Phando Empowering Media Delivery Wed, 23 Aug 2017 11:30:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Video Monetization is all about Relevance Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:27:32 +0000 In today’s digital age, content is galore. Access to content is easy and cheap – often times such abundance in content poses a lot of issues around security, performance, availability, given the voluminous and free flowing nature of data, whereby managing data becomes a huge challenge for data aggregators, publishers, governing bodies that need to regulate data etc. Of the various streams of data that is consumed extensively by end users, videos is also an important piece. Video publishing solution providers, host not just free videos but also video monetization solutions, as part of their overall offerings. Considering all these variable, really sky is the limit when it comes to data generation, publishing, monetization and consumption.

So, what is it that video monetization platforms, harp on in connecting all the dots, across various entities including content creators, advertisers (who are often the main source for video monetization) and end users. Relevance is the key. Relevance across all entities, including common preferences, target markets, requirements, background demographics – these may sound to be straight forward parameters to deal with but are very challenging to implement at the core when you are dealing with volumes of data. Also data has to be curated for varied aspects including, cleansing, genuineness, formats as required by the publishing platforms amongst others.

While the core search engines, data aggregation solutions, advertising platforms also work on this core parameter of relevance, it is even more important for video monetization solutions, since such all such sub-solutions, culminate in one final solution which is video monetization – this offers a very rewarding and responsible use of the digital medium, amongst other free digital activities we may undertake and to that extent, relevance is what we all should continue to strive for, in our digital presence.

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Nuances in enterprise video platforms Thu, 03 Aug 2017 11:26:27 +0000 Content publishers have a lot of choices today, when it comes to which enterprise video platform to use – open source to sophisticated commercial solutions, the options are plenty. While the quality of rendering, delivery, and the overall experience is easily differentiable between the open source and commercial ones, the question sometimes is the choice amongst the paid ones – here as well the choice parameters may be many, including overall pricing, packaging, monetization, flexibility, support, engagement models, support across languages, overall experience etc. While these are taken into consideration there are other smaller nuances/features to also be considered – some that have a profound impact in content reach and accessibility in the market place. One such nuance is the “captioning” for video content in video platforms.
Our test arm presales team was recently sitting at a prospect meeting talking about accessibility for their digital assets, one of which was video content. The prospect was using a leading enterprise video platform solution, which had a built–in captioning feature, and to their pleasant surprise even without their knowledge all of their video digital content had captions, which is a core requirement of any accessibility compliance, be it Sec 508, WCAG 2.0 AA, ADA etc.

It is important to herein note that it is not just about content/digital assets being compliant with requirements such as accessibility, but the empowerment that the video platform provides with such in-built nuances, including how synchronized the captions and the video content are. Phando totally values the need for such attention to detail and we too have our machine recognized as well as human powered translation to accommodate the language, subject and accent variances in the content we host. More about this latest feature of ours will soon be available on our Phando features section. Stay tuned and in the meantime, if you would like to see any more such nuances
built-in, please do reach out to us.

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Online Video Sharing – A Collective Responsibility Wed, 28 Jun 2017 11:25:47 +0000 Content going viral is nothing new today – whether it is a movie related gossip, or a strange handshake a politician has made, video and text content goes viral globally every day on varied topics. Online video sharing sites and platforms have been instrumental in enabling content being shared and reaching the masses. Once such sharing has been done, search engines and optimization tools further step in to increase the reach and visibility of content.

Obviously video sharing has a number of significant benefits – whether it is for organizations that have disparate teams across locations, or overall for the generic end users/audience in training, educational updates, company-wide updates etc. What is important is that not all of these updates are meant for everyone – some may be an internal mailer but the organization may be so large that the content can be easily intercepted in the process of internal receipt for unauthorized external circulation. Taking in the benefits on online video sharing, it is truly a collective responsibility of everyone in stake to ensure the content is shared and consumed in a responsible and secure manner. This includes right from the content publisher to ensure the right security settings are enabled (whether it be undisclosed videos, private settings, restrictions based on IP, domain etc.), recipients who are careful about content that they receive (especially ones which have a “anyone with this URL can view the content”), third party interceptors and media to use ethical ways of sourcing content, testing organizations (such as QA Info Tech) to be leveraged for varied testing mechanisms including security testing to ensure content is secured and ethical hacking and penetration testing is attempted for, publishing platforms such as Phando, to constantly explore newer features around tighter sharing options. Today, we live in a world where content and data is freely available – it is obviously being used for both constructive positive activities and for destructive activities. Technology and content together need to be leveraged more for the constructive set and no one entity can do this by itself. Every entity should do its bit to ensure the collective responsibility promotes a healthy medium for content sharing including online video content.

