Episodic Aims To Be A Complete Online Video Platform Solution

Look into the Episodic Platform that officially launched Monday, and you'll hear the word "complete" a lot. That's because this latest online video platform wants to be the only solution you'll ever need—covering live and on-demand video, monetization, analytics, and syndication—and it wants to wrap in all up in a package so simple your mother could use it. Check back next week for our full review, where we'll evaluate how well Episodic meets its goals.

Episodic's drive for completeness starts with the type of video is serves. Besides working with both on-demand and streaming content, it delivers them using adaptive bitrate delivery methods so viewers get an instant-on experience with no buffering. It also promises to deliver your content to any mobile device, including the iPhone.

Besides serving your content, Episodic lets you monetize it in ways that others don't. While some services only offer pre-roll ads for live streams, Episodic lets you insert ads anywhere in live content, bringing in greater monetization opportunities. Use the platform's settings to tailor your ads to the audience, serving different ads on different sites, for example. You can load ads from about a dozen third-party ad platforms, such as DoubleClick. Speaking of monetization, Episodic's lets you offer credit card purchases without turning to a third-party vendor.

The platform also wants to excel in analytics, offering you a detailed look at how your viewers are engaging with your video. How many returning viewers do you have? Where are most people dropping off? How many watch the full content? You'll get that data for live audiences, as well, so you can see how many viewers are watching an event as it happens.

You don't even need to build your own audience with the Episodic Platform, since it can syndicate your videos to 30 sites, including YouTube. If you have premium content agreements with Hulu, Amazon, or iTunes, it will deliver that content, as well.

"No one goes nearly as deep as us on any of these categories," says Noam Lovinsky, Episodic's CEO.

His company launched two years ago, but if this is the first time you're hearing about it, that's understandable: the staff has been busy working on the Episodic Platform all that time. Monday's announcement was its first public offering. It already has some clients, however, including Showtime, Boing Boing, and real estate company Redfin. (Showtime, for instance, has used Episodic for International Mixed Martial Arts events; see this article for more on that.)

While Lovinsky broadly defines Episodic's target audience as anyone who wants to put video online, he admits that media and entertainment companies will get the most traction from it. Smaller companies that don't need monetization features, but simply want to attract an audience, might want to wait for the lighter version of the platform that he says will launch in the middle of 2010. That version will be completely self-service.

"The space is just beginning to mature," says Lovinsky. While media and entertainment companies may have created their sites in-house only two years ago, he says they're now revisiting the area and are finding off-the-shelf solutions that meet their needs. Their sites are only now beginning to make money, he adds.

If Lovinsky is correct, that makes this an excellent time to deliver a video hosting and serving solution that works hard to be complete.

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