Tivi Launches at Streaming Media West, Offers Easy Interactivity
[Note: This sponsored interview was recorded at Streaming Media West 2014.]
One of the most exciting events to take place at the recent Streaming Media West conference in sunny Huntington Beach, California, was the launch of Tivi, a company that promises to turn boring static webcasts into interactive events. Tivi's controls are accessible through any web browser, as the whole backend is located in the cloud.
Streaming Media sat down with John Vadino, Tivi's founder and CEO, to learn what sets Tivi apart and why "webcast" is a dirty word.
"We see video becoming more and more interactive every day, and with our tool you can add constant interactivity very easily, all in the cloud, very simply," Vadino said. "That's exciting for us and I think exciting getting rid of that word, whoever came up with 'webcast,' and make it a truly interactive video."
With Tivi, users can combine live video, PowerPoint presentation, images, and interactive viewer features with a simple drag-and-drop interface. This demo video shows how it works. So far, it's a hit with resellers.
"A lot of our customers are resellers, so content companies, production companies who want to take our service and resell it to their clients because it's an easier way to value added price for them," Vadino said. "It's also for those certification and training companies who have a lot of great video they've created over the years but have no interactivity. With our tool they can take that old video, drag it up into our system, and then add that interactivity to give it new life, and that's a pretty exciting aspect."
For more on Tivi, watch the full interview below.
Eric: Hi. I'm Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen coming to you almost live from Streaming Media West in beautiful Huntington Beach, California. I'm speaking with John Vadino, who is the CEO of TiVi.
John: How's it going?
Eric: Going well. Been a great show.
John: Been a great couple days.
Eric: Excellent. Excellent.
John: We've enjoyed sponsoring it first off. It's been great to be part of this trade show booth, Lively, first of all. Lots of hardware around and TiVi is here to launch because we're kind of a hybrid. We're moving all that hardware to the cloud, so a lot of these great companies here can move their stuff to the cloud so that people in the room doing a webcast, doing an event, can do it all virtually.
Eric: Right. So you would define TiVi; essentially it's a webcast company, right?
John: It's an interactive video company.
John: Because webcast, as you know, Streaming Media, is bordering the lines between what is broadcast world and what is webcast. We see video becoming more and more interactive every day and with our tool you can add constant interactivity very easily, all in the cloud, very simply. That's exciting for us and I think exciting getting rid of that word, whoever came up with webcast, and make it a truly interactive video.
Eric: Okay, TiVi, truly interactive video.
John: On the internet.
Eric: Sure. Right. So many webcasts or webinars are just slides and a disembodied voice.
John: A disembodied voice. You got it. You got it.
Eric: I think that's in part because of the cost and technology challenges people face wanting to do—they might want to do a webcast that actually has video, but they find it intimidating or too much of a cost challenge. How does TiVi overcome some of that?
John: By moving it all to the cloud. We've moved the hardware switchboard to the cloud. You just take a camera, it goes up to Amazon AWS, it gets recorded there, all your camera feeds, and you can switch between them very simply; just drag and drop.
What's great about it is you can introduce interactivity. During my speech yesterday I was talking about the statistics of video watching and it's actually pretty low. You were there. We need to get people to watch online video longer than just sports or Netflix and we believe adding interactivity into the sequence in a time basis really helps.
Eric: What kind of interactivity exactly are you talking about?
John: Besides the normal polls and testing, the normal things, we can actually bring a viewer a live URL panel into an on demand webcast. You can be able to open a web page to buy that service. You can open a web page to register for the next event all with inside of our HTML5 browser.
Eric: Okay. So everything is going on inside the browser?
John: Everything is going on inside the browser and you're doing it both in the cloud with our switchboard and then the user is watching in the user interface.
Eric: Okay. In terms of the customers that you're targeting, who can use TiVi?
John: A lot of our customers are resellers, so content companies, production companies who want to take our service and resell it to their clients because it's an easier way to value added price for them. It's also for those certification and training companies who have a lot of great video they've created over the years but has no interactivity, and with our tool they can take that old video, drag it up into our system, and then add that interactivity to give it new life, and that's a pretty exciting aspect.
Eric: Right. During your talk yesterday you talked about the learning curve for using TiVi and you gave a great example of a school in ...
John: Shout out to [Bush 03:47] in Seattle. It's a K to 12 school. My sister-in-law works there, teaches. They have a theater that only fits half of their student population so kids can't go to band concerts. They were using other tools for webcasting and they were expensive and hard. We gave them a free license. They paid for their minutes, but we taught to fourteen year old kids. My sales guys like to say that it takes twice your age in minutes because they learned it in half an hour.
Eric: Okay. So it might take me slightly longer?
John: Longer. Yeah. What's great too is our training is all in our tools, so you buy a license and you get it's actually six hours of training if you really want to go in depth and that's all done in our tools with the questions and answers and it's kind of exciting.
Eric: Very cool. Well, you can check it out at TiVi.com.
Eric: TiVi.net? Sorry.
John: TiVi.net. That's fine.
Eric: And learn more about this really interesting new interactive video tool.
John: Thanks Eric.
Eric: Thank you John.
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