The competition is heating up among white-label video platforms that serve broadcast and cable networks as they make more of their video content available online and on-demand. The latest offer comes by way of Ooyala, which says it can now enable major media customers to launch online video services with new monetization models, such as micropayments. But for programmers that want to connect with cable companies to offer up TV Everywhere services that tie into cable subscription information, this might not be the right platform.
Ooyala’s Backlot TV Everywhere (TV-E) offering brings a lot of new features to the table, including secure, HTTP-based video streaming, the ability to serve content into new Internet set-top boxes from Roku and Boxee, and better analytics, but above all, the ability to accept micropayments from a number of different payment systems. For this last piece, Ooyala’s TV-E offering will work with PayPal, Amazon Payments and Google Checkout to enable new payment models for online video content.
But one thing missing from the new “TV Everywhere” product — and which will be disappointing for most major cable programmers that wish to roll out “TV Everywhere” services — is the ability to hook into service providers’ billing systems. That allows cable programmers — like HBO with its recently launched HBO Go broadband video service — to roll out services that are tied to a user’s cable plans, so that only those subscribers that pay for HBO can access the content.
While the new offering doesn’t yet have the ability to tie into service provider authentication systems, Ooyala President Bismarck Lepe says that it will open up new monetization opportunities. “This is so that content owners can have their own pay walls. We’ll eventually plug in operators and other authentication systems, but this was the first step in making the system more flexible for differentiated services and business models,” Lepe said.
Ooyala isn’t the only company to update its online video platform with major media companies in mind; both Brightcove and thePlatform recently unveiled new features to their video management systems that are designed to make it easier for cable networks to take their content online, but to make sure they get paid for it.
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