I'm pleased to present the 168th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. Today we start by discussing Akamai's new Ad Integration Services, which enables cloud-based video ad insertion, in partnership with mDialog.
This approach has multiple benefits including improving the user experience which extends view times. Colin notes that recent data from Conviva, for example, shows that a 1% increase in buffering results in 8 minutes of lost viewing time, which in turn means a loss of 2 ad breaks. Conviva estimates in 2012 this adds up to $2.2 billion in lost ad revenue globally, and by 2017, it could be $20 billion. Clearly improving the viewer experience has a significant payoff.
We then transition to talking about improvements in video discovery. Colin shares takeaways from his interview this week with Jeremy Toeman, CEO of Dijit (Next Guide), which recently acquired Miso. And I share observations on the new web version of Fanhattan, which launched in beta yesterday.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (19 minutes, 50 seconds)
Video discovery app Fanhattan has launched its web site today in beta, offering the same convenient way to find a TV program or movie through one simple interface. Until now Fanhattan has only been available as an iOS app. Fanhattan's key value proposition is that it eliminates the complexity of searching across multiple services. This problem is only worsening for users as more video comes online and aggregators gain and lose rights over time.
Categories: Video Search
Digitalsmiths has announced deals this morning to power personalized video search and discovery across all platforms for Time Warner Cable, and for i.TV, the TV guide app for iPhone/iPad, Nintento Wii U, AOL, Huffington Post and others.
Ben Weinberger, Digitalsmiths CEO, also told me this morning that the company's "Seamless Discovery" technology is now powering over 1 billion transactions per month, which consist of user requests for search, recommendations and other data. At this level, Ben believes Digitalsmiths is now the largest provider of search and recommendations in North America, its main geographic customer area.
Veveo, a provider of search solutions for connected devices, has debuted a new voice and natural language-based, "conversational interface" technology for video search. Available for trial currently and for release in Q1 '13 in its Reveal 3.0 product, the new voice capability is targeted to pay-TV operators, connected device manufacturers and set-top box providers eager to give users more flexibility in how they navigate the ever-increasing array of video choices.
I'm pleased to be joined once again by Colin Dixon, senior partner at The Diffusion Group, for the 144th edition of the VideoNuze-TDG Report podcast. In this week's podcast Colin and I first discuss Google's recently-announced changes to how its search results are determined. Google will now factor in instances of copyright infringement to demote bad actors in its results. Colin sees the change as due to Google's interest in deepening relationships with Hollywood, where YouTube's business is increasingly pointing. However, there has been some dispute about just how much impact Google's change will have on results in YouTube.
Next up we discuss the idea of Apple building set-top boxes for the cable TV industry, which the WSJ wrote about yesterday. I add some further detail to my post ("Apple to Make Cable Set-Top Boxes? Not. Going. To. Happen.") which Colin mostly agrees with, however noting that Apple could add real value to cable's anemic VOD navigation. It's been fun to read all the coverage of the Apple-cable development; I'm clearly among the strongest skeptics. Perhaps I'm missing something big here, though I don't think so. Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (19 minutes, 53 seconds)
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(as noted in the podcast, we were each using new microphones this week and Colin's audio setting is a little low; we'll adjust next week)
Fanhattan, the slick iOS video discovery app, has broken into the TV Everywhere world, adding content from HBO and Cinemax. Fanhattan users can now discover HBO programs and movies within Fanhattan and click through to view them if they are authenticated as HBO subscribers. Fanhattan is announcing the addition of HBO and Cinemax, plus NBC and CW programs this morning. Fanhattan now has 175K TV programs and movies from 14 premium entertainment apps discoverable, up from 4 apps at launch last year.
Fanhattan is also unveiling a new "WatchList" feature, which allows users to add a movie or TV show and be alerted when it becomes available on any of the 14 sources. For users, WatchList eliminates the confusion around where, how and when premium content is available, as it passes through multiple distribution windows and models.
Video recommendations provider Taboola has announced a $10 million Series C financing this morning led by Marker LLC. With the new round, total capital raised to date is $24 million. Proceeds will be used for international expansion and product development.
Taboola's EngageRank now delivers 500 million recommendations per day to 130 million monthly users for publishers such as WSJ, NY Times, CNN, The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today and others. Monthly users have doubled since last November, when Taboola had 64 million users in the U.S. User growth likely reflects increased penetration with U.S. publishers, and also international growth in countries such as Germany (where Taboola recently announced a deal with OMS, a consortium of 30 newspapers), England, Israel, Brazil, France and Poland.
The nascent market for second screen TV apps on mobile devices - whether from pay-TV operators, content providers, CE/SmartTV manufacturers or social media/discovery startups - is poised to accelerate due to a deal announced yesterday between Tribune Media Services (TMS) and Digitalsmiths. That's because TMS, which is the largest provider of metadata about TV shows and movies will now use Digitalsmiths' Seamless Discovery platform to offer 20 different APIs allowing app developers far easier access to the data than ever before.
Ben Weinberger, CEO and co-founder of Digitalsmiths and I caught up at the recent NABShow, with Ben explaining how pay-TV operators are using Digitalsmiths' technology to extend content discovery to mobile apps, second screen tablets and connected devices. Ben said operators began to recognize about a year ago, as TV Everywhere started kicking in, that they need to connect consumers to content in far more effective ways than just through traditional programming grids.
