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thePlatform adds new tools for video publishing

Tue, 08/03/2010 - 8:40am
Mike Robuck

Today, thePlatform – which is owned by Comcast – announced a new set of features for more granular control of online video publishing.

The new tools are additions to the company's mpx Beta, which was first introduced in February and then was subsequently updated to support over-the-top providers.

The new capabilities include tools for creating and managing curated video feeds, integrated support for applying advertising policies, and the ability to restrict viewing of videos based on a set of criteria that providers or content owners can set.

"Today's fractured video environment requires content owners to juggle an expanding list of requirements to deliver and protect their assets," said Marty Roberts, vice president of sales and marketing for thePlatform. "The new enhancements to mpx Beta provide our customers with robust, flexible and secure tools to protect and monetize their growing premium video libraries across a multitude of devices and platforms."

The new "Feeds" service in mpx Beta provides additional capabilities to give content owners more power and flexibility over how content is presented. Specifically, with mpx Beta, customers can set editorial and dynamic playlists within the feed. One example, according to Roberts, is pinning a "hot clip" on top of a playlist followed by additional day-and-date clips.

Another feature is the ability to restrict videos based on country, region, metro code, area code and postal code. For sporting events, a blackout can be enforced in a city where a local blackout rule is in effect. For a cable operator such as Comcast, a restriction to content can be enforced based on the blocks of IP addresses that it uses.

On the advertising front, mpx Beta allows its customers to set policies to call primary and secondary (failover) advertising providers, providing access to a larger selection of ad inventory for any given show or video clip. Roberts said with the ad failover feature, ad avails are always filled.

It also lets customers configure specific ad policy settings for advertising bumpers, pre-rolls, mid-rolls and post-rolls. Customers can also use the console to set the number of ads to appear in any video, the frequency of ads, and whether users can skip ads or not.

The new features of mpx Beta are available today to thePlatform's current roster of customers, which includes Comcast, The Associated Press, Fox Sports, Cablevision and Cox.

ThePlatform also announced today that the Outdoor Channel picked mpx Beta to manage its video and video player technology. Roberts said the Outdoor Channel was the first customer to start out entirely on the mpx Beta platform.

Limelight buy not a direct threat
Yesterday, content network developer Limelight Networks bought Delve Networks for a reported $10 million. With Delve being a cloud-based video delivery and analytics company, it would seem as though Limelight might be trying to edge into thePlatform's sweet spot, but Roberts said that isn't the case.

Delve, like thePlatform, is based in Seattle, and the company is geared more toward smaller online video operations and not the larger entities that thePlatform serves, Roberts said. He also said that there are about 30 companies serving the smaller operations, which could prove to be too many over the long run.

More Broadband Direct 8/03/10:

•  RCN's TiVo Premiere service hits Windy City
•  Charter sends up trial balloon on TV Everywhere
•  thePlatform adds new tools for video publishing
•  CableLabs interop showed premium DVR content sharing
•  Charter nabs Rigdon for corporate development
•  Cox Business taps Steelman as VP of sales channels, programs
•  Moloney returns to Motorola after 4 months
•  Atlantic Broadband picks CSG for promo offers
•  Ligos partners with Zodiac for ETV
•  Nielsen: Android outpaced iPhone in past 6 months
•  House member urges approval of Comcast, NBC deal
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