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Video: Bitmovin Provides Adaptive Streaming Infrastructure, HTML5 Cloud Encoding for Enterprise and Integrators

[This sponsored interview was recorded at Streaming Media West 2016. Learn more about Bitmovin.]

Tim Siglin: Tim Siglin here, contributing editor for Streaming Media magazine and Streamingmedia.com, and I've got with me today Stefan Lederer from Bitmovin. Stefan, in the last two years you have really attracted a lot of attention. Two years ago, if I talked to big companies, whether it's Enterprise or competitors, and said, "What do you think about Bitmovin?" They'd say, "Who's Bitmovin?" Now they know who you are. Why do you think that is? Why do you think that Bitmovin has gained a lot of traction in the last 2 years?

Stefan Lederer: That's a good question. I think it's a combination of being at the forefront with new technologies like HTML5-based playback, DRM protection, HTML5, enabling different streaming formats to play without a lot of configuration and ecosystem. That's definitely one of the things.

Another good thing we do is we try to be as open as possible so people can go to the website and try out the product on their own. We have a lot of documentation online, we have tutorials online, we have source code examples online.

Tim Siglin: People can get access to that before they buy the product or license the product?

Stefan Lederer: Yes. Before they even talk to us. A lot of people prefer to give it a look and look well into the product behind the curtain, and then they say "Okay, that's interesting to me, let's talk about the details." There we can provide the necessary support and guidance to really help the customers to get the problem solved.

Tim Siglin: You've got sort of a self-service model. How much of your business is the small mom-and-pop shops who want a standard HTML5 player, versus say the enterprise organizations?

Stefan Lederer: We're completely focused on enterprise, they appreciate that we have to deep expertise combined with the support level we can provide. Roughly 95% and more is coming from enterprises. Across the board in the media space and the platform business, integrators in the US and Latin America countries and Europe and Middle East are now upcoming for us. We're really nicely spread here as well.

Tim Siglin: For those integrators, do they have different support tiers than what your typical enterprise customer would get?

Stefan Lederer: We have worldwide 24/7 support with our office locations. That works out really nicely. That's exactly what the enterprise businesses need from an infrastructure layer provider. You see our player infrastructure as well as our cloud encoding, and the integrators typically go for the first-level support and we provide a technical deep-dive tier, but also the content providers. We are scaling a critical part of their revenue flows. What we provide is also the necessary support layer for them and make sure everything is running. Similar to cable to broadcast, the online channel has to work 24/7. We are a small company, but we can achieve the support level that's necessary for them.

Tim Siglin: Given the fact that you cover the player and DRM, do you expect Bitmovin itself will partner with other companies to build a holistic ecosystem, or will you move upmarket and begin to move further up the supply chain and offer platform base?

Stefan Lederer: We will always stay on the infrastructure layer, so that means our player and our encoding are in the infrastructure, and we have an interface for that. We are now releasing a couple of products around that, so editing functionality of the player for error monitoring, for QS and so on. Here we spin out different products, again separate product lines.

For us it's always important not to be an integrated platform so that you have to buy everything from us; that's not our intention. We make it to be as easy as possible if customers want to go with our player, then it's fine, and if customers want to go with our encoding it's fine as well. On top of that we partner with providers for DRM, for CDN, storage, analytics, a lot a lot of things. That's necessary because when customers come to us, they have a problem and we need to solve that. We can solve some parts from our products, but we need to bring in partners specialized in those areas. It's great work, we have a really great set of partners out there, especially in the DRM space, which makes it really fun to work with them.

Tim Siglin: You've talked about some of the things like DRM and discrete products that you have that you're putting out. Between now and the next Streaming Media in May—say, the next six to seven months--what are the trends that you see Bitmovin focusing on specifically during that time?

Stefan Lederer: DRM is one of the main topics at the moment, and HTML5, enabling easier workflows here and also enabling the transition from Flash through HTML5.

Tim Siglin: Ah, very good.

Stefan Lederer: Yeah, but at the same time, we see also a lot of VR content coming up now. The cameras are there, the work force is there, the devices are there, and content providers want to do VR content, and there's something we couldn't see a lot. It's part of buying decisions as well. 360-degree is something that's here to stay and we see it in the news field and the sports fields and a lot of other use cases. We now get into a lot of interesting customer opportunities and new brand names if we use 360 as an entry point.

Tim Siglin: Interesting. Again, this has been Stefan Lederer with Bitmovin here on Almost Live, at Streaming Media West 2016.

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