thePlatform teams with Verizon Digital Media Services for online video delivery

Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) Digital Media Services (VDMS) unit has formed a strategic alliance with white-label video management provider thePlatform to deliver what it calls an end-to-end online video solution targeting pay TV providers' multiscreen strategies.

The alliance highlights a continuing trend toward smoothing out the online video delivery workflow. Verizon said in a release that integrating with thePlatform will provide "scale and quality of experience while simplifying complex features like dynamic ad insertion, closed captioning and analytics."

VDMS, of course, is competing with other content delivery networks like Akamai, expanding its points of presence worldwide to grab a significant chunk of the streaming market. thePlatform--which interestingly is an independent subsidiary of Verizon FiOS competitor Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA)--offers its mpx video management system that enables customers to publish and manage their video content. Combining the two would give customers a way to manage the workflow from one end to the other through a single Web-based console, Verizon said in the corporate release.

Chris Carey, chief product officer for VDMS, told FierceOnlineVideo that thePlatform's publishing capabilities solve an immediate need for its customers. VDMS' publishing platform "is capable of going global" but that expansion is in the planning stages.

thePlatform's storefront capability is another one of the key benefits to the team-up.

"In order to complete our service offering we'll also need storefront functionality," he said, explaining that the presentation layer is important for customer-facing services like transactional video on demand (TVOD). Developing its own storefront wasn't a good strategy for VDMS, Carey added.

While VDMS provides video management services such as encoding and delivery over their CDN, Carey cited thePlatform's flexible framework and well-featured service platform as other important components of the partnership.

"thePlatform offers a service platform around the world, but does not offer a content delivery network. This is where the services are complementary to one another," he said.

Picking thePlatform was made easier by the provider's earlier work with EdgeCast, the online video delivery service that makes up a good part of the core of the VDMS offering.

"When we acquired EdgeCast they already had a relationship. That just made it easier to really cement our relationship and frankly added a level of familiarity," Carey said.

Integrating services between the two providers will also be fairly painless, with Carey feeling that key strategic components will mesh well.

"There are some services thePlatform and VDMS offer that are overlapping, but we felt that relatively for thePlatform those things are not as core strategic components for them. … The overlap areas are small, the complement areas are large, it's a good partnership in those areas where we both offer the services we'll have simple basic guidelines between us as we go into the market together to do what's right for the customer. … We'll take it on a customer by customer basis."

For more:
- see the announcement

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