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Outsourcing Everything but the Company Name

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If I had written this article 10 years ago, the end result would have been very different from what you are about to read. You would have read about code, encoding, codecs, servers, networks, and browsers. Basically, only techies would get it.

A lot has changed over the past decade. The article is titled "Outsourcing Everything but the Company Name" because nowadays you don’t have to have any specific skills or knowledge relating to software development, content production, monetization, or even streaming media to build a streaming media business; you only need to come up with a clever name for your company. (For that matter, I will make the argument later in this article that even that can be easily outsourced.)

Before we begin, let’s agree on the basic product/service that we are building or outsourcing the building of. The product is a website that streams video to customers and makes money while doing so.

There are 5 basic building blocks of this product:

1. The website
2. Hosting and streaming
3. Content
4. Traffic
5. Monetization

Before we dive into the individual building blocks, it is important to note that many of the vendors we will discuss in the following pages can also provide one-stop shopping for all your streaming media needs. Most of these building blocks have become so standard that every vendor in the food chain should be able to provide a solution for all the steps you need.

If time or lack of resources is an issue for you, consider working with a single vendor to build your entire product. This is quite common these days and is a great way to get started fast. It is important, however, to understand what the components of your business are so that you can make tweaks and improvements as your business grows and you learn more about your audience and operations.

The Website
Your website is the place where your audience will come to experience your streaming media offering. The basic video website will include a video player with a video screen and a playlist. More advanced video players will include full-screen video, "send to a friend" functionality, favorites, voting, polling, commenting, embedding, RSS feeds, multiple channels, and a whole slew of bells and whistles.

Most video players that you get through vendors like Brightcove or Maven let you add as few or as many features as you like. At a minimum, it should feature your company’s logo. You may also want to add banner space for advertising. The video player should allow for video advertising within the player itself.

Brightcove offers site owners a tool to build and customize a video player that can be embedded into any website. The value of a Brightcove-style solution is that they offer much more than just the player. The player is tied into a robust back-end system that will handle most of your business needs. Brightcove is one of those one-stop shops that you could approach to outsource the majority of your technical and operational needs.

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