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What differentiates a video marketing service provider Thu, 25 May 2017 11:24:48 +0000 It is a no brainer today that digital video has a huge market share and end user appeal. Whether it is for advertising, marketing, tutoring a topic, enterprise conferencing, personal end user chatting, video as a content delivery medium is powerful beyond words. The numbers and rate at which it has been growing are mind boggling. This post by Forbes, talks about how the video marketing industry has evolved today and where the numbers stand – they are phenomenal indeed.

While this growth is undeniably huge and the potential still exists to grow into newer markets and segments, there is a collective responsibility we all share in shaping the video and especially the video marketing industry and this is where the video marketing service providers have a big role to play.

It is quite obvious that the success or failure of a video / video marketing effort largely depends on the video content – while the platform and its features are important for the overall delivery, user experience and content rendering, a rich platform can only do so much. A large piece of user connect comes in from the content that is being delivered. This is where the video marketing service provider brings in both the technology piece and the artistic piece of envisioning the purpose of the content and fabricating an appealing story together – such a story should be purposeful, convey the core message, be innovative and creative in building user stickiness. It is important for the service provider to understand from the content-seeker what parameters they need to work on to appeal to the end users – such parameters may include humor, compassion, empathy, nostalgia, intuitiveness, simplicity, richness etc. It really depends on what the content seeker wants and can vary from product to product and scenario to scenario.

A professional video marketing service provider is one, who not only ties these two pieces together but also takes on the social responsibility in ensuring checks and balances in curating the content that is being created and published. For example, in publically available video and video marketing platforms, most often you will see an arbitration team that takes on the responsibility in moderating video content that is being published. A nerve-wrecking example in recent times is the app Blue Whale that posed 50 challenges to the player, the last of which is to end one’s life – this is where the importance of content curation, especially video content curation becomes very important and as a responsible video publishing platform ourselves at Phando, and the larger organization that focuses on software and content QA, we truly believe a video marketing service provider that differentiates oneself provides that right technology as well as responsible content.

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The endless possibilities with enterprise video solutions Fri, 12 May 2017 10:16:27 +0000 When we think of enterprise video solutions or video streaming we often only think about using the platform in areas such as entertainment including let’s say a game being live streamed for the employees of an organization, mass communication, remote streaming of town hall meetings etc. In our organization for example, all our quarterly organization wide review meetings are streamed live so our employees from remote offices can also join in. Phando, our enterprise video solution, is what we have been using for this lately and it works like a charm both on mobile and non-mobile devices. While these are all very practical and useful areas of application for a video solution, its usage really has endless possibilities, both within and outside the organization. This holds true regardless of whether you are a product company, services company, a large player, a start-up, a B2C or a B2B solution provider – all that is really needed is creativity in terms of how to use the solution and what kind of content to create and render. This could include targeted tutorials for clients, specific instruction videos, videos to share previews of what’s next, videos to get customer feedback, sometimes videos to even get them to test the product and provide beta feedback in real time.

It may sound like more content is being curated and generated through this process, but really it helps in multiple ways – staying connected with end users and employees in a dynamic and real time manner, understanding their experiences and really aligning the product with their needs live, leveraging feedback for future product enhancements amongst others. A usability study firm may charge a lot of money to get you the same feedback, but when you can do this yourself with your own enterprise video solution combining it with your knowledge of the product, the outcomes are priceless. Organizations are gradually beginning to realize the potential of such a strong enterprise video solution with powerful analytics and how the combination can make all the difference in a product gaining exceptional acceptance in the market. Such analysis also opens a lot more avenues for the internal employees to branch into newer areas of work including customer connect programs. Phando as a full-fledged enterprise video platform is engineered to bring in such added advantage for users. We also strive to continue working on the platform to make it more nimble and rich in enabling it provide a seamless experience in conjunction with data analytics. So, here’s to endless possibilities that today’s enterprise video solutions can bring in and we are very excited about the role Phando would play in this landscape.