Digitalsmiths recently announced a partnership with Audible Magic for automated content recognition-based recommendations and also its "Social Discovery" feature which analyzes social activity to make recommendations. See video below (7 minutes, 23 seconds).
Categories: Video Search
Categories: Video Search
Topics: TV Guide
EveryZing, the search and publishing technology firm, is announcing this morning that it has been chosen by FOXNews.com and FOXBusiness.com to power universal search for both sites. The deal means that current and archived videos, podcasts, articles and images on each site will be indexed and presented online using EveryZing's SaaS-based Universal Search Solution. The two FOX implementations are great examples of how EveryZing can cohesively present various media formats to benefit both the user and content provider. Tom Wilde, EveryZing's CEO walked me through the FOX implementations last Friday.
The starting point for content providers working with EveryZing is to have their content indexed, transcribed and tagged by the EveryZing system. For the FOX sites that meant millions of content objects, EveryZing's largest implementation to date. From the user's standpoint, the most compelling thing about EveryZing is the control and flexibility it allows to pull out of the index just the results desired and in the preferred media format.
For example, if you start a search with "Stimulus" you're presented with results ordered by relevancy. But if you select to filter by video, then you see just videos tied to the topic. Each video is presented with time stamps you can roll over to see the sentence in which the search term was used. Clicking on that time stamp takes you to that specific point in the video. Other time stamps are presented in the video clip as well, for easy jumping.
Conversely, if you're interested in a comprehensive package of all results tied to the keyword, EveryZing offers related "universal topic pages." So for "stimulus," the two related topic pages are "Stimulus Package" and "Economic Stimulus." Click on either and you'll see all results for these terms. A topic page is EveryZing's way of grouping all related assets onto one page, which enhances discoverability by search engines and engagement by users. On the "Stimulus Package" topic page, you can drill down by media type (e.g. video, story, blogs). You're also presented with a dynamically-upated list of related topics. For the two FOX sites, EveryZing has created 3,500 topic pages, along with 125,000 video landing pages. EveryZing also enables promotions of specific on-air shows that are related to the topic, a great tool for boosting visibility and audience.
With EveryZing's SaaS approach, the FOX sites are not hosting any EveryZing software. Instead, FOX has created the search results page templates, and when a user runs a search, the results are published by EveryZing into these templates and served (along with the videos themselves) by Akamai, which is FOX's CDN. EveryZing's model is to be paid a monthly fee on the basis of how much content it indexes and how many hits to the database are generated. All activity should result in another ad opportunity for the content provider, so as long as the content provider can sell its ad inventory, the model should be positive.
I've been bullish on EveryZing for sometime (see here and here) because it exposes content providers' burgeoning volume of video content to their users' well-established search behavior patterns. Importantly, by blending video with other media formats, EveryZing allows users to decide what format they want to engage with at that particular time. Because no two user experiences are ever the same and more and more content providers are utilizing different media formats, I see EveryZing's approach only increasing in value.
What do you think? Post a comment now.
Categories: Video Search
Pixsy, a white label video search provider made an interesting announcement yesterday about the launch of its new "Premium Feed" service, which I think is another example of the Syndicated Video Economy that I've been talking about for a while now. I talked to Pixsy CEO Chase Norlin about Premium Feed to learn more.
For those of you not familiar with Pixsy, it has been quietly building one of the largest video indexes since its founding in 2005. To date it has mainly focused on licensing the index to partner sites which wanted to offer easy video discovery to their users. As more content providers have offered embedding, Pixsy also enabled found videos to be played right on its partners' sites. Even though activity has grown well, Chase is pretty candid about monetization to date being difficult.
Premium Feed takes embedding to the next level by creating a subset of Pixsy's video index that is both higher-than-average quality and has accompanying pre-roll and overlay ads. Then Pixsy is developing an economic relationship between the content provider and its publisher network by signing redistribution and revenue-sharing deals with both. Chase says that to date the publisher network has 45 million unique visitors/mo and that 1-2 million videos are in the Premium Feed.
One of those publishers is EgoTV, and I chatted with founder/president Jimmy Hutcheson to find out how they're implementing Premium Feed. If you look in the lower right corner of their home page you'll see 3 new "channels," Ego Cars, Ego Comedy and Ego Travel. Each of these are constructed solely of Pixsy Premium Feed videos that are curated by an EgoTV editor. In another example at Ego People, the 300x250 ad in the right column is now populated with the Premium Feed. This is a simple "highest-and-best-use" real estate decision: Jimmy explained that Premium Feed is yielding 2-4x as much net revenue for EgoTV as it would receive if it sold rich media ads in this position.
The concept of bundling content with ads (or vice versa?) and distributing them to sites seeking video and extra monetization is of course at the heart of the syndicated video economy. Much of what Pixsy is doing with Premium Feed is conceptually familiar to Google Content Network, Adconion TV, Voxant (now Grab Networks), Syndicaster, Jambo, Magnify.net, 1Cast and others.
Yet each of these initiatives has its own somewhat differentiated value proposition and underlying technology approach. As syndication grows in importance, sites with strong traffic and an interest in incorporating video will have many choices. As to how they'll decide, Chase makes a good point: simplicity and one-stop shopping are always valued by resource-constrained sites. Providers that can address as many of these sites' potential needs will be in a strong position.
What do you think? Post a comment now.