thePlatform goes social with premium online video

thePlatform, the Seattle-based, white-label online video platform, has been a linchpin player in Comcast's TV Everywhere strategy that's helped the cable company extend its content to the web and in the process, hopefully, begun to monetize some of the programming.

Now, in what might once have been seen as a radical change of direction, the company is helping unlock the gate that surrounds that same walled garden content. But thePlatform's CEO and co-founder Ian Blaine hasn't gone dewy, he's simply helping Comcast and other professional video sites and content owners take advantage of social media's incredible ability to take video viral overnight.

thePlatform today rolled out its new social media player that allows media companies to embed and share premium online video on social networks. The company also debuted a Player Development Kit that allows users to clip, and then share, portions of videos.

"Historically, there has been some resistance from traditional media companies to fully empower consumers to share their videos across social networks because of the need to maintain some control over branding and monetization,"Blaine said. "Our video management system gives them this control. The advertisements can travel with their virally syndicated content, no matter where it has been embedded."

"About 18 months ago we began talking to customers about how to syndicate content, while reassuring them they would always have control of their video," VP of marketing Marty Roberts told FierceOnlineVideo. "We met with resistance at first."

But as thePlatform developed a player that would maintains the business policy that sits around a video, content owners began to change their minds.

"It helps to generate interest around a particular video," Roberts said. "It's a nice way for our customers to drive more video views. It actually allows your audience to be your best promoter."

Using social media to share funny, or poignant moments of online video content from programmers isn't just the purview of entertainment companies. News organization also see the new player as an opportunity to further their reach as well.

"There's no question that sharing and other social media capabilities are becoming increasingly important features for video players, and that's also true on AP's Online Video Network," said Bill Burke, global director, Online Video Products, Associated Press. "Right now, we're building enhanced players for our 1,500-affiliate network, and having these features as a standard part of thePlatform's tool set means faster and less costly player development-a real long-term benefit."

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