Cloud-encoding vendor Encoding.com is betting big that its universal URL service Vid.ly isn’t just a convenient way for users to share video files across various devices but that it could provide enough value to video publishers that they’d be willing to pay for it. With more than six months of usage under its belt, Vid.ly is now ready for professional users, with a suite of new features and a pricing model designed to provide a turnkey solution for video delivery on any device.
Vid.ly works by allowing publishers to upload a single source file, which is then transcoded into 25 different video renditions and given a unique shortened Vid.ly URL. When a viewer tries to access the video, the correct file is served up based on the device being used and the network bandwidth available. The cloud transcoding platform, which was first announced back in January, has been extremely popular so far, creating tens of thousands of Vid.ly URLs and serving up millions of videos to web and mobile browsers.
Now Encoding.com is adding some professional features to boost monetization for Vid.ly. The just-launched Vid.ly Pro offering provides more features and flexibility to customers, with pricing based on the number of URLs, storage and data transfer used each month.
Features available through Vid.ly Pro include an XML-based API that publishers can integrate into their existing video or mobile application workflow, unlimited source-file size (as opposed to the 1 GB limit for normal Vid.ly uploads) and adaptive bit-rate streaming for Apple iOS devices such as the iPhone or iPad. In addition, Pro users can set custom output formats with their own adjustable bit rates and even choose their own CDN, rather than relying on those that Encoding.com chooses.
Encoding.com CEO Jeff Malkin believes that the new professional version of Vid.ly will lead to some fantastic revenue growth for the young startup. Unlike the cloud-encoding vendor’s traditional business, which is based on the number of videos and renditions that a source file is encoded into, the addition of storage and data transfer fees in Vid.ly add additional revenue streams. While Encoding.com has seen 17 months of steady growth, Malkin foresees a more hockey-stick-like increase in revenues from the Vid.ly product.
That should please Encoding.com’s investors, which pumped an additional $2 million in funding into the startup earlier this year. It should also help differentiate Encoding.com from other providers in the cloud-encoding space, such as Zencoder, as it becomes increasingly commoditized.