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Video Platform Nideo Targets B2B
UK-based start up claims its platform, based on Microsoft Azure, offers analytics and tracking capabilities that are better suited to B2B video than YouTube, Vimeo, or Brightcove.

Do online video platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, Vidyard, SproutVideo, or Brightcove really offer what businesses need for their B2B communications? Relaunched video management platform Nideo thinks it does, claiming it has unrivalled analytics and tracking capabilities.

"Businesses are underserved by established online video platforms," explains CEO and Co-Founder Roy Kimani. "There is a definite gap in the market to take video beyond a viewing platform and really utilise it as a sales tool. Businesses make significant investment to produce great video, for which audiences give up precious time to watch, so Nideo provides the tools to make these connections count."

Kimani founded the company in 2012 with James Hakesley. The initial iteration focussed more on social sharing and failed to fly, but did attract 400 customers including creative marketing agency BWP Group. Back to the drawing board with feedback, a million pounds of investment and seven months of development,  Nideo relaunched last month as a fully-fledged B2B video management and tracking app.

Based on Microsoft Azure, the platform enables users to upload, manage, publish, and track online video. Unlike YouTube it offers bulk uploading of video, privacy control filters, and a customisable player.

It is, though, the analytics and tracking that set the platform apart. There are all the standard metrics you'd expect: number of views and completed plays, date, time, and locations of the view as well as in-video call to action, but it goes a step further and informs marketeers of the viewer's behaviour around the video.

"We give you engagement analytics: where viewing is dropping off, is there something in the video you should be improving, the ability to track it in social media, what sites are driving traffic to the video, and what devices people are watching on," explains CMO David Hunter. "We offer a timeline of this interactivity."

Nideo’s video player tracks the viewer’s details, including IP address,  pushes them into a number of international databases. then matches the viewer to a registered company. (See the end of this article for screenshots of Nideo's analytics capabilities.)

This could be useful for sales leads or to monitor competitor interest, and is something no other service is said to provide. It won't track video views from home users or mobiles—just those in registered organisations.

The company is targeting a whole range of B2B including video production houses, publishers, financial and insurance, creative ad agencies, and corporates. Hollywood studios might use the service to distribute screeners to journalists, it suggests. Another example: Online training could be monitored for compliance.

Nideo is majoring on its tracking and analytics for the relaunch, but plans to add CRM and marketing automation packages in the next six months as well as video editing tools.

It claims to have a number of big names trialling the product and has users in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Versions in Spanish, French, and German are due by year's end.

"YouTube's popularity makes it an extremely competitive space, with nothing to stop your audience being recommended competitor videos from their viewing history," says Hunter.

Another area where YouTube becomes problematic for business, say Nideo, is its advertising system, where competitor ads can be screened before brand content—directing an audience away from your product or service.

"On one hand you may receive potentially millions of viewers; on the other hand the odds are they are not the right demographics for you," says Hunter. "There's a lack of functionality when it comes to customisation and also limited analytical aspects. So as a B2B company I don't see YouTube working at all.

"Vimeo has good features but none of those as comprehensive as they might be for real business benefits. It gives you a platform but not a story."

Nideo operates a simple revenue model in which users buy monthly or annual packages based on their storage, bandwidth, and video tracking requirements, offering four predefined packages as well as a bespoke option.

Its base cost is £25 ($39) a month for 100GB storage, 100 viewer tracks, and 100GB bandwidth. An enterprise option at £300 ($475)/month provides 3TB storage, 2TB bandwidth, and 1,500 viewer tracks.

Kimani and Hakesley previously launched Fidgit Box, an online resource platform for students to learn through video, that evolved into a corporate video production company.

The main investors are CTO Matthew Munson and Commercial Director Robin Ellis. Munson and Ellis had founded Blue Square Data group in 2006 which was purchased by a private equity group in 2011. Munson had earlier founded UK ISP Pound Host Internet.