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Saturday, July 26, 2014

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  • 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Creating an Original Video Series

    Following is a contributed post by Frank Besteiro, VP and Head of Business Development & Partnerships, The AOL On Network. VideoNuze will consider contributed posts that are educational for video industry colleagues. Please contact me to learn more.

    5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Creating an Original Video Series
    by Frank Besteiro

    Over the past few years, the online video industry has evolved from a wild west of user-generated content and repurposed TV clips to one of the most exciting and buzzed about parts of the web. Major players like Amazon and Netflix have drawn attention by betting big on star-studded series that encourage viewers to indulge in marathon-style viewing. At the same time, media companies with their heritage in print and TV have been turning out innovative and highly produced content that engages their audiences in new ways.

    Though there’s no denying that it is still early days, there’s also sense of urgency in the industry borne of the fact that the ultimate winners in video will be those that get in the game early, experiment and start building a loyal fanbase. It’s for this reason that most online publishers who haven’t gotten into the game yet and are wondering if it’s time to jump onto the original series bandwagon. As someone who spends his days with the biggest names in the industry, I can tell you that this path isn’t for the faint of heart. Even though the potential payoffs are high, building a quality series and cutting through the noise is a major undertaking. Here are 5 questions every publisher should ask themselves before jumping into the fray.

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  • YouTube Now Getting 40% of Its Views on Mobile, Up From 6% In 2011

    YouTube is now getting nearly 40% of its views from mobile devices, up from 6% in 2011. That nugget was shared by Google's CEO Larry Page in its Q3 2013 earnings call yesterday. YouTube is the latest content provider to share strong mobile viewership data; in the past several weeks BBC said its iPlayer mobile views are now up to 32% of total, VEVO said 50% of its views are mobile and PBS Kids said 75% of its are mobile.

    These are clearly leaders in mobile and their viewership shows mobile's potential. More often these days, I'm hearing content providers say 20-30% is the range for their mobile views. Note, if you want to learn more about mobile video, both VEVO and PBS Kids (along with ESPN and Beachfront Media) will have executives speaking on the mobile video session at VideoSchmooze on Dec. 3rd (early bird discounted registration is now available).

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  • PBS Enhances Video Search for Thousands of Its Videos

    PBS is announcing this morning that users of PBS.org can now search transcripts of 7,000 free videos available on the site using filters such as program title, producer, local PBS station, airdate and content format across a range of programs including Nova, Frontline, American Experience, PBS Newshour and others. Users will be able sort and share their search results with others. The search feature is enabled by RAMP, which is creating and managing the videos' metadata.

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  • No Surprise, Ivi is Shut Down

    Broadcasters got a win this week as a U.S. District Court judge issued a preliminary injunction against Ivi, requiring the service be shut down. The decision comes as little surprise, as Ivi's claim to being a cable system, and therefore entitled to a compulsory license to rebroadcast TV networks, seemed specious from the start. Though Ivi vows to appeal the decision, casting itself as consumers' savior, there's little reason to believe we'll see Ivi - at least in its current form - back any time soon. Moral here: just because the Internet makes it possible to rebroadcast networks, that still doesn't make it legal.
     
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  • LiveRail Lands PBS for Video Ad Management

    LiveRail, a video ad management company, notched a high-profile customer win yesterday, announcing that PBS will use the company's platform to deliver sponsor messages on its recently launched PBS.org video portal and its 356 member stations' online video outlets. PBS is making an aggressive play in online video and has gained many positive reviews of its portal, which provides access to all of its full-length programs and more.

    LiveRail's CEO Mark Trefgarne and EVP Nic Pantucci explained to me yesterday that they're building a suite of tools that equally addresses all 3 constituencies in the ecosystem - publishers, advertisers and ad networks. The company is focused on the following 3 differentiators to separate itself in a pretty crowded video ad management space:

    1. Enhanced optimization that allows simultaneous querying of multiple ad sources to determine the highest effective CPM ad to serve (Mark and Nic said that using LiveRail one customer saw an jump in their ad fill rate from 40% to 90%)
    2. More flexibility in distributing and customizing ads to affiliates, based on a sub-account authorization system (this was particularly valuable for PBS with its hundreds of member stations and multitude of sponsor messages)
    3. Integration with the broadest set of 3rd party ad networks, using an extensive series of open APIs (this helps with time to market and reducing cost of integrations)

    Of course, the real way to validate these benefits and compare LiveRail to others is by getting hands-on and trying the platform out. I've offered similar advice in the past when assessing the variety of online video platforms.

    LiveRail was started in 2007, has 15 employees and has raised $1.5 million to date, though it sounds like there may be financing news upcoming. The video ad management space includes others like FreeWheel, Adap.tv, Tremor Media (with its Acudeo product), Auditude and others.

    What do you think? Post a comment now.

     
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  • Please Join Me for thePlatform's Webinar on Aug 18th

    Please join me for a complimentary webinar thePlatform is hosting next Tues, Aug. 18th at 10 am PT / 1pm ET, "How Broadband Video Players Can Align Business Requirements and User Experience." I'll be moderating a discussion with the AP's Bill Burke, Global Director Online Video, PBS Interactive's Joshua Kinberg, Director, Video Product Management, and thePlatform's Marty Roberts, VP of Marketing.

    The webinar will be highly interactive and will focus on how to use player technologies to meet online video business requirements while also providing outstanding user experiences. AP and PBS have extensive affiliate networks, making them both aggregators of online video as well as producers themselves. As a result they've faced key challenges in managing and presenting their video in a compelling, up-to-date manner. Bill and Joshua will share their best practices, and Marty will provide a broader perspective from thePlatform's dozens of customers.

    Click here to learn more and for complimentary registration

     
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  • Charlie Rose Video Delivery Not Ready for Prime-Time

    Last night I had a first-hand experience about why high-quality video delivery matters so much.

    As an admitted political junkie, I just HAD to see the replay of Charlie Rose's interview with Bill Clinton from Friday night. I'd read that Clinton's handlers were apoplectic behind the scenes, asking for the interview to be terminated early because Clinton had become so agitated under Rose's relentless questioning. Clinton was getting frustrated that he just couldn't quite articulate why Hillary is best-suited to the role, or why Barack Obama is unqualified.

     

    Ok, so credit to Charlie Rose that the full episode was offered (commercial free btw, this being PBS), and that it was highlighted right at the top of the home page. But that's about the only thing right about the experience. No exaggeration, the video probably hung at least 20 times and completely failed at least half a dozen times. It ranked as one of the worst broadband video experiences I've had in recent memory.

    That said, I stayed with it the entire way, because how else would I get to see the episode? However, only a tiny fraction of viewers would be as patient as I was in this situation, even despite the fact that the site still says "beta."

    So memo to all content providers: if you're going to put your top assets and talent online, make sure you have a quality delivery infrastructure in place to do them justice and please your fans. Second chances are hard to come by in the online world.

     
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