• New Akamai-KickApps Partnership Stakes Out Advantages in Video Management/Publishing

    More news today in the fiercely competitive video management, publishing and delivery space. KickApps, a social media platform provider and Akamai, the leading content delivery network, have announced a partnership integrating KickApps's Video Player Studio with Akamai's Stream OS video management system. On Friday I spoke to Michael Chin, KickApps's SVP of Marketing to learn more about the joint offering's benefits.

    I look at this deal as a front-end/back-end marriage, bringing together the two companies' complimentary capabilities as they seek to stake out new advantages in this market. KickApps, which has a roster of media companies, sports teams and others using its turnkey social media applications, has recently released its Video Player Studio, enabling customers to build on-demand customized video players for their sites.

    Meanwhile Akamai's Stream OS has been focused on the back-end tasks of video management and publishing, such as uploading/storing/editing video and metadata, distributing video through managed RSS feeds, and controlling syndication through business rule creation and geo-targeting.

    Michael sees the joint offering's key differentiators as comprehensive out-of-the box functionality, improved flexibility/time to market and integrated social media features (rating, tagging, commenting, etc.).

    KickApps is also counting on financial benefits to lure customers. It uses pay-as-you-go CPM-based pricing vs. the typical platform license fee model used by others. Large media companies usually buy out their entire KickApps-generated inventory at an agreed-upon CPM, while smaller companies stick to an ad revenue share approach. Another financial lever in the deal is that KickApps has negotiated very favorable CDN pricing from Akamai, which gives it more pricing flexibility for customers.

    Michael believes that between the broader feature set and pricing advantages, the KickApps-Akamai joint offering will be well-positioned to appeal to customers of competitors like Brightcove, Maven (Yahoo) and thePlatform (Comcast), not to mention smaller players in the space who have narrower feature sets.

    The KickApps-Akamai partnership continues to raise the competitive bar in this space. These are important, real differentiators the companies are using. That said, this space is very fluid, and in the coming weeks there will be at least 3 other companies which I've spoken to recently which will raise the bar in still other ways. This is a space that continues to evolve, as customer needs shift and their revenue pressures intensify. More news coming soon.

    What do you think? Post a comment now.

    (Note: Akamai is a current VideoNuze sponsor and KickApps is a former sponsor)