The Online Video Platform Madness


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This post will cover an overview of the Online Video Platform (OVP) space, based on the latest information gathered at the Online Video Platform Summit that was put together on November 18-19 in San Jose, California. If you’re a potential new OVP user, current one or an actual OVP, there’s something for everyone on this post.

When I first walked the show floor, I quickly noticed that not all OVPs where there. Although there were a lot more than what’s in the Forrester report (which was a very limited overview of only a few available OVPs), some companies were missing in action (ThePlatform, CoreMedia, KIT-Digital, IVT) while new ones made an appearance (Veeple, Voped, Twistage, VMIX, Datpresenter).  I did stop at each OVP booth, got quick demos and asked questions about their key differentiators versus their competition. Some of them were more honest than others. It was refreshing to hear a simple and honest response from Voped on this topic.

In the end, it is pretty much what I expected. Everyone does everything the same way… well… sort of.

They all do the basic things you’d expect: cloud compression, content management, video player customization, monetization and analytics. Some of them are more “hands-on” than others, where you need a moderate level technical know-how in order to achieve the up-most potential of their solution. Others target non-technical clients by providing the bare bone basic at a very lower price. Some of them have more emphasis on key topics (social communities, customer engagement, monetization, etc.) while some others have unique features (live video, screencasting, interactive video, etc.)

Of course, it wouldn’t be an exciting conference if OVPs didn’t release major announcements right on time for this. Brightcove made a big splash with the announcement of their Brightcove 4 platform. Ooyala and Kaltura also had a few tricks up their sleeves.

In the end, wouldn’t we all love to have all OVP features merged into a single system? For me, I’d like to see a Brightcove-Ooyala-Kaltura-Kyte type of system. None of these platforms use a common standard for the various features-set, which therefore pits their potential clients in a corner. How?

Today, clients have to evaluate each platform’s features, pricing, usability, scalability, extensibility options into a complicated weighted evaluation matrix in order to generate a short-list. They also have to figure out how each OVP would be able to integrate into their digital workflow and corporate infrastructure systems (LDAP, Lead generation, Web publishing, etc.)

But what if your organization wants to jump to another OVP? Right now, OVP clients are expected to redo all of their web links, re-host media, re-enter all meta-data, roles/permissions, etc. Think about the large producers of content dealing with thousands of video assets. The logistics, time and manpower involved for an OVP migration could run an organizaton more than a yearly OVP contract. I’ve personally done that at and do not wish it on anyone.

This should scare enough potential OVP users to stay away from the entire OVP industry and just build it themselves (OVDIYP: Online Video Do-It-Yourself Platform). However, that isn’t good for the client (can’t keep up with OVP features and their users’ needs) or the overall OVP industry. OVPs need to have open standards and migration tools/services in order to lower the barrier to entry and provide a healthy dose of competition in the OVP space.

One of the vendor (Kaltura) was all about open standards and open source, but not across OVPs. Wouldn’t it be great to have OVPs get together and figure out their open standards? This would be the stepping stone for content everywhere…

thoughts, ideas and experiences? please share with the rest of us.

You can also provide your OVP experience/insights at VidCompare.com in order to help future OVP users, who are trying navigate this Online Video Platform madness…

Thanks again to Larry Kless and Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen for putting this Online Video Platform Summit conference together!

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~ by laurentbridenne on November 23, 2009.

One Response to “The Online Video Platform Madness”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by David Boyll, OV Platform Summit. OV Platform Summit said: Great summary overview of the space. RT @dboyll: The Online Video Platform Madness (via @lbridenne76) http://bit.ly/6N7mTP #ovps09 […]

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