October 31, 2013

VOD & Mobile Monetization: How Innovative VOD Platforms are Driving Business Results

There’s an old expression in TV advertising – “Dollars follow eyeballs.” As more and more eyeballs have shifted to online video, however, the advertising money trail has been slow to follow.

According to eMarketer, 60 percent of the American public watch online video every week. Even more telling, average time spent per day with online media will surpass time spent watching TV for the first time this year. Despite all that, advertising dollars have been slow to transition from traditional broadcast to online video. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s latest media report, digital video accounted for only 7% of the overall $10.3 billion spent on advertising in the 2nd quarter of 2013.

Although it’s projected as a $5.9 billion market by 2017, the online video market could be much bigger if the industry could just “figure out the data thing,” as Jeff John Roberts recently wrote on Paid Content. Two video-on-demand solution providers – Ooyala and thePlatform – have been working on that exactly for the last several years.

Beginning in 2009, Ooyala started tackling “the data thing” with Big Data technology. Back then, the company realized that the challenge of providing real-time online video analytics was far too complex for relational databases. So they went with the non-relational database technology Cassandra, which employs a so-called “cluster” architecture. The result? This greatly increased the speed and scalability of Ooyala’s Big Data engine, and it allows Ooyala to serve up personalized recommendations based on an individual’s previous viewing history.

This is how Ooyala attacked the problem of latency in analytic reporting to their clients. By adopting leading Big Data innovations, the company today handles roughly 2 billion daily events triggered by 200 million users. Ooyala turns this immense fire hose of data into real-time, actionable intelligence for blue chip publishing clients such as Bloomberg, ESPN and Yahoo! Japan. To read more about the specifics behind the Ooyala platform, see John Leonard’s article in Computing from earlier this year about the evolution of the company’s technical infrastructure.

thePlatform, which is owned by Comcast and counts A+E, Cox Communications, Liberty Global, and Time Warner Cable among its customers, also provides its clients with a one-stop shop for managing, monetizing, and syndicating cross-platform video. thePlatform’s real-time analytics offering allows companies to monitor metrics like top viewed content, video start-up time, buffering ratios, average bit rate, and exits before video starts. thePlatform relies on partnerships with companies like ThinkAnalytics, FreeWheel, BlackArrow (a 3Pillar client), and many more to provide its clients with analytics and advanced advertising solutions.

Ooyala and thePlatform are two companies in the rapidly growing online video space that are helping content providers monetize online video more effectively than they’ve ever been able to in the past. These innovative, ever-evolving platforms display the kinds of opportunities available for companies that can harness the power of big data to drive advertising revenue and mobile monetization in the years to come.