Video: Mirror Image Develops Cloud Application Logic, Adopts Dynamic Delivery Network Model

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

Tim Siglin: This is Almost Live at Streaming Media West 2016 in Huntington Beach. I'm Tim Siglin, contributing editor for Streaming Media magazine and I'm here with Gustav Vik, who is the CEO of Mirror Image. Gustav, I remember doing a podcast years ago, probably 1998 with one of the people from your company. You've been around for a long time. When were you originally founded?

Gustav Vik: We started in 1997, so we've been around for 19 years.

Tim Siglin: Since you've been around for almost as long as streaming has been around, what are some of the trends that you've seen?

Gustav Vik: I think the change in terms of consumption with video has changed dramatically I think over the years.

Tim Siglin: Probably when you started in the early days, audio streaming was big. Is audio streaming still big these days?

Gustav Vik: Yes it is. I have, as part of our business has actually been growing. We have customers who are in the verticals, like broadcasters, in terms of radio, religious broadcasters like Air1 or Clove radio. The bigger question is, "What is audio going to be in the future?"

Tim Siglin: Sure.

Gustav Vik: There are people who think that audio will not continue to grow but rather decline and particularly with the advent of autonomous vehicles and the ability to consume more video in the future.

Tim Siglin: Do you do any Reg FD type of audio streaming or is it primarily VOD assets?

Gustav Vik: We do both live and video on demand, but it's more, I'd call it consumption for entertainment purposes more than any other one.

Tim Siglin: So, you've been around this whole period of time. You said audio is growing. What other things have you been doing recently? What are you announcing?

Gustav Vik: Well, the first thing ... We don't think of ourselves as a CDN anymore, but as a dynamic delivery network.

Tim Siglin: Okay.

Gustav Vik: The differentiation for that is that we have developed a cloud application logic to sit at the edge of our network that allows us to make real-time decisions at the edge using our worldwide synchronized distributive database. Companies like ad-serving networks or people who need highly scalable, real-time globally low-latency solutions can use our application to deploy their decision-making closer to the end user.

Tim Siglin: Okay, because you're putting it out closer to the edge, the latencies are significantly lower.

Gustav Vik: So they can collect data on not only decision-making but also look at cookies, making decision making, obviously the typical device recognition issues and so on, but all with extremely low latency.

Tim Siglin: Is there a product or service name for this?

Gustav Vik: It's called ECF, so it's our cloud application logic.

Tim Siglin: Okay, very good. What other things do you sort of see as trends in the industry?

Gustav Vik: More and more bigger quality assets in terms of video and the event of the whole social networks including people like Snapchat today, definitely is changing how the video is consumed.

Tim Siglin: An app is sort of a VOD model. That's what they've gone with. You had Vine, which Twitter of course has dropped. Of course you've got Facebook Live where it's live and then it's turned into a VOD asset. Do you see the trend toward more live content or bigger libraries of VOD content?

Gustav Vik: Live is out there, but I think the question is, who has a content that's valuable to stream to a large amount of people?

Tim Siglin: Obviously your edge-caching model benefits by larger VOD libraries so it means that regardless of the number of assets you can still maintain that low latency.

Gustav Vik: If you think of, like in OTT where everybody can decide on when to start their viewing habits. It's not a broadcast where you have 10,000 to 1 or whatever the number is, now you're 1 to 1 or 2 to 1. It creates a different level of complexity.

Tim Siglin: Do you, from your caching standpoint, feel like you'll be able to handle more long tail content there as well, so allowing a library to continue to grow as opposed to paring it back at the edge just to the most recent videos?

Gustav Vik: The caching model is built on people, having content that people are really interested in, so it’s a consumption decision. If people want to see the content, then the content will exist as far out on the edge as possible. Content that is not interested, take my Facebook page. How many people want to look at that? It's all about the desirable ...

Tim Siglin: The popularity and desirability of the content. All right, very good.

Gustav Vik: You could have celebrities and their content. There's a lot of people who want to see it, so its will be cached and ...

Tim Siglin: To wrap up, are there any other products that you all are launching that are of interest to Streaming Media's listeners and viewers?

Gustav Vik: We introduced a new product. It's called Ad Block Override. What we're trying to do is to recapture the lost revenues that publishers are losing by the pretty significant popularity of ad blockers. We try to monitor--one, we abide by the IAB's guidelines on how to deal with ad blockers, but we're trying to help the publishers monetize their content by giving them different options in terms of which ads to override or what blocking to override, what messages to give in terms of, "Please white-list our site, etc."

Tim Siglin: Right, exactly. This will be server-side override or server-side ad insertion?

Gustav Vik: Yes, but it will sit at the edge of the network using our application logic. For some clients this could be very significant.

Tim Siglin: Okay, good. Again, Gustav, thank you for being with us and this is Almost Live at Streaming Media West 2016.

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