Ooyala gives publishers new tool to measure YouTube video play

OVP Ooyala is offering publishers a new feature that will let them integrate YouTube videos seamlessly into their Ooyala account and onto their website pages, giving them the opportunity to better manage their video inventory, increase syndication and collect more detailed viewing data. The result? Ooyala contends that even companies not monetizing online video directly should be able to command higher CPMs on their banner and complementary ad inventory.

"Online video is a great way to increase user engagement, to give them more content," Bismarck Lepe, president of product and co-founder of Ooyala told FierceOnlineVideo. "This new feature will let them seamlessly-literally in 15 seconds-add YouTube video to their sites via Backlot. And, it allows them to use better analytics than YouTube offers, giving them a better picture of how a video is performing, of who's watching it, for how long, all the analytics that our video management platform offers."

The analytics have an additional value that's not as obvious: They allow publishers to float a video, perhaps one that's not as typical for their site, and test the waters to see if viewers are interested, allowing them to experiment. If the content works, they can develop more along a similar line. If it doesn't, they know it right away.

Lepe said the primary target market for the feature is bloggers and news sites that are looking for ways to illustrate their sites, to add richer content that will keep eyes on a page longer. But, he said, marketers also are looking at it as a way to quickly add consumer product testimonials and product reviews, for example.

"It still can be pretty tough to create content," he said. "And we were hearing from a lot of our publishers that they were using a lot of YouTube content on their websites. This allows them to do that, but still maintain their own look and feel."

If you look at the total amount of video that is being consumed and created, YouTube has about 10 years being uploaded every day. That potentially is a lot of content that will be very useful for a lot of websites. "We think this will simplify a publisher's ability to get content onto their websites and we think it's going to increase-ultimately--the velocity of high quality video across the web," Lepe said.

Several companies have been using the feature in beta, including Telegraph TV, which ballyhooed it for its functionality.

"This new feature allows media companies to embed YouTube videos and then use Ooyala's excellent metrics to see how those videos perform specifically on their sites," says Sumant Bhatia, Editor for Telegraph TV. "Consumers and journalists can upload videos to YouTube, and media companies can then feature that user-generated content online."

The feature will allow some publishers without a video management system to implement one by importing YouTube videos to manage and track through Backlot, and that has Ooyala pretty excited about its impact on the company. Some 20 percent of Internet video viewership is YouTube video that's embedded on third-party sites.

"Theoretically, this could be very big," said Lepe. "It could be sizeable in the amount of viewership that flows through our platform." Initially, the new feature will be free. Starting in June, Ooyala will initiate a CPM-based pricing model.

"I'm personally very excited about this," said Lepe. "Video is the future, and this allows for the rate of video adoption to really hit that high gear."

Lepe said the feature is the first of many the company will be rolling out. Ooyala's platform, he said, is flexible and modular enough that the company can quickly take an idea and put it into the pipeline.

"If an engineer, sales person or a customer comes to us with an idea, we can develop it and launch it in a few weeks," he said.

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