Hearst Rides the Mobile Video Wave

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Michael Dunn, the chief technology officer for Hearst Interactive Media, took part in a Streaming Media West panel discussion on preparing video for mobile devices, and sat down for a red carpet interview afterwards to share his thoughts.

While others on the panel were concerned with adding DRM protection to their videos, that's not as important a topic for Hearst. Dunn explained that his company primarily created news videos for a niche audience, so DRM wasn't as high a priority as it might be for NBC.

To avoid loading Hearst's developers with the task of preparing video for every mobile format and device, the company streams with Brightcove. Dunn is happy to let Brightcove's expert tackle the fragmented mobile landscape.

As to the question of whether to support HTML5 or apps for mobile devices, Dunn says both. While Hearst's magazine group is going ahead in HTML5, the company still creates apps for Apple iOS and Google Android devices.

"We came out with HTML5-supported video for the iPad upon announcement, so we've been a believer in it from the get-go. That being said, it's still going through the WC3 process," said Dunn, explaining that we don't know the final form HTML5 will take yet.

Supporting mobile often means supporting legacy mobile devices for Hearst, as it owns properties in foreign markets where feature phones are more common. Dunn needs to make sure his company embraces the needs of that local audience.

Still, Apple devices are what Hearst streams to most in mobile. Dunn explained that his company streams 50 percent of its mobile video traffic to iPads, 40 percent to iPhones, and 10 percent to Android devices.

Hearst is also split on a content management system, preferring to use different CMSs as needed in different markets.

"We don't have a single CMS; we have multiple CMSs. We sort of have a different approach based on market, and I'd like to see the integration between those get a little better over time," said Dunn.

For more on mobile, including how video metadata has been improving, view the entire interview below:

video platform video management video solutions video player

These Streaming Media Red Carpet Interviews are sponsored by Front Porch Digital.

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