Israel-based AnyClip has launched its Content Platform, enabling its library of brand safe premium video to be contextually targeted across publishers’ web sites. As Ari Applbaum, AnyClip’s VP of Marketing explained to me in a briefing, this results in video embedded in a “walled garden of safe, secure web sites, which is compelling to advertisers.”
AnyClip has traditionally pursued a syndicated video business model, inserting video clips into publishers’ sites. What’s being launched today is a new underlying technology platform called Luminous, which uses AI to more deeply analyze video and create metadata. Luminous can filter out objectionable content such as nudity, violence, profanity, guns, etc. Luminous can also screen for celebrity, brand identification and sentiment as well as IAB categories (see below).
Video distribution platform Vemba has raised $6 million in a series A-1 round, bringing its total funding to $11 million. The new round was led by Time Warner Investments and SpotX, with existing investors Upfront Ventures and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments participating as well.
Vemba’s CEO Garrick Tiplady told me in a briefing that the company’s vision is to become the industry standard platform for scale in video distribution on any device. Vemba’s platform allows content providers to create flexible models to distribute their videos and receive real-time analytics on their performance and monetization.
Tout, which syndicates premium video to over 4,000 sites, has inked a partnership with Grapeshot, a real-time marketing intelligence and optimization platform. Tout’s CEO Michael Downing told me in a briefing that the goal is to provide ad buyers increased transparency about the pages in which Tout content partners’ video is placed and also enable buyers to target more specific audience segments and context.
SpotX and Vemba have teamed up to ensure that video syndication is profitable for both video content providers and online publishers. The companies have jointly launched a new product that enables publishers to set minimum profit margin parameters which determine whether a pre-selected video from Vemba’s library should actually play.
SpotX’s SVP, Global Revenue Sean Buckley and Vemba’s CEO Garrick Tiplady explained to me how the product addresses critical syndication challenges and works at a practical level.
Tout has raised a $26 million Series C round led by the Melohn Group, with new investors Windsor Media, Pittco Capital Partners and HL Capital, along with existing investors Seavest Capital, 819 Capital and the WWE. Michael Downing, Tout’s founder and CEO, told me in a briefing that it was an up round and was oversubscribed. Including the new round, Tout has raised $40 million.
Tout has flown relatively below the radar, but has made significant progress toward building out a classic “syndicated video economy” business, distributing premium video from over 230 different content providers including CNN, Fox Sports CBS, Scripps, Bloomberg and other to over 2,800 different publishers’ sites including Salon, Breitbrart, Independent Journal Review and others. Michael said that Tout now ingests 5,000-7,000 videos per day and drives 380M video views from 57 million unique viewers per month.
Startup Vadio (as in “radio”) has released a new tool called “ChannelBuilder” which allows publishers and brands to easily curate and embed customized music video playlists. Publishers and brands can select music videos that align with their editorial or business model from a catalog of hundreds of thousands of music videos that Vadio has licensed.
Tribune Publishing, seeking to leverage its deep roots in content syndication, has unveiled TCA Video Network, a new multiscreen video syndication service. TCA Video Network is part of Tribune Content Agency, which is a division of Tribune Publishing.
TCA Video Network is powered by Beachfront Media whose founder and CEO Frank Sinton told me that the deal gives Tribune access to the full breadth of Beachfront’s syndication, monetization and mobile app development platforms. Frank emphasized that Beachfront has been fully focused on mobile, which, along with data, are core to TCA Video Network’s strategy.
I'm pleased to present the 273rd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
Since Verizon announced it was acquiring AOL for $4.4 billion earlier this week, there has been a ton of media coverage, with lots of speculation about what the deal means for Verizon going forward. This is at least partly due to the companies doing a relatively poor job of articulating the deal's strategy.
In this week's podcast, Colin and I weigh in as well, focusing mainly on how AOL's video, programmatic and video syndication assets could mesh well with Verizon Digital Media Services, which already provides back-end delivery and monetization to video content providers (see here and here). Combining the two seems like the biggest point of leverage to Colin and me, yet we note that Verizon didn't even mention a VDMS role in any public comments on the deal.
