After two successful years with Clearleap as its go-to vendor for multiscreen video services, Scripps Networks Interactive has signed a multi-year renewal agreement to extend the partnership.
Clearleap currently manages both video processing and delivery for Scripps Networks content headed to set-tops, websites and apps. However, Alex Beach, director of new media for Scripps, said recently that he believes the scope of that work will expand even further in the future. "We know that Clearleap has the capabilities to help us reach the next phase of our strategy... whatever that next phase and that strategy will be," Beach said.
Part of Scripps' future plan involves improving monetization of its video-on-demand content. The company started implementing dynamic ad insertion (DAI) solutions with Clearleap's help in 2013 and expects to add more DAI partners in the coming months. Having already signed up Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) for the VOD advertising program, Scripps is aiming to pick up two more operators by the start of next year. With DAI, Scripps can increase the value of its ad inventory by implementing new targeted advertising, starting on the fourth day after a program's original airdate. (See Ad Industry Eyes Shift From Ratings to Impressions.)
What's particularly noteworthy about Clearleap's technology is that it's all IP-based. Beach emphasized the advantage of this approach recently. Specifically, he stressed the added flexibility that it provides over QAM-based video technology when transcoding content for multiple platforms.
"It's seamless working with Clearleap," he said. "Before we had Clearleap as a partner, we'd have multiple transcodes going on... Now we just do one publish and one delivery."
Beach said Scripps also benefits from the fact that Clearleap delivers its programming to both affiliates and pay-TV providers over terrestrial networks. There are no satellites involved. Instead, Clearleap manages its own delivery network and puts hardware in the facilities of the companies that need to access Scripps content. Beach acknowledged that there was some pushback on this approach initially, but said most of the company's operator partners have come around. (See Clearleap Clears Funding Gap.)
The new Scripps contract, meanwhile, is a valuable one for Clearleap, which also counts among its customers the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) , Home Box Office Inc. (HBO) , Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX). The bulk of the company's business is in North America and Europe, but Clearleap also expanded recently into Latin America and Africa.
— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading