KickApps and Akamai are teaming up to take on video publishing. KickApps brings the ability to create and manage custom video players with excellent social features. Akamai comes in with the ability to easily automate digital distribution systems while providing enterprise-level video distribution. Put them both together, and what results is an app-kicking combination!
KickApps -- for those who don’t already know -- is a leader in on-demand social media technology, video player technology and widget creation technology. Unsurprisingly, the company provides third-party solutions to content publishers who are looking to integrate social, video and widget technologies into their websites. KickApps KickApps has recently been making numerous additions to the platform as of late: instant messaging and presence awareness, local television stations support, integration with open source CMS providers, and a KickApps 3.0 release.
Stream OS is a technology designed by Akamai that provides users with a platform to control, profile and distribute video content. This includes creating and managing various content feeds for video distribution. A user can easily publish his or her content to places like iTunes or Miro. This platform builds all this functionality in a single easy to use interface.
There are also tools available to help create and manage fully customized video players while utilizing Adobe Flash technology with the Akamai Media Framework. This functionality is critical for the development of personalized video playing solutions. For example, if a user sees a YouTube video, that user can instantly recognize that it has originated from YouTube as the player is unique to the YouTube site. This level of branding can be accomplished.
What Is the Big Deal?
The core of this new partnership is the integration of KickApps video player authoring solutions with Akamai's Stream OS. Customers will continue to create and manage their video players using KickApps Video Player Studio, while taking advantage of Stream OS for video management -- mass uploads, geo
You'll also see the integration of Akamai's Media Player Framework into KickApps video players to take advantage of standardized ad integration with major video advertising networks. This provides web publishers with an effective approach to monetizing both editorial and user generated video.
Along with the integration of KickApps Video development and Akamai's Stream OS, KickApps will also be offering low priced video delivery via Akamai's CDN -- Content Delivery Network.
The KickApps CEO recently discussed what impacts the Akamai deal would have on his company and web publishers:
"Web publishers have few viable options when it comes to affordable, enterprise-level video publishing solutions that include deep, out-of-the-box social media functionality," said Alex Blum, CEO of KickApps. "By integrating the two solutions - social & media applications and an enterprise scale video management and distribution solution - web publishers have the means to handle even the most advanced media requirements. With on-demand deployment, we are enabling web publishers to dramatically reduce costs and time-to-market."
This deal ultimately results in KickApps having many new and exciting features for the KickApps platform and their customers:
Just as site analytics are very popular now, the ability to extract similar information from rich media solutions is becoming just as, if not more, important. Stream OS’s integration with KickApps will allow users to keep track of who is viewing video content with an in-depth video metrics section accessible from a community page.
The inclusion of metadata into video-based content means that search engines will be pleased to direct internet surfers to a publisher's video content. This metadata also helps direct the methods of distribution. The integration of Stream OS will harness this metadata in new ways.
To the delight of many, Stream OS will give KickApp users the ability to distribute their content without all the hassle that is typically required when producing video content. Multiple methods of distribution are easily automated, so now the content producer can keep his or her focus on producing.
High Definition Video
Creating and editing high definition content is the easy part these days; however, distributing this format is a whole different conundrum. One of the best things to come out of this deal is ability for content publishers who are using KickApps to distribute high definition video.
High definition content is quickly becoming a highly desired format by online viewers, and many companies are failing to keep up with demand. This new ability that KickApps is gaining is certainly a leg-up over competition.
Customized Video Players
One of the most useful features of KickApps is the ability to customize video players specifically to any needs. Users can add buttons, images, video screens,and many other elements common with video players.
A feature that many people would likely appreciate is the ability to add custom branding to a video player. It can make a huge difference in the marketing of a business’s content and brand. If a user is constantly publishing video content, the importance of this increases dramatically. Allowing users to embed a customized and well-branded video player is practically like free advertising.
Finally, there are several ways to integrate video advertising within Stream OS. This means that every KickApps video is a potential revenue stream for the site owner. Thankfully, Akamai has connections with many popular video advertising networks. Show me the money!
A Smart Move
KickApps believes that this new partnership has provided web publishers with a solution offering that rivals The Platform, Brightcove and Maven -- all of whom target the high end video market -- as well as supporting their enterprise customers. In the end, this is likely a smart move for both parties. Video content is rapidly growing in popularity, and KickApps and Akamai seem to be well-prepared.