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Stretching video budgets with the cloud

Stretching video budgets with the cloud Dave Chase

We're all familiar with the notion of first mover advantage (FMA). While there are many FMA examples, increasingly there's evidence of second mover advantage. A great example lives in social networking where companies such as Friendster had FMA but was soon trumped by MySpace and later Facebook.

I am fond of the saying that the early bird gets the worm. However, the second mouse gets the cheese. A variation on this theme is what I like to call "cloud mover advantage." Choosing a cloud approach can provide marketers and publishers a cost and competitive advantage.

For many of us mere mortals, cloud computing has been a rather abstract concept. Wikipedia's definition sheds some light, but this article will focus on the aspects relevant to marketers and publishers using video platforms (not to be confused with video ads) as an example. Video is an explosive area of growth after all.

At the recent iMedia Brand Summit I attended, video, along with social media, were the top topics brand marketers highlighted. Everyone from major media companies to toy companies is greatly expanding their use of video. Considering the cost of video delivery, it would be wise to explore the cloud mover advantage.

The exciting aspect for a marketer or publisher is the major cost and time to market advantage at a time when all of our budgets are being stretched. Further, there are significant advantages that go beyond cost. Agility allows users to simply add features such as ecommerce to their sites while users only get charged for the traffic they generate.

Let me highlight an example in the video arena to bring this to life. Delve Networks, a Seattle-based company funded by Intel Capital, provides a video platform that is powering video destinations for organizations that range from NFL teams to private sites like the Department of Defense's TroopTube.

Just a few years ago, an organization wanting to launch a video site that would be used by a large number of people had to spend millions of dollars on capital expenditures. This massive capital expenditure put it out of the reach of many. Even if one utilized a hosted solution such as Brightcove, they had to pay for this indirectly. In contrast, Delve was able to piggyback off of Amazon's cloud service and only pays when the service is used.

While this approach saved a video platform company a lot of money, perhaps more importantly, they were able to get to market much faster and are able to utilize Amazon's other services as needed. Amazon offers various ecommerce features that can be easily plugged in. As news media struggle to find the best business model, it's not hard to imagine how they'd want to weave in ecommerce features that would allow them to establish non-advertising business models to complement their ad model.

For a resource-constrained organization, being able to redirect resources from undifferentiated infrastructure to unique features providing a competitive differentiation is a big benefit. An example of this is how this video of Obama's inaugural speech had voice recognition applied to it to tag the video for search engine optimization. A publisher could easily use this function to enable contextual advertising in videos on it site. A product company that has a how-to video could integrate ecommerce into the experience on their page.

Imagine Home Depot having a how-to video on building a deck. The video could tag the tools used in the project at the point in the video where they are being demonstrated and enable an ecommerce transaction.

With budgets tighter than ever, coming up with ways to reduce costs and generate new revenue streams is more important than ever. The cloud mover advantage can be the enabler whether it is to create a video channel or other services that can help a business grow.

Dave Chase is the chief marketing officer at Altus Alliance.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

Dave is the CEO and Co-founder of Avado. Avado is a Patient Relationship Management platform that empowers the healthcare parternship between individuals and their health & wellness providers while giving the individual a Connected Health...

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