Thursday, November 29, 2007, 7:33 AM ET|Posted by Will Richmond
If you're sitting on a video archive and looking to monetize it more fully with an immersive broadband user experience, it's well worth checking out.
I have been very bullish on broadband's ability to create libraries of searchable segments carved out of longer-form programming. That's one of the reasons I was excited about Comedy Central's recent launch of TheDailyShow.com, which is packed with 19,000 clips from all of the show's episodes. However, Comedy Central 'fessed up that it took a team of 16 working double shifts over many months to create the site's clip library. This labor intensity shows that monetizing an archive has been a non-trivial pursuit.
And that's where Gotuit's solution comes in. Yesterday I got an update from Patrick Donovan, their VP of Marketing, about the XONtv deal.
First, to understand Gotuit (to which I am a minor advisor), the company has created an indexing work flow platform that allows entry-level staffers to quickly churn out clips using metadata guidelines developed by the specific content provider. Each segment has a title, a text description, a series of customizable preset attributes (or tags), thumbnails and time-code start/stop points.
One thing that's critical to understand is that Gotuit-powered clips are really "virtual clips." When a user accesses a clip, the Gotuit platform is making an XML call to the CDN to begin streaming from the original video file at the time-code starting point. So no new tangible clip asset has actually been created in the Gotuit workflow. That means that unlike TheDailyShow.com, which now has 19,000 new assets to manage (likely created using standard video editing software), with Gotuit, there are new no "assets", just files with metadata descriptors. Needless to say, this approach drastically simplifies ongoing management, especially for content providers with vast libraries. By following the metadata guidelines, playlists can be created which allow multiple entry points into each video segment.
XOXtv partnered with Gotuit as a service provider, shipping Gotuit 300+ hours of XONtv's video programming. Gotuit took about 1 1/2 weeks to crank out all the clips. At the XONtv site you'll see 13 "channels", each of which is then sub-divided into programs, "episodes" and the segments themselves. All content is in the clear right now, soon XONtv will be pursuing a subscription-based business model.
Other benefits of the Gotuit approach include no buffering, full-screen option, embedding, bandwidth detection and sequential play-out. All of this means a more immersive experience, driving more viewership and value. On the monetization side, Gotuit has integrated with a number of broadband ad management/servers, and obviously offers rich targeting against specific segments otherwise unavailable. Alternatively, as XONtv intends, paid models are also supported.
Gotuit can work as a service bureau for the content provider or license the platform and let the content provider use their own resources to index their video. (I happen to believe this would be a perfect off-shore project, with the right training). In either service bureau or license model Gouit charges an ongoing platform fee plus usage fees tied usually tied to video consumption. Beyond XONtv, Gotuit has announced deals with Fox Reality, SI.com, NHL.com and others.
The XONtv implementation is a great reminder of how broadband enables deeper user engagement, business model flexibility and re-use opportunities never before possible. Wrap a robust social/community-building suite around this and the value proposition for content providers becomes even stronger.