Three Streaming Tidbits

6:30 -- Tuesday and Wednesday, I was holed up at Streaming Media East. Amid a sea of streaming ASPs and bickering CDNs, a few people and companies stood out (at least in my opinion).

  • Magnify
    Tuesday's panel discussion brought up how a more vertical model for hosting online video can make a site more profitable. If you want a vertical site and you aren't an established media conglomerate, you probably want to head right over to Magnify to get started. Users set up their own channels, and Magnify aggregates relevant clips from user-provided keywords. As a community builds up around the site, they can upload their own videos directly, and the engine harvests new clips from around the Web every few days. And it's stupid easy; I made my site in five minutes.

    Plenty of companies are using user-generated video for promotion. Malibu is currently running one through YouTube, while Rita's Ice is using The Feedroom; is there any reason either of those couldn't have been done using Magnify?

  • BuyDRM
    Christopher Levy, CEO and founder of BuyDRM was in the building to pitch his KeyOS DRM, but when I sat down with him, we ended up talking about the entire concept of digital rights management. He spoke enthusiastically about the work he had done with Jay-Z and Coca-Cola, in which eight minutes of Jay-Z concert footage traveled freely around P2P networks carrying Coke ads. Levy emphasized the need for such technologies to be about marketing, not money, and expressed frustration with DRM techniques that are not "realistic about the way consumers use the media." Granted, I don't love this case study, in which KeyOS stopped an early release of the new Beyonce single from playing after the album dropped, but at least the man behind it has the right idea. DRM isn't inherently evil, but it should be monetizing content that many will acquire for free regardless.

  • Gotuit PowerVideo Suite
    Tuesday afternoon, Gotuit lured me into its big product announcement with an open bar. And wouldn't you know it, the big product is actually pretty cool. Gotuit's previous big innovation allowed for the selection and tagging of individual scenes within a video clip, which you can see in action at Scenemaker. The new PowerVideo Suite adds a new tool that allows the construction of a video remix site. The product announcement hinged on the new Akon Remixed site, which users can use to mix and match scenes from any of Akon's assorted jail-centric music videos. While it also mixed the audio in the demo, which wasn't such a great idea with clips lasting a few seconds or less, there was also an option to play just one song under the user video mix. Beyond music, it's easy to conceive of an all-you-can-eat highlight reel for any sport imaginable, especially with the ability to tag each individual scene ("home run," "great catch," "bench clearing brawls featuring Nolan Ryan"). We'll see where this goes.

    (Not surprisingly, the Akon remix site is down now. Oh well.)

    — A.L. Friedman, Editor at Large, Light Reading

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