Parks Associates Blog

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More on thePlatform and The Associated Press

Anton and I had the chance to talk to Marty Roberts, thePlatform's VP of Marketing, about the selection of thePlatform by the Associated Press for its Online Video Network. As Marty put it, thePlatform feels that this is the most significant B2B syndication deal to date, as it involves distributing the video assets of the AP and its affiliates to more than 2,100 sites. Typically, Marty notes that its content partners are distributing content to perhaps a few dozen sites at most. The scale of this type of distribution brings with it some challenges, which Marty outlined:
  • With AP content distributed to sites all around the world, a content management platform (thePlatform) needs to be able to allow the content producer to easily set geographic and air time restrictions for the video. This is done through a portal that AP accesses to set the distribution rules for the content.
  • thePlatform has to be able to move quickly with the video. Since the AP covers breaking news, much of the video publication and syndication has to get done in 15 minutes or less.
  • The business policies associated with the different videos have to be set and enforced - and these can vary widely depending on the type of content (news footage versus sports footage, for example).
  • Scalability. thePlatform is managing the video player for hundreds of the news outlets, so they have to provide flexibility in how each outlet brands the player for its individual audience.

The interview was interesting not only because of the nature of this announcement, but it also allowed us to gain greater insight into the content management roles that companies such as thePlatform are providing to content producers. It definitely adds depth to what I already had written today regarding companies in the content and ad management space. Marty mentioned transcoding of content, ensuring smooth file transfers to the right CDN, and applying business policies and metadata as three key functions of thePlatform today.

thePlatform is currently working with some of the largest video ad network companies in the space today. I noticed that they issued a press release on September 16 that had added to its advertising partners with the addition of 24/7Real Media, Microsoft's AdManager, DoubleClick In-Stream, Tremor Media, Kiptronic, and LiveRail. These companies are now part of thePlatform Framework, whjch includes advertising campaign management systems, ad sales networks, content delivery networks, content protection, media formats, transcoding engines, payment processors, syndication outlets and video search.

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