Meanwhile, in a week when the pay-TV industry suffered its first-ever first quarter loss of video subscribers, we also discuss how Verizon seems intent on innovating beyond the traditional multichannel bundle.
Listen in to learn more!
We all know the Internet is big - some 3.5 trillion web pages big, by the latest comScore estimates. But you wouldn't know it by looking at the current state of the online video market.
Nearly a decade after advertisers started batting around the idea of the Internet's "long tail," highly branded video publishers have yet to grasp the meaning of the phrase. The online video market is now pulling in over $6 billion. That's not bad. But with an injection of democracy, the market could grow to three times that size in very short order.
Vidible, a startup video syndicator, has announced its platform enabled 1 billion video streams in August. Further highlighting its momentum, Vidible said it has 150+ content providers across the U.S., Europe and Asia in 12 different categories now using its platform. Vidible anticipates 300% growth in 2014 and profitability in 2015.
Michael Hyman, Vidible's CEO and co-founder, recently explained to me that Vidible is differentiating itself from other video syndication platforms with greater transparency and controls for all parties plus a lower cost structure for publishers. Michael believes that to date video syndication has offered minimal transparency, akin to the early days of ad networks where arbitrage was the primary business model.
USA Today Sports Digital Media and NeuLion have announced a strategic partnership for video syndication and original productions. The deal includes NeuLion College, a network of 170 NCAA sports properties and USA Today Sports' extensive collection of digital sports sites plus Gannett's 120+ local media properties. Dave Morgan, president of USA Today Sports Media Group and Chris Wagner, EVP of NeuLion filled me in on the deal yesterday.
AOL has scored a huge coup with a deal announced today to syndicate ESPN video content across its owned-and-operated sites, plus its distribution network of 1,700 publisher sites. ESPN video in AOL will be accessible on desktops, smartphones, tablets and connected TV devices.
Importantly, the deal underscores the allure of online video syndication. By choosing to syndicate through AOL, ESPN concluded - despite its already formidable presence as the top-ranked sports property online - that AOL's distribution network could provide still further online reach and monetization potential. That's no small statement, and it is a testament to both AOL's video growth over the past several years and to the strength of the "Syndicated Video Economy" concept I began talking about back in 2008.
Online video sports syndicator CineSport has announced its biggest content and technology partnership to date, with USA TODAY Sports Media Group, a top 5 comScore sports property with 30 million monthly unique visitors. USA TODAY Sports operates the sports section of USAToday.com, plus the sports sections of 140 local newspaper/broadcast TV station sites, a network of digital-only sports sites and a network of 60 affiliates.
Under the deal, USA TODAY Sports will integrate CineSport's VaMP video platform technology throughout its content network. As a result, new and archived original video will be accessible for local producers to easily embed in digital articles. Gregg Winik, CineSport's CEO, noted that these types of contextual embeds are key to CineSport and how it helps its publisher partners differentiate themselves beyond simply displaying video clips in the right column of site pages.
There's a lot of excitement about online, ad-supported access to TV programs (accessible on the TV networks' own sites or via Hulu), but a new study from ad manager FreeWheel being released this morning shows that in reality, short-form content and 3rd-party syndication are the workhorses of online video advertising.
For the first time, FreeWheel breaks down its data by "Linear + Digital" content providers (i.e. TV networks like Fox, NBC, etc.) and Digital Pure-Play (online-only content providers or aggregators like VEVO, AOL, etc. that mainly focus on short-form content). FreeWheel found that video views grew 30% in Q1 '13 vs. a year earlier, driven by a 47% increase in views from DPPs, which offset a surprising decline of 8% by L+Ds. The data is based on 16 billion video views in Q1.
Grab Media, which has been at the forefront of what I've called the "Syndicated Video Economy," is gaining traction with its recently-released "GrabPress" video plug-in for the WordPress content management system. GrabPress allows publishers of any size using WordPress to quickly customize and embed a feed of video from Grab Media' s ever-growing catalog of 500K+ video clips directly into their web pages. Grab Press has been downloaded 3,500 times to date.
Grab executives recently explained to me that while the company's core mission of connecting video providers with a distribution network of publishers remains the same, the mechanism for doing so has changed significantly over the past year. The big driver of this is that advertisers have become reluctant to place video ads against syndicated video content showing up in right column 300x250 units. As such, Grab has sought, with GrabPress, to enable video content to be more contextually integrated with publishers' own content.
comScore released its November, 2012 ranking of the top 10 U.S. video properties yesterday and News Distribution Network (NDN) spiked to the number 2 position, with 55.7 million unique viewers, surpassed only by YouTube, the perennial 800-pound gorilla.
NDN has burst onto the online video scene over the past 8 months moving from the 10 position in April '12, with 27 million views, then dropping out of the top 10 in May and June, followed by 5 months of blistering growth, surging from the number 8 position in July, with 35.1 million viewers to the number 2 position in November. I recently caught up with Kevin Gentzel, NDN's chief revenue officer, who was previously publisher of Forbes, to learn more about the company's success.
Categories: Syndicated Video Economy
Another great example of how video syndication is continuing to deliver results: in November's comScore rankings of U.S. sports properties, Perform Sports edged out perennial leader ESPN in number of total monthly unique viewers. As the chart below shows, Perform had 24.532 million viewers and ESPN had 24.092 million. Yahoo Sports is a distant third with 9.988 million, followed by another syndicator, CineSport, with 8.367 million and NFL with 5.936 million.
Late yesterday NBC Sports and Yahoo announced a content sharing and promotional partnership that further cements Yahoo's role as a video syndication magnet for big media companies. In addition to the new NBC Sports deal, over the past year, other major media partnering with Yahoo include ABC News, CBS Television Distribution, Wenner Media, Clear Channel, CNBC, Fox Digital Entertainment/DirecTV and others, as each has sought to extend its online video presence beyond their own properties and to generate new ad revenues.
Categories: Syndicated Video Economy
I'm pleased to present the 155th edition of the VideoNuze-TDG podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon, senior analyst at The Diffusion Group, who joins from London. First up this week, we discuss AOL's video success and the larger concept of video syndication. Earlier this week, AOL revealed that its video revenues jumped from $10 million 2 years ago to $100 million in 2012, largely due to syndication. Colin and I dig into why syndication is so compelling and what's ahead.
Next up, Colin shares insights he gained from a presentation at the OTTTv World Summit in London by Marina Kalkanis, Head of the BBC's Programmes OnDemand Core Services team, which is responsible for the media and metadata services supporting BBC online. Marina's team oversaw BBC's online simulcast and on demand streaming of the London Olympics.
Colin was impressed by the scale of the BBC's Olympics operation and how video was consumed online and on mobile devices. One key takeaway - BBC found online/mobile complimenting linear TV, similar to NBC's experience in the U.S.
Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 11 seconds)
I've been devoting a lot of ink to AOL recently because its success has made it the poster child for the power of online video syndication and monetization. In yesterday's Q3 '12 earnings report, AOL delivered the most resounding evidence yet of syndication's value - CEO Tim Armstrong said AOL's video ad revenue jumped from $10 million 2 years ago to a projected $100 million in 2012, with more growth ahead in 2013. The results are mainly due to video syndication, powered by AOL's acquisition of 5Min in 2010.
Simply put, AOL is capitalizing on the concept of the "syndicated video economy" that I first began discussing 4 1/2 years ago. On the call, Armstrong described how AOL's large video syndication library (which has grown from 30K videos to 450K today) feeds both its owned and operated properties and its network of 30K publishers. All of these sites are hungry for video for 2 important reasons: they meet users' increasingly video-oriented expectations and their adjacent ad inventory is monetized at far better rates than traditional display.
Categories: Syndicated Video Economy