Posts Tagged 'application'

Vezoom – Meta Aggregator with a twist

The CA based Monetizemedia is going after User Generated Content creators.

The name Monetizemedia rang a bell for me for a while, though I couldn’t remember why. So when Alan Sherin, the company’s Director of Marketing, left me a lengthy comment on my post about meta aggregators, I took the chance to have a chat with him.

I was surprised to hear that the company exists only for two years, and has 40 full time employees. With all the noise around them, I wasunder the impression they were much bigger.

The company targeted mid size content owners – ones with libraries of video content that cannot monetize it. Its main offering revolves around creation of online channels, DVR platform, VOD offering and content protection. After creating the channels, the company brings in advertisers and share revenues with the content owner.

Soon they realized that the major problem their content owner have is how to drive traffic to their site. So they created a neat little product called VeZoom. The product has three layers:

1. Search engine – video search engine, that its main advantage when compared to competitors is that it is international and not focused on the US market.

2.Myvezoom – a Netvibes style homepage, for RSS distributed video content only.

3.VeZoom Pipe – a desktop application where user choose general categories and search terms, and get content pushed to their desktop.

The concept behind these layers is to cover different user needs – starting from actively looking for specific content, through personalizing a homepage, to passive content consumption.

The product is still in beta stage, and several basic functions are still missing (such as inline video presentation), but as this technology is commoditized, I believe they will quickly close this gap.

The real question is how can a company create a competitive advantage in this segment. One strong point for MonetizeMedia is that they are not relying on the new field of UGC as their sole revenue source. It is an advantage as they already have a revenue generating business. I also liked the fact that they are approaching global markets, a topic I wrote about its importance in the past.

However, one should take into consideration that the company is geared toward a different market segment as a primary revenue source. Indie content creators have different requirements then mid size content providers MonetizeMedia approached till now: while mid size content providers want to protect their content, use pay per view schemes, and control their media flow, Indie content creators are looking for exposure, multiple distribution channels, see DRM as a dirty word, and no one will pay to watch their content, at least at this stage.

Furthermore, Indie content creators have a close community and it is not a simple thing to penetrate it with new offerings.

There are some who believe that a company has a unique DNA that enables it to compete in the market. I wonder if MonetizeMedia DNA can be versatile enough to play on both markets.

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User interface and content discovery in video sharing applications

I’ve came across TVTonic after watching an interview with their president on The ScobleShow (great show by the way, add it to your favorite RSS reader).

TV-Tonic has a media center approach to user interface, as you can see in the screenshot below:

tvtonicaddchannels.jpg

As such, the interface itself is clean and aimed at remote control usage. It offers thematic channels, that are combined of specific shows (that from some strange reason are also called shows) . It has a small client that mainly handles video prefetching, and the user interface itself is based on Internet Explorer.

Democracy player has an application that has full functionality as a guide, video downloader/prefetcher and channel guide. Its user interface looks like a website, with various interest area, as you can see from this screenshot:

02.jpg

Who cares?

As I’ve mentioned before, content discovery is a major problem in the industry today. There are a lot of shows, in various topics, and new ones are added daily. How can a user find a new show to watch?

The fact is that I’ve almost never managed to find new interesting shows in Democracy guide. the UI is too clattered, to many moving objects are distracting my attention, and the guide never fits the screen. Two minutes after installing TV-Tonic, I’ve found 7 new ones (I will write about them in later posts). All due to the clear and clean interface, strong channel distinction, and easy signup to new shows. This fact should not be taken lightly.

My main takeaway from this experience:

1. In some cases, less is more, especially when talking about UI

2. Always try new video sharing sites and products. There is still room for innovation in this space.

3. Sometimes complicated issues such as content discovery have simple solution

4. Watch the Scobleshow – you never know what will happen next 🙂

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How an information junkie goes through the day

Hi, my name is Kfir, and I am an information junkie, (now all readers please say – “we love you Kfir”…).

Yes, I am an information junkie. I read tons of blogs, websites, and information sources, not to mention the 3-4 books I read parallel. You can say that RSS is one of the greatest things ever happened to me.

If you are like me, who can’t follow all the information out there, I recommend on two main sites. One is Netvibes – RSS aggregator that I use as my homepage. All my RSS feeds are divided to tabs, based on main topics (Web Television, Filmmaking, Marketing, News etc). You can play video and podcasts directly from the site, and when they added this feature my podcast listening habits completely changed (for the better). It is a real productivity tool for me.

The second one is Techmeme – a great site that shows the most important/interesting/talked about topics, not only in the blogsphere, but also in “old” media.

Well, it is 0700 AM here in Israel, and I am going to get my daily fix….


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