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Reality Digital's Spotlight Points Way to Social Video
Reality Digital's new online video platform offering emphasizes monetization, brand-building, and building online social areas around video content.
Tues., Oct. 27, by Troy Dreier

As the world of online video grows, we're seeing more full-service solutions that make distributing video simple, customizable, and scalable. Online media veteran Reality Digital launches Spotlight today, a platform that lets enterprises with existing video libraries create and manage social online areas focused around that content.

The idea behind Spotlight is to let companies socialize their video assets—by letting viewers add comment and share their favorites, for example—while creating a simple system for monetizing content, creating new video areas on different Web sites, and building a brand.

The target audience is companies that already have a strong library of professionally produced video. Using the Spotlight platform, they can turn that content into social online areas, and even reuse their assets of different sites. Viewers get a familiar video-sharing interface where they can rate and comment on videos. The platform even offers deep commenting, where viewers can insert a comment anywhere in a video.

Behind the scenes, Spotlight was written to be simple for non-techie site managers. The tool is a completely hosted solution, and Reality Digital hosts all your videos. Through the Web interface, customers can choose and customize a template. Options include the placement of comments and ratings, the ability to share a video with an embed code, choosing colors, the ability to play a video automatically on page load.

Businesses want to know their campaigns are getting results, and so Spotlight also includes analytics data letting customers see playlist, video, and advertisement numbers. They can also view time-based graphs and drill down into the data to examine trends. The platform lets customers insert their own ads or integrate with a third-party service.

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Spotlight isn't intended just for building one media-heavy site, but for letting companies reuse their video assets easily on multiple sites or temporary microsites. Companies can create several templates for each of their properties, each with its own unique look and branding, and can feature particular videos on each player. In that way, an underused video library can be turned into a rich experience of a variety of sites, where users can not only view videos, but interact with them.

"Spotlight solves a problem for customers who are really looking for an integrated social media strategy," says Cynthia Francis, Reality Digital's CEO.

Reality Digital is already familiar for its Opus platform of asset management products. Customers that include Sears, the NFL, and LonelyPlanet.tv have used it to create community-driven sites where viewers can engage with online media. Sears, for example, used it to create a site where young people created their own lines of clothes and shared their creations.

"This marketplace, online video platforms that make it easy to create, manage, and then publish and syndicate video is a pretty crowded one," says Melissa Webster, program vice president for content and digital media technologies at IDC. "I think we're going to see it shaking out over the next couple years in a big way. What's really critical, I think, is that vendors are going to have to differentiate. What Reality Digital is doing to differentiate is leveraging their social platform. They've got a way to publish content in the context of social media, and I think that's a pretty smart approach."

Paid accounts include unlimited access to all of Spotlight's advanced features. You'll pay a monthly $1,000 platform fee which includes 100GB of storage. A delivery fee varies by how much bandwidth your sites use. For more on Spotlight, visit Reality Digital's site. It's offering a 30-day free trial for new clients.