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How Many OVPs Are There?

If your company is in the market for an online video platform (OVP), you'll want to research as many as possible before choosing one to work with. So how many will you need to research?

"Today, I'm tracking 90," says Kristopher Drey, founder of VidCompare. Drey started the site to help buyers deal with the complex world of OVPs. There are a lot of them, and VidCompare exists to make selecting an OVP easier.

Drey specifies that there are 90 OVPs "today," because that number varies often. Look for it to shrink in the near future, as we enter an era of acquisition. Kit Digital just picked up KickApps, Kewego, and Kyte; Vbrick bought Fliqz; and Polycom purchased Accordent; so that total will be dropping soon. At the same time, new OVPs are still launching and coming out of beta. It's a fulltime job keeping track of them all.

But you don't need to research all 90 OVPs before making a decision. Drey says it's useful to organize them by their specialty (as VidCompare does), such as video marketing, video publishing, and productivity. It's also useful to look sort by what they bring your business, such as publishing to search engines or offering MRSS (media RSS) feeds.

Once you've picked an area on VidCompare, you can narrow your results by the size of your company or your budget. Check boxes let you compare three OVP's features side-by-side.

The OVP market is not only contracting, it's also becoming more specialized.

"I think we've proved, in the past few years that it's insanely easy to get video on to the Web. We've proved that within a shadow of a doubt. I think where we are right now is we're nearing commoditization. What needs to happen is specialization," says Drey.

For example, RealGravity is specializing in tying ad networks to its OVP. Ooyala last year chose to specialize in monetization and analytics. Unicorn Media, Twistage, and thePlatform all specialize in workflow management.

Look for OVPs to not just host content, but to provide it to customers, as well. Companies don't have enough original videos to show on their sites, so they're looking to OVPs to delivery premium content. Brightcove, for example, has a large network of over 200 content partners. Magnify lets sites select and curate content from popular websites.

Content is king again, says Drey. While there's a lot to be said for user-generated content, companies are looking for premium content to enhance their sites.

If you're looking for an OVP, be sure to make VidCompare part of your search.

Troy Dreier's article first appeared on OnlineVideo.net

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