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Looking for an Online Video Platform? Here's an OVP Checklist

OnlineVideo.net is pleased to present this excerpt from Online Video for Dummies. Read to the end to find out how to download your own copy for free.

The Online Video Platform (OVP) is a cloud-based solution that helps simplify the creation, management, and delivery of video by providing you with a complete workflow-based solution. Accessible through any web browser (and from anywhere in the world), the OVP is a powerful tool for anyone who wants to add video to their story.

A number of different vendors in the market today offer an OVP, and each OVP has their own strengths and weaknesses. The best way to find the right OVP for you is to test them out against a checklist of requirements.

Online Video Platform checklist

Not all OVPs are created equal, so it's best to know what you're looking for before going in and signing any contracts. The following checklist gives you some important features that a quality OVP offers. Depending on your workflow, you may value some features above others, but you might find that a feature you hadn't previously considered (such as adding advertising or expanding functionality of your video offerings via an API) could save your online life down the road.

Dummies2Simple and intuitive. Make sure the system is intuitive. A simple point-and-click and drag-and-drop interface will reduce your workload.

Quick and easy. The system should allow quick-and-easy uploading, especially if you have large batches of media.

Predefined player templates. Consider only systems that enable you to quickly build video players by choosing from predefined templates, ranging from single video players to multi-channel formats. Be sure that the player designer allows you to see your changes as you build it so you can visually match the player to your website.

Advanced analytics. Only consider systems that offer an easy way to analyze video usage data. The system should graphically display key metrics, including video popularity, viewer engagement, geographic location, and device usage.

Scalable hosting and delivery. Be sure that the system can provide hosting and delivery that quickly scales as demand for your content increases without risking quality, reliability, and load balancing.

Custom players. A consumer-facing solution should preserve and enhance the content publisher's brand. Be sure that the system can "skin" the player to match the publisher's website and corporate look and feel.

Advertising solutions. Make sure that the system offers a way to monetize your video assets, either by inserting your own advertisements or integrating with third-party ad services (or both). The system should support a variety of advertising formats, including linear ads, non-linear ads, contextual-based ads, and ads placed inside the video content.

Content syndication. Only consider systems that enable syndication of content to partners, affiliates, online portals, blogs, Apple's iTunes, YouTube, and other video sites. The system should also have viral distribution features like RSS feeds, e-mail to a friend, links, or posting the players on other sites.

Content protection. Make sure that your solution offers protection from file theft, deep linking, and pirating/redistribution. Tools such as stream encryption and DRM must be an option if you plan to serve high-value, high-quality content.

API and development tools. A slick GUI is important but so is the ability to manage/distribute content via an API. Only consider solutions that have a complete, well-documented API. Developers will need programmatic access to the media and supporting metadata in order to create fully integrated applications or viewing experiences.

Customer service and innovation. You deserve prompt access to the video experts when any issues arise. Technology in the online video publishing industry is changing quickly. Make sure that your solution can grow with new technology developments and bring new features to market in a timely manner.

Excerpted from Online Video for Dummies by Jason Thibeault. Copyright (c) 2014. Used with permission of John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Visit the book's page on Limelight.com to get a free copy (registration required).

Jason Thibeault is the senior director of marketing strategy at Limelight Networks. He is also the co-author of the upcoming book from Wiley Recommend This! Delivering Digital Experiences that People Want to Share.

Jason Thibeault's article first appeared on OnlineVideo.net

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