Reality Digital’s StoryReality Digital was founded in 2003 by several people, including Cynthia Francis, who have over 15 years experience in consulting, media creation applications and building Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions. The other two co-founders Randy St. Jean and Ed Klein and new member Mitchell Linden, make up the management team of this 15 employee company based in San Francisco. The goal in creating Reality Digital was to take their DAM experience and offer a lightweight workgroup solution via SaaS. What they built was a white label social media platform that organizations can use to store, manage and monetize rich media content that is a combination of user generated and professional produced material. They call the hosted platform “Opus”. With over 75 customer sites, the likes of which include CBS, itv.com, MLB, Hook.Tv, Travel Channel and MTV, Reality Digital has the capability to extend and enrich websites via rich media.
Reality Digital OpusOpus is a white label social media platform offered as a service to organizations. There are two ways it can be used. The first is by building the site and having the organization’s website point to it on the Reality Digital hosted environment and the second is to pull the content into the organization’s website directly via an API. Hook.tv is an example of a site that pulls their content from Reality Digital directly into their own site:
And here’s an example where Reality Digital did all the development and the organization just points to Reality Digital.
Consumer Features One of the most basic premises of the Opus platform is that consumers can create and upload their own content to a site and have it sit alongside professionally developed material. This is a social media service, so the features include the ability to: * Create a personal profile and subscribe to feeds on favorite content * Upload video, audio or pictures from just about any device (DV camera, camera, mobile device, web cam or computer). * Review and publish any of the above and games, documents and Flash animations * Tag content, create topics and set permissions on who can view their media * View content on a branded Flash player * Share content via email or by sharing their personal URL * Rate content, write blogs, hang out in forums * Embed the player into a web page that can then be used in other websites or blogs Business Functionality So maybe you are wondering why an organization wouldn’t just use one of those free sites out there instead of spending the money on Reality Digital’s solution. Part of the answer is found within the functionality provided to the business to monitor and manage the activities on their community. * You can brand your site to match your brand and “look and feel”. When you look at a site that leverages this solution, you can’t tell it’s a separate site * Real time capture of site activity and critical metrics using the Opus Dashboard * Define and enforce quality and content standards for media, comments and communities. * Secure media and manage access permissions * Integrate with backend systems like CMS, DRM and payment and accounting * Monetize your site through the use of ads via ad network partners – Reality Digital does not have its own ad engine Technical Platform Opus is a Microsoft based platform. It’s a combination of ASP.Net/C# and SOAP-based Web Services.
Partners for SuccessReality Digital has a couple of key partnerships, one of which is very fun. Microsoft: They support the Silverlight Player and media strategy in addition to Flash Media and Real Networks Players. A key differentiator for Reality Digital is their ability to take any media in and put it out as any media in the format you want it. Limelight Networks: They resell Limelight’s Content Delivery Network – CDN – services and in turn Limelight refers video and social media clients back to them. Adobe: This is the fun one. Reality Digital has a strategic partnership with Adobe to sell a joint product called Adobe Premiere Express Service. This is a video editing and remixing service. One site that uses it is MTV’s remix site remix.mtv.com. This site lets you create your own videos using Adobe’s service and enter them in contests. The remix part of the site is the Adobe Premiere Express Service, everything else you see is Reality Digital.
The Competition Cynthia Francis says their biggest competition is really market confusion. Reality Digital is part of an ecosystem of companies that delivers this solution. They sometimes are confused with CDNs like Limelight. In other cases, they have recommended other vendors when the need doesn’t fit their solution. But if she had to mention specific vendors offering solutions in a similar market, then names like Kickapps, Ning, VSocial and VMix came to mind.