SMW 17: StreamOne's Ruud van der Linden Talks OVP Pre-Integration
Tim Siglin: Welcome back to Streaming Media West 2017. I'm Tim Siglin, contributing editor with Streaming Media Magazine, and also media principal analyst at ReelSolver. Today, I've got with me Ruud van der Linden, and you're company is StreamOne?
Ruud van der Linden: StreamOne, based in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Tim Siglin: Tell me a little bit about what StreamOne does, how you got started, and how you got to where you are today.
Ruud van der Linden: That's a lot of questions. StreamOne is an online video platform. It was founded in 2012 to help publishers, broadcasters, and online, and other content owners distribute their online video, monetize it, and integrate it into their workflows.
Tim Siglin: You mentioned pre-integration. Explain that to me. What does that mean? Because that's sort of an intriguing term.
Ruud van der Linden: StreamOne is pre-integrated with a lot of services. In its core, it's an online video platform, so it takes care of ingesting your content, extracting metadata from the content. You can add metadata to it. It takes care of transcoding, et cetera, but we're not bound to using specific components. For example, if you would like a different transcoding service to be used in StreamOne, you can do that. If you want a specific quality of experience metrics provider to be used you can do that. We just pre-integrate with those services so that you can select your own best-of-breed for the platform that you want.
Tim Siglin: You mentioned broadcasters, original broadcasters. Is it focused sort of media and entertainment?
Ruud van der Linden: Focus could be anything. In the Netherlands, we service about 120 broadcasters for Ericsson Broadcast Services. For them, we do live streaming. For other broadcasters, also a couple in The Netherlands, we offer VOD services. The platform supports both VOD and live streaming, including timeshifting abilities, so it's pretty broad.
Tim Siglin: Is live your core focus, or VOD?
Ruud van der Linden: I would say it's 50/50.
Tim Siglin: That’s actually higher than most, because so many OVPs are just sort of VOD and are now adding live. But you've actually got quite a bit of live already in place.
Ruud van der Linden: That might also have to do with where StreamOne started. StreamOne started in 2012, but before then, I did a lot of freelancing work, with a lot of live projects, so I have a lot of experience with live streaming. I saw the very beginning of it, and continued onto RTMP, all those things that we don't like to use too much anymore. If we can, we try to avoid them.
Tim Siglin: What about a player? Do you have a white label player that someone can use, or do you integrate with other players like THEOPlayer, Bitmovin, etc.?
Ruud van der Linden: Both. THEOPlayer, they're our southern neighbors actually, from Belgium, so a two-hour drive to them, to their office. But we have our own video player. It's not our main focus, because the main focus is the platform, but the video player is pretty good. It's very customizable. It can be skinned and tailored to your needs. You can even develop your own plugins to put into the video player. Most of our customers use our video player.
Tim Siglin: A lot of broadcasters want to build their own stack. Do you help them troubleshoot if they run into problems? Do you assist them in working to build that stack, or do you provide a replacement stack that is better than what they might do?
Ruud van der Linden: We build a replacement stack. If a customer has an existing platform, they usually have some problems they run into. We analyze the situation. We build a stack for them. We also provide the migration from their old platform to the new platform.
One of the examples where we did that is Telegraph Media Group, which is one of the biggest media groups in The Netherlands. They were formally a customer of Brightcove, and they ran into a couple of issues there, and we built a new stack for them, and took care of the migration--actually, the migration plus integrating it into their website, apps, etc. It took two to three weeks, including everything.
Developers are usually very happy with our APIs, because they're really straightforward. They were kind of designed to take you exactly to the right API endpoints that you need to be, instead of kind of a maze of different components and functions that you don't know exactly what it means if you read the function name, that you see in a lot of other APIs, so it's really straightforward.
Tim Siglin: Last question. You're primarily European-based, but you mentioned that you're expanding into North America. What is your approach to the North American market, which is obviously quite different from the European market?
Ruud van der Linden: Last year, we acquired an investment, and one of the things that we're doing with this is a commercial expansion into the Americas. We opened a sales office in Toronto. From there, we service North America. This just started recently. We're mainly active in Europe at this time, but we see a North American market warming up to our offering, and being really interested.
Tim Siglin: Any lessons learned coming into the North American market, versus the way that things are done in Europe?
Ruud van der Linden: Well, actually, I really like the way people think over here. They're less afraid to take a chance and just try something new. More straightforward, a little less political, so it's easier to just start a pilot, just go ahead, and just work together. In Europe ... Well, we're not as big as Brightcove, and sometimes that's an issue for big companies in Europe, but as soon as we can get them to start a trial, and show what we can do, show the quality of the product, show the quality of our support, then it's usually a no-brainer a couple months after that.
Tim Siglin: Interesting. Ruud, thank you very much for your time.
Ruud van der Linden: Thank you.
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