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Live Video Stream Entering Personal User Space Tue, 14 Mar 2017 05:33:43 +0000 Social media has stirred a huge revolution amongst the masses in the last decade. While its downsides are periodically talked about, one cannot deny the world has become smaller, people are more connected, experiences are faster shared, news reaches more people, all thanks to the world of social computing.

Social computing as a concept and engineering implementation has also continued to grow tremendously –
whether it be in user base, feature set, performance, security and privacy etc. – social computing has certainly been a key player in making the technology world more nimble and responsive to end user needs and expectations.

One such extension in recent times, is the live video streaming feature that is available through social media. Until even recently, live video streaming was restricted for more professional use such as streaming events (sports, entertainment etc.), but with recent additions such as Facebook live, YouTube live, Periscope etc. end user live streaming is just a device away. Analysts continue to believe how live streaming will dominate the social media world in the coming years with some mind boggling numbers that talk about 75% of the mobile presence to be taken over by live video by 2020 – live media is believed to be the future of social media. Over 100 million hours of video are being watched daily across the globe even as of last year – with such existing data, these predictions don’t seem very far away.

No doubt all of this is exciting – but how successful this is in promoting social good, or at-least not instigating social bad is a collective responsibility. The solution providers need to be very prudent not just about the functional and performance aspects, but highly focused on usability, accessibility and security. End users should equally be savvy about the implications of the videos they share live – security cannot be compromised for the sake of ease of use and instant video share.

Live video streaming entering the personal space is no longer a dream. It is a reality here to stay. As players in the media world, we at Phando, are excited to see the possibilities at play and are ourselves committed to continue to enrich our offerings – Stay tuned for more and in the meantime, feel free to ping us for a demo or any questions you may have.

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The surge in online video platforms in India Wed, 15 Feb 2017 14:37:31 +0000 India has always been driven by engineering and technology, ready to adopt any new solution that enters the market place in the IT world. It has been a very open market in embracing product innovations and enhancement in its own style, whether it be the latest in the expensive iPhone category or smart phones that are designed to cater to the Indian audience at varied income levels. For example an Android phone that is less than 100 USD is freely available in the market place making it extremely easy to adopt and popular amongst masses.

Such easy access to mobile technology has completely revolutionized end user offerings, applications, usage patterns, and more importantly lifestyle. One area that has seen tremendous upsurge in all of this is online video consumption. Numbers suggest a huge uptick in both user base as well as per user consumption specific to the Indian market and growth in supporting functions such as video advertisers, publishers etc. Online video platforms have grown across disciplines/domains, users across gender and age groups (even toddlers), whether it be a DIY video or a complex problem being solved or pure entertainment – you name it, there is a video solution for the same, thanks to the rich content that feeds into these online video platforms.

Articles that talk about the growth in video platforms specific to the Indian market highlight the growth in video content, how the appeal has risen due to short and catchy videos, how new technologies such as AR, VR are making big strides amongst others.  At a platform level, even leading players still have their downsides around reach and customization, making room for further enhancements – for example, this post talks about the pros and cons of platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. On another note, there is a lot of discussion and debate at a global level on whether the digital culture, especially online videos, is detrimental to one’s physical and mental health, especially for the kids. Even with such ongoing discussions, the growth in online video and platforms is not going to be adversely impacted as the community does understand the pros and cons – the user base is becoming increasingly mature on where to draw the line to benefit from the entire ecosystem rather being disadvantaged by it.

The welcoming trend around surge in online video platforms especially in technology embracing developing countries like India, is only going to rise. Let’s ride the wave responsibly!

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Exciting Times Ahead in the Live Streaming World Wed, 18 Jan 2017 04:37:22 +0000 2016 – A successful year for the live video streaming world – is now behind us. 2017 looks even more promising and exciting and a live video streaming platform provider ourselves, we look forward to the year with a lot of optimism and hope.

Given that our platform Phando was launched in the last couple of years, it has already been implemented with the latest and greatest in the industry today but obviously we are fully aware that the live streaming space is one of the most dynamic in the technology industry today. Looking at what is in store for us to grow into and what is it that users can look forward to, here are some cool things in the pipeline to align with industry trends.

The viewership is certainly on the rise and what is exciting is that this rise is not just in sheer user numbers but also the same users viewing videos multiple times on the same and different devices. Video variety has improved. For example, Virtual and Augmented Reality related video streaming is on the rise and with the strong prediction for these technologies along with Internet of Things, the footing for live video streaming is also certainly stronger.

