I had a couple meetings with Ooyala lately to talk about all the cool new stuff they have got going on like Ooyala Social, Ooyala Everywhere and of course the Motorola Mobility investment and what it might mean for us as much as for them. This is some really interesting stuff which is why it took two meetings!

Ooyo Goes Moto –  What Motorola Mobility Brings To Ooyala

When I heard about the Motorola Mobility investment in Ooyala I thought it was a master stroke by Google, but then I got to thinking. The Google deal isn’t final yet, so this must have been something in the works for some time already and that was confirmed for me by Ooyala President of Products & Co-Founder, Bismarck Lepe, during our call.

The thing that attracted Motorola Mobility to the opportunity was the multi-device video delivery that  Ooyala sees as all-important, so naturally it brought funding from Motorola (and Panasonic as well). The deal really sounds like it will benefit Ooyala because the two are working really closely on development of new experiences across devices and taking products directly to market for large broadcasters and operators.

See, you might not know it but Motorola is already the vendor of choice for many larger broadcasters and operators and since that’s the case, Ooyala wants to be able to publish the best experience possible on their devices like set-top cable boxes, etc.  Ooyala then brings the client side experience which gets coupled and integrated into the Motorola devices and makes sure that the video ads and video content are accessible and trackable. It’s all about the personalization which increases engagement and revenue and that is how the world goes round these days.

It’s entirely possible that some MSOs and broadcasters will end up in a Motorola branded version of Ooyala’s backlot software one day soon or at least use some of the components like the analytics will be integrated into their workflow because of this close relationship between Moto Mob and Ooyo.

It might even facilitate the next round of Internet TV expansion as big organizations get into setting up their own IP-based streaming services and look to get both a management system and a hardware partner.The thing about Ooyala is that it’s able to take advantage of existing CDNs and infrastructure so that new companies don’t have to build out their own and can use existing networks because one day soon, all content will be delivered over IP. Ooyala is all over that with their system and are already tied into around 40 advertising networks like YuMe, DoubleClick, Tremor, etc.

Ooyial Goes Social – Ooyala Social Details

Ooyala recently announced their new Ooyala Social service which means viewers can discover, share and watch video with friends on Facebook, etc. Meanwhile, publishers can grow audiences, boost engagement and drive revenue. If you head over to the Miramax app on Facebook, you’ll see an early implementation of that. Nick Edwards from Ooyala gave me the low down on Ooyala Social and Everywhere.

Discover, Share, Watch

Those are the three things that Ooyala focused on when creating Ooyala Social. They were trying to recreate the same interaction level in the offline world (TV). Consumers want to know what to watch. What are friends recommending, watching, think is good? That’s the core of the whole deal for discovery. No more searching through piles of EPGs, no more having to watch every trailer for every new film or TV show.

Sharing is beyond saying what you’re watching but also chatting through the movie so it’s a more social experience with friends. I just had some friends over this past weekend to watch a film on the side of the house and we watched Casablanca, and some Archer episodes. It was a very social experience and there was a lot of chatter. I would never talk in the theater when a film was on because we all paid to be there and want to see/hear the film. Plus, it’s just rude! But when I have friends over for a film, it’s a social event as much as it is a viewing. It seems to me that this the kind of offline experience that Ooyala was looking to replicate online. How?

Watching content through Ooyala Social gives you viewing rooms where you can rent content and then invite friends to a virtual room to all watch it together so you can then comment, chat and share the experience.

Virtual room viewing price differs based on publisher/studio, Nick told me. So it could be like $5 for the first user, $1 each additional viewer or it could be full admission fee for every user. Another possibility might be Groupon like, so if ten people buy in it could be like $1 a person etc. That’s a compelling way to sell digitally delivered video content I think.

Here are some of the Ooyala Social features:

  • Content Alerts – tell you if you’ve got video content available.
  • Store front – seemless to reduce user interaction and streamline the buying experience.
  • Virtual Currency – users can purchase FB credits in a variety of ways including mobile, credit card, etc.
  • Recommendations – based on social recommendations instead of just a full library or can be tailored by the publisher.
  • Full screen viewing
  • Portability – integrate with multiple 3rd-party platforms – rent on Facebook but watch on multiple platforms like Google TV, Boxee, etc. (integrated with iPad and Google TV)

Ooyala Social Technical Stuff

I asked Nick about a few things when we were chatting that I know are in the pipeline or gaining speed in regards to the technical side of online video. For example, Intel Insider which Nick said, “we are constantly evaluated our DRM solution, which already includes integrations with leading DRM solutions like PlayReady and Flash Access, and are assessing whether Intel meets the needs of our customers.”

Ultraviolet, which is all the rage, but still smoke and mirrors for the most part if you ask me, is something, at least the idea of which Ooyala supports and they are compatible with. Also, Adobe Pass is already integrated so they really are looking at one great solution if you ask me.

Ooyala Everywhere

Even if it doesn’t sound like Ooyala is everywhere already, they most certainly are. But this is really about being able to deliver content everywhere, on every screen, in every home and hand.

Designed for major networks, cable operators, studios, and content aggregators, Ooyala Everywhere with Personal Playback is the best way to deliver personalized TV-quality video to every kind of viewing device. You get a powerful, modular and extensible solution, supported by your choice of subscriptions, pay-per-view, or ads. Your viewers get unmatched, personalized video experiences — everywhere.

Ooyala Social is sort of an extension of Everywhere and it’s even possible that they’ll merge later into one big product. Ooyala Everywhere is a slightly older solution to allow a publisher to have multi-device content that can be accessed everywhere and just authenticated through an existing subscription.

Ooyala Backlot will check with the database necessary to determine if the user has rights to a piece of content and if so, will deliver that content. Again, Adobe Pass is hooked into the Ooyala subscription management system. It’s also got some social things built in like recommendations based on social trending, Facebook connect, etc.

In terms of security they have the likes of Widevine, Microsoft PlayReady and Adobe Flash Access across most of its delivery devices.

Finally, analytics are core for understanding audience, content usage, which platform, and tailors the experience for that platform, time of day, etc.