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Like Chartbeat for video: Ooyala gets real-time analytics

Video platform provider Ooyala is going to announce the launch of a new real-time analytics product dubbed Ooyala Now Friday that leverages technology open sourced by Twitter last year.

The new analytics offering allows video publishers to see how much traffic any of their videos is getting at any given time, which devices are used, and why viewers might be dropping off. It’s kind of like a Chartbeat for video, and the insights it offers are especially powerful for large publishers, explained Ooyala founder and Product Strategy President Bismarck Lepe during a phone call Wednesday: “It’s not anymore about online video analytics – this is television analytics.”

Lepe explained that video platforms have thus far relied on slightly delayed data that made it possible to see which videos were getting lots of views hours or days ago. Ooyala’s new approach makes this type of data available within seconds, allowing publishers to react immediately if a certain ad drives viewers away, or if a big part of their audience can’t handle the bandwidth of an HD stream.

All of this data is also available through an API, allowing publishers to use it beyond their internal dashboards. A web site could, for example, publish a kind of real-time chart of its most popular videos by leveraging the API, Lepe said. But Ooyala is also using the same API internally to manage its video encoding. People are watching a certain video on mobile phones, but are overwhelmed by the existing bitrate? That’s when Ooyala’s encoding engine will jump in and generate the necessary bitrate on the fly to keep people watching.

The new Ooyala Now dashboard.

Lepe told me that Ooyala made the decision to build its own analytics early on, and that the company has had several dozen people working on this for the last five years. But the release of Ooyala Now is also part of a bigger trend: The consumer web is giving many companies huge amounts of data, which is often most valuable when analyzed immediately.

One of the pioneers in this space has been Twitter; the company open-sourced its Storm real-time analytics tool last summer, which came to Twitter through the acquisition of Backtype. Ooyala is now using parts of Storm to power its real-time analytics, and Lepe told me that the company will contribute some of its dashboard tech back to the open source community.

Ooyala Now will be available to select customers as a pre-release this summer, and made more widely available as a premium product in Q3. The company will add additional analytics products down the line, including QoS and the ability to build complex custom queries for real-time data. Said Lepe: “We think data is incredibly powerful.”

Disclosure: GigaOM has a commercial relationship with Ooyala for the delivery of its video content.