New EveryZing Video Player Helps Publishers Cash In on Viral Video Distribution

10/22/08Follow @wroush

Google’s YouTube makes it incredibly easy to share cool videos with your friends or embed them in your blog or website. The site’s friendliness toward viral distribution is probably why almost every video on the Internet ends up on YouTube sooner or later. But if big companies that publish a lot of Web video leave it to YouTube users to spread their media, they’re leaving advertising dollars on the table, argues Tom Wilde, CEO of Cambridge, MA-based video search startup EveryZing.

That’s why EveryZing is rolling out a new product today—a customized video player called MetaPlayer that helps video publishers give website visitors YouTube-style control over videos without sacrificing ad impressions.

“People want to clip, share, and read video content the same way they do with all other Web content,” Wilde told me last week. “YouTube makes it easy, so that’s where you see it happening most. The trick is balancing the need to respond to consumer requirements while still staying in business.”

EveryZing has focused to date on using speech-to-text technology developed at Cambridge’s BBN Technologies, which spun off the company in 2006, to create written transcripts of podcasts and video files. By publishing these transcripts on the Web as part of a file’s “metadata,” EveryZing makes it much easier for search engines to find the files, for advertising networks to attach relevant ads, and for viewers to jump straight to the segments within a video that interest them.

But up to now, most EveryZing customers had to go to third-party video hosting providers for the actual video player software that Web visitors use to watch videos. EveryZing client Boston.com, for example, turns to Cambridge-based Brightcove for its video services.

The Dallas Cowboys\' implementation of EveryZing\'s MetaPlayerMetaPlayer, however, gives EveryZing customers an in-house option. The software offers several advanced functions, including thumbnail images that direct viewers to automatically identified “scenes” within a video, and time-stamped tags that make it easy to jump to the exact moment when a topic of interest is mentioned.

MetaPlayer also includes a clip-making tool that lets users pare down a video to their favorite section, then e-mail that custom clip to friends or embed it in their blog or social-networking profile. The key selling point for publishers: any “pre-roll” or “post-roll” advertising that came with the original video gets attached to the beginning or end of the customized clip.

“We’ve found that there are maybe three types of video users today on the Web,” says Wilde. “There’s the casual user who will just watch the video. Then there are the folks who want to get into it and navigate the video. Then there are the prosumers who want to use that video as part of their own publishing activities. Those folks end up being, in some ways, an extension of your own publishing capability, because they are taking videos and republishing them and getting you more consumption—and the key thing about MetaPlayer is that your pre-roll and post-roll and in-stream ads go with them,” bringing publishers more ad impressions and click-through opportunities.

EveryZing customers can also customize MetaPlayer’s look and feel (its “skin” or “chrome,” to use the industry terms). The Dallas Cowboys, for example, have created a blue, gray, and silver version that fits with the team’s extensive multimedia website (see image above).

MetaPlayer also plays well with video players from other Web video destinations, including YouTube. That means EveryZing customers can show material from YouTube inside their own branded players—tapping into YouTube’s deep pool of videos while avoiding the “lumpy” look, to use Wilde’s word, that comes from using multiple players from different companies.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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