Just when you thought the online video platform space was finally entering a consolidation phase, today a new OVP called Playwire Video is launching. Playwire is backed by Intergi Entertainment, a gaming content provider/ad network. Jayson Dubin, president of both Playwire and Intergi recently briefed me on today's video launch.
Despite the range of current video options, Jayson recounted that his personal experience in trying to select a video platform left him feeling there were still significant technical/operational challenges for small-to-mid-size users and also inflexible pricing terms. Jayson thinks of YouTube as an easy on-ramp, but one that didn't offer great direct monetization options. On the other end he said more robust solutions still felt pretty techie to him, and with their pricing terms, hard to actually make money from.
Playwire has created the "Bolt" video player, using Adobe's Open Source Media Framework, which supports IAB standard ad units. Other features included are encoding into 100+ formats, free storage and content management, syndication through a "Sandbox" marketplace, and analytics. Initial monetization partners include Adap.tv, BrightRoll, Google, Specific Media, Tidal TV and Tremor Media.
The most important aspect of Playwire however, is pricing. Jayson states that a key differentiator is that there's no contract, and users can get started for free with 50 video and 2GB delivered. Plans appear cheap compared to other low-end solutions available today, although the key question is how Playwire's features compare to others. Since I haven't been hands-on with Playwire, it's a little hard to judge.
Playwire's advantage is that it will try to leverage Intergi's network of publishers and advertisers to build usage. Since there is huge demand from both content providers and advertisers to offer video, being able to recommend a tested, low-cost, in-house solution should give Playwire some momentum. The larger bet here is that as more small-to-mid-size companies recognize that video is table stakes, they'll be searching for an easy-to-use/low-cost but highly monetizable solution.
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