By Tim McHale
If Charles Darwin was around today, he would find that the business of video serving technology closely mirrors his own theory of evolution.
As the web has evolved, who would ever think that a video production company would transform itself into a video technology company? Darwin probably would. Take a company like Innovate Media, for example, who just officially launched its online video platform, Oculu (pronounced Ah-ku-lu – means “eye” in Latin,) is an OVP which has been introduced several years after serving videos through its platform, since 2006.
Oculu is one of those great web entrepreneurial stories in the same DNA as Base Camp, a well-known successful media technology company which created a feature-rich tool without any VC funding. It’s the classic story of nurture over nature.
Like Darwin’s thesis of the natural order of things, shortly after Innovate got their video production up and running in 2002 they realized how complex the technology was to take finished video and have it delivered properly on client’s websites. So in order to solve that problem, they quickly invested in software engineering to build a robust platform themselves that alleviates the headaches associated with properly serving video on the web. Over the years they have been making marked advancements and enhancements and now have a full blown online video platform that serves online video on behalf of 400 customers.
“We created our delivery technology out of necessity,” said John Cecil, media tech naturalist and President and co-founder of Innovate Media Group. “Our clients made us realize how difficult it actually was to take a finished video and have it delivered properly on their websites. Oculu alleviates the headaches associated with serving video on the web.” Last year Oculu served over 100,000,000 video plays for videos produced through Innovate Media.
After they realized that the business of video serving was a hit they decided to launch a stand-alone platform that lets customers upload the videos themselves, or have Innovate produce the videos via their production team. Oculu was taken out of the closet and presented to the world in 2011 and the company has doubled in size.
Cecil believes it’s unnatural that many of the OVP’s today have had no prior experience in dealing with the complexities of serving video before they embarked on their OVP build. How can they understand the hurdles of serving video when their business plan was based solely on theory? Like Darwin, Innovate had real-life experience.
Touted as the one platform built by video professionals, Oculu is a cloud-based online video delivery platform used by businesses to effectively manage and deploy high quality video in their online marketing and advertising initiatives. Through the use of a proprietary and patent-pending delivery technology, the Oculu system can be used to serve overlay, embedded and light boxed videos onto any designated webpage, ad network or mobile device. The videos launch instantly, seamlessly delivering a client’s message while collecting relevant data which is made available to clients through the system’s feature-rich backend reporting tools.
“Every feature in Oculu was created by customer request over the years” says Cecil. “The platform has things we would have never thought of even if a VC had given us $100 million to build it.”
Of the 15+ major OVP’s in the category, theirs is the most versatile and intuition-driven tool in the marketplace. Here’s why:
1. Oculu empowers users to upload their own videos to create 3 video format choices overlay, embedded or lightbox;
2. It offers 12 data points to report on every video served;
3. It allows video streamers that opportunity to add cookies to any video;
4. It has an automatic SEO site map capability that is built on the fly;
5. It allows you to do A/B Testing;
6. It’s ideal for enhanced Pay Per Click campaigns;
7. It offers a full production crew and editing house, if needed;
8. If offers the option of working with its Video Spokespersons for those who need a video made from scratch as well;
9. It has affordable pricing.
Over the last 7 years Oculu has proven it has the capability to increase conversions. Now when a company comes to Innovate to produce a video they are distinguished from other production companies due to their video serving capability. It is a big differentiator. The early pitch was more evangelistic. “We garnered customers due to our evangelism,” says Cecil. “The good news was that we did not have to explain to marketers what video was. No, we had to explain that this was coming and why they communicating with video. Our message was simple; that they would increase conversions with video. That said we didn’t have a lot of data back then to support that message.”
Things have changed since then. Video is on its way. It is a proven digital medium that helps increase sales leads and conversions, yet is only being used by a small fraction of the online marketers who could be benefiting by it.
They are an entrepreneurial company. “Oculu is the culmination of our experience as online video professionals as well as from the insights of our clients,” said Dave Winters, VP of Production and co-founder of Innovate Media Group. “Our goal was to create an easy-to-use, yet sophisticated method for video delivery which anyone could use. With Oculu, users don’t need an IT degree to have quality video delivery.”
The Oculu system is unique because it allows users to upload an array of video files and then receive code in three distinct video formats: overlay, embedded, or light-box. Customers simply choose their format, place the code on their site, and are then able to manage their accounts and see the results of their work through a full range of reporting data.
Oculu provides professional yet easy to use online video delivery, management, and reporting. Plans start as low as $19.00 a month. It is going places and expects to keep up with Mr. Darwin’s natural evolution of media technology.