Distribution · Video distribution

Smart Distribution of Quality Video Content

John Battelle Founder, EIC, CEO, NewCo

April 9th, 2014

I'm looking to get smart on video distribution - specifically the part of distribution that has to do with paid channels. We plan to create a media site and use YouTube for organic audience development, but we're also looking to get our content out and seen by specific audiences. I imagine larger publishers deal with this a lot, as do media agencies (for branded content) so I'm asking folks I know there, but I figured there would be some smart folks here who have experience as well. We are *not* looking for cheap, bot-riddled stuff, nor are we looking to place ads (though the content we want to distribute will carry a sponsor's message at the front and back). 

Daniel Birnbaum Senior Manager, Business Development at Vidible

April 10th, 2014

Hi John,

The space is extremely large, progressively getting crowded with a lot of options at the moment for video solutions. The YouTube route is something people are doing to drive audiences into the their platforms  as business development strategy but from a monetary standpoint very hard to drive revenue unless you are managing the channel or own a large Multi Channel Network on YouTube. Advertising inventory on YouTube is for the most part owned by YouTube where they work out a revenue share with the channel owners - many of whom depend on for their income/revenue. Rarely is there companies selling the inventory on YouTube successfully.

There are quite a few companies that are offering solutions out there that you should familiarize yourself with that focus on distribution of content through proprietary publisher networks and technology including:

Unruly Media

Grab Media



Media Bong

World Now


The content itself - quality which you are looking for and the verticals I imagine you'll be targeting can be a feat in itself to tackle. Minimum revenue guarantees sometimes are offered to the producers who would rather mitigate the risk of losing revenue by leveraging a technology. Brightcove, Ooyala and magnify differentiate themselves by being the OVP for producers to house their content and then allow them to sell their own advertising against the content. A JW Player seems to be increasingly common as well as web properties who produce their own content are able to have a turn key solution to presenting their content without disruption of the viewing experience or can work with their internal resources to sell the inventory and keep the revenue for themselves.

In addition, a few of the companies I mentioned above have overlapping competencies that they perform for content producers along the lines of publisher networks. I guess the questions is, in a more concise way, what is going to be your approach to the market and how is your technology (assuming you will be building a solution) differentiate from the current market and plans to be a disruptor?

Hope this helps. Happy to continue the conversation.

Derek Dukes Business Development, Startups at Amazon Web Services

April 10th, 2014

I'd recommend this conference: https://www.natpe.com/ to get a sense of how the market works, top down. It's like what SWSW Music was, when station directors and A&R guys from labels still signed bands, but for video / tv / movie content. 

Beyond that, there may be a few good options here, depending on how you'd like things to work from a business model / control perspective and the quality / profile of your video content:

Twitter Amplify - Right now, mostly working with premium content brands (think NBA et al) but the platform also works with Brightcove which might get you in through their arrangement if you're not a 'big brand'.

Ooyala - Full stack provider, similar to brightcove.

Move Networks - Similar to Ooyala and Brightcove

Blip.tv / Maker Studios - They are both a little different, but the same company. They work directly with show producers and then build channel online for distribution / syndication. 

Demand Media - Seems to have moved from SEO landing pages to helping produce and distribute video content through their 'studios' effort.

If you're looking to reach more traditional users you could look at direct content licensing / distribution through:
- Apple TV
- Roku
- TiVo (moving from hardware to a software based approach)
- Netflix
- Hulu (not sure if this is limited to only network content)
- PS3
- Microsoft XBOX / XBOX ONE

I'm sure there are also specialists in content verticals, but I don't know much about that part of the market. I'd look to see where content that's inline with my content shows up and then work back from the distribution companies.

Bernard Ho Sr. Director, Business Development at Samsung Electronics

April 11th, 2014

For campaign-based, paid distribution, I'd throw out a couple of additional options. After trying several solutions, I viewed these as the most effective options for a premium publisher that was interested in engagement in addition to viewership (ie: real views):

- Taboola - drives traffic to your content via on-page modules embedded on sites across their network; good for ongoing audience building; fairly priced and effective at driving audience; for publishers with their own destination, you can also participate on the supply side and let that pay for itself.  Outbrain is another player with a similar solution.

- YouTube TrueView - run your content within a pre-roll slot and you only pay if the viewer watches :30 or more; works on an auction basis - ie: adwords for video; not the low priced option, but you can target the audience you want, and very effective at turning on short-term traffic (for the right price);  added bonus - views of your "ad" count towards your viewcount

Happy to discuss further.  Good luck.

Chris Seline

April 9th, 2014

We are working on categorizing the content on Twicsy, so we may be an option depending on the topic of the video content you plan to distribute. We currently only index pics and vines, but I believe video content would work well too. We have over 7 million unique visitors per month, but monetization has been difficult so this may be a good opportunity for us both.