When I hop on a conference call and say “Go Team Woo!” you can be pretty sure that I dig your product. So Jeff Malkin and the team over at Vid.ly should be well aware of that fact now since I both opened and closed the conference call with that. Why? Because they rock! Read on videonians to find out what’s all new and oohhh shiny! over at Vid.ly, the universal online video URL service from Encoding.com.

Online Video Slam Dunk

Vid.ly, for those who didn’t read my first article or even my second, offers one of the coolest online video services ever – upload once, view on everything – from a single URL/code snippet. The beta (several months private + 4 months public) saw some 5 million video views. In fact, Vid.ly is so cool, they even made this awesome chart to show what mobile platforms are viewing their stuff.

Vid.ly Single universal url
Cool hey? It seems that even though Android has a very strong market momentum right now, the iPhone is still ruling the roost over there. Not surprising, there are massive amounts of iPhones in the wild, it’s an established experience for mobile video and even though it’s not Flash-compatible, many people made pushes to get their content out to the devices. Now, Android is growing strong and while only accounting for roughly 24% of the views at Vid.ly, will definitely continue to grow, especially with the growth of the Flash 10 compatible devices and install base. With Vid.ly, it’s a moot point because their service is all about upload once and watch on everything, even an Internet-connected toaster with LED screen… if such a unit were to be made.  Until then, we’ll all have to just settle on the Internet refrigerator.

They also sent over the browser breakdown as well:

  • Firefox = 51.3%
  • Chrome = 22.2%
  • Internet Explorer = 20.6%
  • Safari = 3.3%

Interesting that iOS is dominating mobile but Safari is totally failing in the browsers.

One URL to Bind them all

Vid.ly Pro provides content publishers a powerful, scalable, and simple platform for serving video to EVERY user on ANY browser or mobile device.

The new Vid.ly Pro offers expanded features and capabilities, including an XML API, output customization, unlimited file size and more. As always, when attaching the word Pro to something means the price tag grows exponentially. Well, in this case you had Vid.ly Free and now have Vid.ly Pro.

But this isn’t a case of a company simply using the “here’s a sample, now you’re hooked? PAY UP!” business model. There’s still Vid.ly Free, but all those extra features that they’ve been furiously developing in the background have a price tag, and that’s perfectly fine because there are bills to get paid and people who need income. Plus, the new features definitely warrant a price tag.

When was the last time you heard me justify a price increase?!

Well it’s true, the added features and benefits to the user are worth the cost if you ask me.  What are those new features? Here’s a quick rundown.

  • An XML-based API to build Vid.ly into any desktop / mobile application and video workflow
  • Custom output formats with adjustable bitrates
  • Adaptive bitrate streaming for all Apple iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, iPods)
  • Unlimited source video file size
  • Premium CDN access (currently user can choose Akamai or Cloudfront, more partnerships are being worked out)
  • On-going feature enhancements (including upcoming analytics which will provide insight into aspects of the video viewing. No firm date for release yet).

The API alone is enough to put a price tag on the product. As a publisher of mass quantities of video, well alright, mass quantities for a single person to do daily, I appreciate all manner of automation and APIs that allow me to do more in less time. If I can simplify my own video workflow down to a couple steps, that’s something I might be willing to pay for. While I currently use Sorenson Squeeze, it has some limitations and I can’t tie it into my CMS. Plus, I have to host the files, transcode out to numerous formats, etc.

With Vid.ly Pro, I could take the XML API and tie it all together and all I’d really need to do is create a script that does everything I need and then cron tab it to run at certain intervals. For those less *NIX savvy, it means it could be completely automated and all I’d really need to do is upload the source files some place. For those that are far more tech savvy, I’m sure you can see just how powerful the API can be and add the ability to output to multiple formats and call them from one piece of script. I do believe it warrants a HELL YEAH!

Another new feature is the ability to fiddle with the bits of the outputs. Here’s a look at the options that are available just through the API:

  • BitRate
  • FrameRate
  • VideoCodec
  • AudioBitRate
  • AudioSampleRate
  • AudioCodec
  • AudioChannels
  • AudioVolume
  • Two-Pass
  • CBR
  • ACBR
  • MaxRate
  • MinRate
  • BufSize
  • Keyframe
  • Start
  • Duration
  • Aspect Ratio

Whew! I even skipped some stuff like cropping.

All of that in one package and because the service detects both platform and software it knows exactly what to serve up to the user for the best possible viewing experience.

Who Can Use Vid.ly?

The technical answer to that is, everyone. But you will of course need to justify its cost against the value for your online video publishing. There are several industries that have found the service to be quite useful.

Imagine if you will, a QR Code, prominently displayed wherever, linking to a piece of video. Now contemplate how many different mobile phones or tablets might scan that QR code and how many different ways exist to display a video.

Now imagine that QR Code links to one bit of script and that script, does all the heavy lifting and everyone who scans that QR Code, gets the best viewing experience, practically catered to their device.

How about real estate info packets sitting in those little boxes under the For Sale sign…oohh look! Another QR Code…scan, boom, video walkthrough of the property regardless of the phone, the OS and the browser. Neat, right?!

What’s that you say? You’re a creative studio, ad agency, content distributor? Don’t have the video infrastructure in place to do video and you want to? Boom! Vid.ly.

Mobile app developer who wants to put video into the mix? Vid.ly XML API to the rescue!

Online video game news agency with an overworked CEO, Editor-in-Chief, the need to reach a much larger audience with video content and expand revenue…Ker-Pow! Vid.ly!

OK, so that last one is me. But I’m telling you, I am seriously considering a move to Vid.ly because I think it could boost our video output, views and revenue generation. Less time to publish content that then see more views and revenue and hits all the major mobile platforms? See why I’m considering it? Just being able to make a mobile app for tablets, iPads etc. and including our videos into it could be a huge boost to traffic.

What it boils down to is this. If you’ve got online video content and you want to hit every platform, including Apple adaptive bitrate streaming, but don’t have a ton of time but do have a budget, you should look into Vid.ly Pro. It’s fairly easy to implement, offers a lot of bang and once you’ve got your initial setup done, is very easy to automate. If you aren’t big enough for the really big online video platforms but too large for YouTube, this, again, might be the place for you. So head on over and check it out.