Video Services Start-up Ooyala Readies Licensing Scheme for Web Video Syndication

By on 11/24/2009 10:25 PM @daisywhitney

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA  — First, the question everyone wants to know when reporting on the video platform company Ooyala. What the heck does Ooyala mean?

It means "cradle" in the Indian language Telegu, and the company picked it because it believes in "cradling innovation," Ooyala co-founder Bismarck Lepe told Beet.TV during an interview at the company's Mountain View, Calif. offices last week.

Lepe is a former senior Google executive.

As a newer entrant to the video platform business, Ooyala faces tough challenges in competing with incumbents like Brightcove and thePlatform.

But Ooyala has been picking up speed lately and just last week inked a deal with video ad network YuMe to let Ooyala customers insert YuMe ad overlays during live streaming. Live streaming has been a tough area to monetize with ads; a deal like this can potentially help. Also, Forrester Research recently cited Ooyala as one of the top online video platforms in a recent report, citing the company's monetization and analytics.

"Ooyala has focused on building the entire stack of technology and services into the publishing platform.  This allows us to provide a comprehensive platform without the need of additional vendors," Lepe said. "We have benefited from Brightcove's evangelism and investment in the market. Being a fast follower in the video platform space with a technology bent has served us well."

Indeed, Ooyala seems to be gaining ground in a crowded field. Lepe told us Ooyala counts more than 500 media and non-media customers that reach more than 100 million uniques on a monthly basis. That includes Warner Brothers, Endemol, Fremantle, and Vice Magazine, along with marketers like Johnson & Johnson and Dell, who use Ooyala for instructional and marketing videos, Lepe said. The company has raised more than $10 million in venture funding and generated "four-digit" revenue and customer growth in the last 12 months, he added.

The growth is coming in large part because of the flexibility of the platform and work the company is doing to support multiple business models. "In 2010, a lot of the innovation will be around better analytic solutions as well as taking all that data and automatically placing the right type of ads and figuring out if the content
should be monetized with subscription or pay-per-view."

Ooyala is also testing licensing video for syndication, Lepe said. "We've been experimenting with non ad-supported content distribution models in 2009 and will be making two of them available to our
publishers in the early part of 2010," he told us in a follow-up interview. "This allows anyone to get video out to their constituents and we that is a big and growing business."

Daisy Whitney, Senior Producer

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