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NAB 2018: Companies to Watch
Make.TV, DLVR, Wicket Labs, Valossa, Grabyo, Wildmoka, Amagi, and JW Player all made a splash with new products or services that are worth a look in case you didn't see them last week at NAB.

This year at NAB we visited with a number of innovators offering products for cloud-based scheduling, multi-CDN management, viewer subscription management, video AI, real-time highlight tools, and server side advertising offerings. Some products are from companies with which Streaming Media readers might be familiar (and some we’ve covered before), while others are new, but all are worth taking note of, especially if you missed them at NAB.  

Make.TV

This cloud-based scheduler and playout solution provides the ability to mix hundreds of streams into a single feed. Lower-thirds graphics can be added to streams before sending them off to go live on owned-and-operated platforms and multiple social networks, all at the same time. While the interface shows 48 inputs, additional screens can display any overflow. Make.TV supports unlimited concurrent live feeds from professional cameras, encoders, UGC or pre-produced sources. 

DLVR

DLVR offers delivery optimization for multi-CDN delivery, providing proactive stream switching based on customizable business and performance rules. DLVR provides real-time visualizations for individual video feeds, including time-to-first-frame, bitrate shifts, buffering, and access network performance. The platform will route content to a lower-cost or high-availability service, depending on customer business settings.

Wicket Labs

Wicket Labs provides a direct-to-consumer management tool for subscription video content. Content owners can see information about viewer data and analyze their customer's viewing preferences to help reduce subscriber churn. An analytics dashboard shows what content is being consumed, on what device, for how long and the conversion rate of trial offers. This audience insight tool provides real numbers for companies who want to measure audience lifetime value and customer happiness. 

Valossa

Valossa AI is a cloud-based video recognition and content metadata platform. Valossa AI watches videos at a superhuman speed and produces detailed descriptions for every second of the video. The recognition engine is available as an on-prem, API, or SaaS platform that detects and identifies people, visual and audio context, spoken word, themed video categories, and explicit content from large volumes of video data. This product is also integrated with Vimond Media Solutions, and Valossa announced a partnership with Avid at NAB.

Grabyo and Wildmoka

Grabyo is well-established, while Wildmoka is a relatively new entrant, but both companies have products that can be used for live video social clipping, so editorial teams or end users can take real-time highlights and then push content out to owned-and-operated channels or Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to drive social engagement. 

JW Player

JW Player has partnered with SpotX to offer a new product called Video Player Bidding, which works in a similar format to header bidding, where advertising inventory is sourced from multiple ad exchanges at the same time. Unlike header bidding, which requires header code to be inserted into each location, Video Player Bidding is handled within the player, where the player provides a mediation layer and the bidder must beat the floor price. This server-side, low-latency ad solution enables ad auctions without the daisy-chain effect of having to make multiple ad requests.

Amagi

Amagi's Thunderstorm product is a server-side ad insertion application which can handle content that does not have ad markers by using AI pattern recognition to detect ad breaks and replace ads in live linear streams. Personalized ad insertion applications can be targeted to individual content owners or vMVPDs that are aggregating feeds and replacing broadcast or existing ads. The end result is a personalized ad experiences for consumers, additional ad revenue for broadcasters, and a way to beat ad blockers.

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We walked hundreds of miles of conference floors and watched scores of demos to determine the best streaming video products from this year's show.