Kaltura Releases MediaGo, a Netflix-Like Experience for Any Site

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Kaltura has released MediaGo, the company’s self-proclaimed "world's first Netflix-style out-of-the-box OTT video portal."

Already deployed by two major media brands, the white-label product is also targeted at retailers and service providers that wish to distribute, publish, and monetize content via subscriptions and/or advertising on any device.

Explaining the market need, Kaltura president and co-founder Michal Tsur used the airline sector as analogy. “In the early days of online, consumers went to online aggregators of airline companies to buy tickets because players like Expedia had established their own infrastructure,” she said. “Now consumers are more likely to go direct to the website of an airline company where typically they get the best deal and the best customer experience.”

In the same way, Tsur finds that the media industry has matured. “Certain players, especially those that don't have lot of infrastructure of their own, are looking for easy-to-deploy out-of-the-box solutions.”

One of these, she says, is Turkish media conglomerate Dogus, which has deployed Kaltura’s open source platform for its TVYO multi-screen online video service.

“The biggest cost for media brands in establishing a direct-to-consumer pay-per-view or hybrid pay-per-view/advertising offer is content marketing and licensing,” says Tsur. “MediaGo helps facilitate an on-the-go experience for groups such as kids and younger viewers who are constantly connected to devices.”

Kaltura has been strong in enterprise and education sectors where its suite is often branded as "corporate tube" or "YouTube for the enterprise."

“In media we didn't yet find the killer app,” Tsur says. “Most video platform providers are selling media management solutions to media companies alongside APIs to integrate into their existing portals, but not a killer app.”

Could its "Netflix out-of-the-box" be the missing piece? Restrained from revealing the names of the first signatures until 10 to 14 days time, Tsur says there are two first adopters of the product, one of which is a global media brand focused on younger viewers and the other a more niche media offering.

For the payment gateway and subscriber management, Kaltura is partnering with Evergent although Tsur says Kaltura is agnostic and will integrate with a client's preferred e-commerce system.

Other features of MediaGo include content discovery, the ability to browse and search within genre and rule-based playlists and editors picks, and social tools such as comments, user ratings, and social network integration. The multi-device player can be personalized with features like resume playback, watch queue, and content preferences and recommendations.

MediaGo offers media preparation and operation from ingestion and transcoding to delivery; a video CMS that includes metadata, playlists, account settings, and analytics; and a CRM (customer relationship management) portal.

“It's important for us to have an out-of-box product because it offers flexibility to the client,” says Tsur. “Depending on their content, they will want to adopt different sales models.”

Retailers are in a strong position, she says, to capitalize on demand for online video. “They know how to sell and package stuff in general, and video is another opportunity for them. What they are missing is a mechanism for delivering the video, as it requires infrastructure that makes paid OTT delivery simple and seamless.

“Our observation is that where consumers subscribe to premium content delivery service aggregators like Netflix, they will be reluctant to subscribe to many additional rival aggregators or content malls.

“What they will subscribe to, however, are certain distinct offerings offered by specific media brands that focus on a certain demographic. These may include two to three sports sites, children's content sites, and sites offering educational 'electronic nanny' content, as well as a couple of additional specialist content offerings appealing to different family members. Retail aggregators need to have a flexible model for providing that content, so that they can compete for consumers’ e-pocket.”

Kaltura will charge a fee for MediaGo dependent on the number of subscribers and number of credit card transactions.

Tsur anticipates that within a year MediaGo will have signed “a few dozen” media brands and two to three tier one service providers. It has deals with large retailers in the works, she said.

The company continues to invest heavily in Europe and counts the BFI, Ikea, Standard Chartered, Nestle, Ericsson, SAP,?Danone, Manchester United, Manchester Met University,?the Danish Library, and Turkcell among new customers.

It is also looking to grow the Kaltura community with a new series of executive video forums. Two forums a quarter will be scheduled starting January, hosted in London, with the first themed around how media companies can create a social experience with online video. Last month's Kaltura Connect conference in NYC attracted 700 delegates.

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