps the company from being perceived as competitive with its own customers' and 3rd-party publishers' sales activities. In addition, RealGravity offers a content marketplace, currently with over 500K videos, where content providers can upload their video and publishers can browse and select what they want. Content providers can set the terms of usage and ad sales responsibility.

    Universal Sports is a good example of how RealGravity is being used by a specialized content provider to distribute to 3rd-party sports sites that have narrower but passionate audiences. In a call with Universal Sports' VP/GM, Digital Media Elliot Gordon and Director, Streaming Operations, Gus Elliott, they explained how they've used RealGravity to cherry-pick over a dozen key partners and deliver them exactly the video that's appropriate to their audiences, in a Universal-branded player that's skinned for each site (one example here). Elliott and Gus noted that it would take multiple relationships to achieve what RealGravity's doing for them, and they're able to work flexibly with each partner depending on their ad sales capabilities. Other RealGravity customers include Maxim, Metacafe, NBC, Howcast, VIBE and others coming soon.

    With its cost-effective model and comprehensive solution RealGravity looks poised to become a key player in the growing syndication space.
     
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