Online video platform (OVP) provider thePlatform, which has primarily served larger-size media companies and distributors to date, is looking to broaden its market appeal by launching "mpx Essentials," targeted to small-to-medium size businesses (SMB) and agencies. As Tim Sale, program leader for mpx Essentials explained to me, the move is a bet that all organizations will need to have a video presence in the future, just as they've all come to need a web presence.
Tim said thePlatform has been receiving inbound calls from prospective SMB customers for a while, but hasn't had an appropriately priced or featured service to offer them. As a result, it's been in the position of often referring callers to competitors like Brightcove, Kaltura, Ooyala and others. Recognizing that SMBs pursuing video need more than what a getting-started platform like YouTube offers, yet not all of the features that big media companies need, thePlatform decided to launch mpx Essentials.
There are actually two flavors of mpx Essentials, one priced at $499/month and the other at $1,499/month. The key difference is in how many videos can be streamed and stored. The full details are here, but in a nutshell, the $499 version allows 500 videos with 350GB streamed, plus 500GB stored, while the $1,499 version allows 2,000 videos with 1,500GB streamed, plus 2,000GB stored. The $1,499 version has other enhancements such as more flexible ad monetization, customized metadata and automatic file ingestion.
Both versions are meant to be highly intuitive, for use by non-technical staff tasked with overseeing an SMB's video presence. There are multiple player templates which can be further customized. Content delivery from Akamai's HD network is built into each service, ensuring high-quality viewer experiences. In contrast to some other OVPs' SMB products, thePlatform is requiring an annual contract for both versions.
In making the move down-market, thePlatform is joining a crowded field of OVPs targeting SMBs. No question this is a growing market, and I buy into the theme that over time, video will become table stakes for all organizations, just as web sites have. It seems like the right move for thePlatform to vie for its fair share, given it's not a ton of new development to pare back the flagship product to serve SMBs.
(Note: thePlatform is a VideoNuze sponsor)