Sean Knapp, Founder and CTO of Ooyala, started his career at Google as one of the original engineers. His experience at Google provided a strong foundation for the creation of Ooyala. Ooyala provides underlying technology and services for distribution and monetization of online video content. In my interview with him, Sean talks about his work at Google, the launching of Ooyala, some of the metrics he has developed, data fusion and his perspective on the future of television.
The videos of the interview can be viewed here. Below is a short excerpt.
CW: Tell us about Ooyala.
SK: Ooyala powers online video for a large number of customers. Our premium customers are companies like Bloomberg or ESPN or Miramax. We help bring their content online, we help to distribute it to multiple platforms – whether it’s an iPad or Android tablet or the PC.
And we ultimately help monetize that content better, whether it’s with… better ad server integration, more sophisticated paywalls. We provide monetization and value for the entire lifecycle of that content.
Ooyala provides functionality in our product offering in three product categories. The first is management of content. We provide a large suite of services around the uploading, transcoding and management of video assets.
Second, we provide a large suite of product offerings around the distribution of those assets. We help facilitate the distribution of content across multiple devices whether it’s your smart phone, your PC, or connected TVs. We handle the technology that is required to distribute to each one of those devices.
Lastly, we provide a lot of product and technology around monetization of that content, which includes everything from deep analytics as to how many users are watching every second of your video content over time, to helping optimize paywall placement.
Our most recent announcement is actually a discovery engine. We leverage our footprint in Big Data. All of the analytics we collect to provide automated content recommendation for publishers ultimately allows them to personalize that content experience for each and every consumer.
CW: Let’s talk about the discovery engine. What data does it collect, and how is it used?
SK: It is an automated way of engaging consumers and driving better user retention and overall better user consumption. What we are able to do is leverage all of the data our system collects, which is about 2 billion events on a daily basis and about 200 million unique users on a monthly basis. We collect all of this data from consumption patterns – everything from when the player was loaded up to how much of a video a user watched and we use that data to ultimately provide better recommendations for content that should be consumed or that the user would find interesting.
CW: Are you able
to fuse or match your data with, for example, Nielsen data to provide a more cross-platform view of media consumption
SK:[Yes.]We are finding that this is becoming a more common approach, largely as online video grows. Three years ago when online video was 1% or 2% of all video consumption, most people really didn’t spend a lot of time looking at this 360-degree view. But based on more recent growth in the industry -- according to comScore, online video is nearly 10% of all video consumption in the United States -- this becomes a fairly significant piece of the overall viewing pie and it continues to grow quickly,. We are finding that many of Ooyala’s publishers are taking a more holistic approach in measurement in both ad sales and across their entire video strategy.