For this week’s Five Questions feature, we have Ooyala CEO Jay Fulcher on the hot seat. Prior to Ooyala, Fulcher was the CEO and president of Agile Software, which was acquired by Oracle in 2007. Now, he leads the premium video platform, whose wide range of clients, including Warner Brothers, Fremantle, Armani, Dell and Electronic Arts. Below, Fulcher discusses the problem with TV Everywhere, the virtues of Vice Magazine and Ooyala’s new micropayment functionality.
1. What’s the one big issue/law/attitude/restriction that you think is holding back the industry?
One issue is the belief that online video is a “hits-based” business. Clearly, volume and targeting are the best ways to optimize revenue online, and the winners today are focused on exactly that. But the consumer is soon to be fully in control, and it is incumbent upon publishers to have the means to match content and the viewing experience to individual viewers’ preferences and behaviors. It isn’t sufficient to merely put video online — you need to do more.
2. What industry buzzword do you never want to hear again?
TV Everywhere. The big idea here is not putting TV content on the web. It’s about putting all relevant content on all screens, including the TV.
3. If someone gave you $50 million to invest in a company in this space, which one would it be? (Mentioning your own doesn’t count.)
Vice Magazine would be an interesting bet. Ultimately, content rights matter, and Vice Magazine has figured out how to create great content that people will watch across all screens — profitably. Assuming they can take that business model to other categories, they will be a huge success. Check ‘em out. By the way, does it take $50M these days to make a business a success? I don’t think so.
4. What was the last video (that you weren’t personally involved with) that you liked enough to spread to others?
Okay — so there is no way to limit this to just one, as video is too intertwined in nearly all my interactions with friends and colleagues. So here’s a few I recently came across…
Given the dramatic US win at the World Cup the other day, I sent this one, as the match might have set a record for Internet traffic.
Or, it could be the clip related to the Jimmy Kimmel Show losing power and filming the entire show with a laptop web cam — jury is out whether this was planned or not.
5. WILD-CARD: Ooyala recently rolled out a test of its micropayment functionality — what’s the current status of micropayments on Ooyala and what importance do you feel they will play in the future online video marketplace?
Earlier this year we tested the beta version of pay-per-view (PPV) micropayments with a handful of publishers. Although conversion rates (preview-to-payment) were pretty low (in the five percent range), all publishers noticed an increase in revenue compared to a purely ad supported model during an equivalent time window.
In early Q3, we will be releasing micropayments with a couple of enhancements including mobile payments and the ability to set up survey paywalls. Subscription support will come soon after that.
Ultimately, we believe paid content will be an important part of the online monetization model going forward. Today, DVD and cable subscription revenues eclipse TV ad revenues and we think a large part of that will move to paid content online in the future.
Disclosure: The GigaOm Network, which includes NewTeeVee, has a commercial relationship with Ooyala for the delivery of its video content.
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