Where All OVPs Fail


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Let’s say you’ve gone through the work of having your company agree to use an OVP (versus the “free” YouTube alternative) and you’ve done your due diligence in picking the most appropriate one for your functional/integration needs to reach your business goals and digital workflow. By now, you’re fully dependent on the OVP’s financial future and product roadmap (even if they have full-blown APIs for extensibility). But, what if you want to switch OVPs after you’ve created thousands of video posted everywhere from internal and external blogs, product pages, that you may or may not be able to control?

As of today, no OVP Content Management System (CMS) can talk and translate data between each other, which means that if you ever ant to switch to another OVP, you’ll have to deal with thousands of re-linking, meta-data migration, file migration, not to mention trying to hunt down where all of your videos have been posted, shared with or bookmarked.

Broken links irritate your viewers and hurt your Brand. Fixing thousands of pages frustrate your web publishers/bloggers. Time and headcount spent on this activity will cost your company a small fortune. Bottom line: Selecting a wrong OVP could cost your company dearly…

How could you prevent that?

First: Decoupling the media CDN from the OVP will provide more flexibility/accessibility of your files. No matter what OVP is being used, the files you own will stay at the same media URL (not to be confused with the player URL).

Second: Point users to URLs that you (and no OVP) can control.  The player URL should be the only thing that changes between OVPs (passing unique IDs for player types, playlists, media asset, and pulls meta-data from the OVP CMS). The only pro-active solution is to set up your own OVP Middleware. That OVP Middleware System can provide an unique vanity URL, which then translates and redirects your viewers to your selected OVP (using their linking strategy and their CMS). That OVP Middleware should also act as your main meta-data repository in case you need to export that information into an OVP. The point is to not lose any information if you ever switch OVPs.

Every plan needs a backup plan.

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~ by laurentbridenne on January 28, 2010.

4 Responses to “Where All OVPs Fail”

  1. You have some very good points here. Currently, switching providers is very painful for organizations with lots of content.

    The preventative steps you mentioned here are certainly valid, though I would argue that they’re largely out of reach for businesses without access to web development resources. You’re also suggesting that each company essentially rebuild a piece of the product that they’re already buying from the OVP.

    There are some companies doing some interesting work in these areas though. Twistage, for example, has been moving more toward the OVP middleware that you’re describing. Instead of forcing you to rely on their entire stack, you can plug-in other vendors at different points in the chain (e.g. use HDCloud for encoding & FlowPlayer as your video player).

    I agree though, if you’re completely and utterly relying on a single OVP and don’t have appropriate backups of your content library and metadata, you should probably consider adjusting your game plan.

    • Great comment Brendan!

      I totally agree that most companies cannot build their own OVP Middleware in these tough economic times. Unless OVPs come up with some sort of open standards or migration services, the OVP clients will have to continue to work around this issue. I’ve asked that open standards question at the Online Video Platform Summit, but all OVPs (with the exception of Kaltura’s CEO) didn’t have an answer for it.

  2. Great post, Laurent. And very encouraging for our approach too!

  3. […] introduced their new MPX beta aimed at simplifying online video content management. As per an earlier entry, each OVP is providing a front end management console built upon their Content Management System […]

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