As with last year, HTML5 as a supported format for video content publishing is certainly going strong. But what is exciting is that newer video compression formats like HEVC are becoming more prevalent and what this means is videos of better performance and longer duration can be streamed more easily than ever before. Better display resolutions are also making video streaming experiences more popular and rich. With the growth in all of these spaces either already happening or in the pipeline for this year, several content providers are augmenting their content for delivery on internet mediums as well as opposed to just the traditional cable subscription routes.

These together make it a WIN:WIN for everyone whether it is a content provider, live streaming platform provider or an end user, by offering more content at better performance and richer delivery medium, pushing video streaming to one of the top trends to look forward to in 2017 in the technology world.

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Choosing an enterprise video platform Fri, 16 Dec 2016 09:11:37 +0000 In today’s connected world, video platforms have a huge role to play in the enterprise space. Organizations are de-centralized and global – yet communication needs to be robust to bring in operational efficiencies. Learning needs to be continuous and often times organic to empower employees stay challenged and enable each other in the most optimal ways. An enterprise video platform has a huge role to play herein. Such a platform which binds the employees together and sometimes even clients and end users, has to be chosen carefully as it is a huge investment for the organization. While several factors need to be considered in choosing such a platform, some of the core ones include the support the platform provides across varied types of content, the functionalities it lets users perform on the content, integration with existing systems especially LMS and LCMSs (mainly in cases where the video platform is to be used for learning) to ensure learner progress and assessments can be tracked, and finally increasingly what kind of reports and analysis can be done for the content the platform provides. Most content on the enterprise video platform is often going to be used for productivity at work, collaboration amongst employees, or learning purposes – in such cases, it is important to understand how effectively users have been able to use the platform, how it has performed, how it is able to scale, how secure it is, how reliable and available it is, the support available for customization and usage etc.

There are several players in the market today that offer enterprise video platforms. The key is not necessarily going with big names. Even a small player can certainly provide you the best of the service if the solution largely matches your needs. Most other nice to have features can often be customized and added on. Don’t thus look for someone that can address all your needs out of box. As long a prioritized set of features are taken care of (mostly in line with the ones listed above), go with a proof of concept and then scale bigger to meet your overall enterprise needs.

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Targeting the right audience in your online video advertisements Tue, 15 Nov 2016 08:54:08 +0000 Digital advertising spend is rising leaps and bounds in recent years. Although television advertising spend still dominates the overall advertising spend in dollars, its growth is expected to be minimal ranging between 3-5% p.a. over the next 3-4 years whereas the spend in online video advertising is expected to grow in double digits. This is a trend and forecast that is quite straight forward to read into given the digital boom we have been witnessing.

However not all online video advertising strategies succeed. While several reasons could be attributed to a successful or a not so successful acceptance, targeting the right audience is an important factor which can make or break the acceptance. And given the diverse large user base across digital platforms, the reach may not be a sure shot to plan for at the get go. You will find a number of actionable tips online to enable you plan for your online video advertising success, but in all of those we often go with the most obvious when it comes to targeting the right audience, but miss to see there is a significant piece of unnoticed audience too that is very relevant. For example, this insightful article from Google talks about 56% of target audience for sport goods on mobile devices to be female, 68% of skin and body care influencers to be men, per a recent study. While a lot of ground work in terms of predictive data analytics around target users, usage patterns, platforms to target to reach the audience are all done upfront, given the dollars that go into this and the need for the entire strategy to be effective, organizations also heavily rely on post advertising validation to confirm the reach and its effectiveness. This also enables them to be nimble for any on demand changes that may be necessitated as the full strategy cannot be envisioned with 100% accuracy upfront. In addition, the data sources that feed into your target advertising audience repository has to be diverse and fool proof. You are better off tapping into all data sources even if it means the advertisement may not be 100% relevant to a given group rather than taking the risk of omitting them. While a conservative strategy may be ok to go with in this space, planning the right frequency of play and ensuring the video content is extremely appealing to the audience is very important in ensuring the overall success.

At the end of the end, determining the right target audience for online video advertisements is not a silver bullet that can be struck in one go. It needs a lot of iterative and thought through strategizing and with a team that understands that an effective content along with agility in delivering it to the audience are important, the strategy is for sure set to be effective.

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