A recurring theme in the video industry this year has been the proliferation of video-enabled devices and fragmentation of viewing. This has resulted in vastly increased complexity for content providers to prepare and deliver the properly formatted video efficiently and cost-effectively to all these devices. Recognizing this escalating challenge, online video platform provider thePlatform is announcing new "Smart Workflow" features in its mpx video publishing system this morning, to accelerate the formatting and delivery of video to multiple devices.
Initially, Smart Workflow incorporates next-generation transcoding with partners Elemental and Harmonic, fast file transfer with Aspera and accelerated HTTP ingest with Akamai's Sola Media Solutions. Marty Roberts, thePlatform's SVP of Sales and Marketing explained to me last week that additional best-in-class partners will be added going forward, all with the intent of streamlining the process of publishing customers' content.
All of the partners' technologies, are "under-the-hood," allowing thePlatform's customers to simply select desired formats in their mpx console and then have the relevant processes kick off. For example, the Elemental and Harmonic technologies are being added to thePlatform's transcoding cloud, and are automatically deployed for customers that don't have their own transcoding capabilities.
After customers select the appropriate device profiles, transcoding of multiple simultaneous files begins. If only one process fails along the way, just that one is re-done, rather than having to start the entire job over again. Customers can also set the prioritized transcoding order for particular devices and distribution partners.
A key business driver of multi-device support is pay-TV operators' TV Everywhere services that provide anytime/anywhere access to cable TV programming. For pay-TV operators, TV Everywhere represents new operational challenges as online viewers have little patience for delayed, inconsistent or unavailable playback on their favorite connected/mobile devices. Servicing these customers' stringent needs is another key objective of Smart Workflow.
At VideoSchmooze 2 weeks ago, Ian Blaine, thePlatform's CEO and co-founder, joined me for an in-depth discussion of TV Everywhere, including the strategic, technical and operational aspects of its rollout. The interview is embedded below.
(Note: thePlatform is a VideoNuze sponsor)