On the web you do not feel the lack of video services. Unfortunately, each of these has a problem: it has been built around the business model of the company that proposes it.
What if there was a video service where users decide to configure the service around their business models?
This is what WimLabs, an innovative Turin startup has done. Their WimTV platform is targeted to professional users (hereinafter simply users) so that they can create and package different types of video information and distribute it to end users according to the business model that suits them most.
Thus “Asset Management” is one of the main objectives of the platform. To post videos on their websites, users associate a license describing the conditions under which video are made available to other users or to end users. Supported licences include Creative Commons and Copyright, the latter specifying certain parameters such as duration, price (which can be possibly zero), and so on.
In many cases, selling a video at a time can be difficult. Therefore, WimTV provides users with the ability to group a set of videos into a “subscription” – identified by a name and with parameters such as price and duration – and to put them on sale.
Video content does not have to be static. Real-time video capture is becoming increasingly important and widespread. Therefore, WimTV offers users the ability to create “channels” each containing “events”. An event is defined as a live video captured at a given date and time for a given period of time. The user can also ask WimTV to convert the event to a file that is automatically stored in the user’s repository. The video file so created will be handled as if the user had uploaded it as a video.
Another important form of distribution offered by WimTV is the TV program schedule, i.e. streamed sequence of video files and live events whose transmission starts at the specified time and last for the duration set by the user.
Another WimTV feature is the support to B2B in addition to B2C needs. A video can be put on sale in the user’s store, again with one of the two types of license (Creative Commons and Copyright). This time, however, the conditions are more elaborate because we must be able to express how the seller will benefit from the buyer’s sale of a video licensed. For example, a vendor may license a video for a lump sum or apply a percentage or a fixed amount on each future transaction made by the buyer with the content acquired. The seller may also decide that the license is only granted for distribution on WimTV or that the buyer can download the acquired video and use it anywhere.
Finally WimTV also provides an innovative way to create and stream interactive and navigable videos. We need this feature because, video is a more powerful communication medium than audio because it has a spatial dimension and more powerful than images because it is a time dimension, user’s attention is precious currency on the Web. In fact, after 2 minutes 20% and after 5 minutes, 70% of the viewers abandon the video.
How to combine the complexity of the message with the limited availability of the user to follow the logic thread of the message until the end? How to solve the dilemma between a detailed discussion – with the risk of losing the user’s attention – and a simple message – with the risk of making it incomplete?
WimLabs’s solution adds a new dimension to the video that we call “more details on request” resulting in a form of “navigable” video called video bridget. Users can now decide if they want to “know more” about a given topic of the video by following a “bridget”, i.e. a multimedia connection between the main video and a “destination video” (or other multimedia content).
The figure represents a video bridget: in the upper line there is a “regular” linear video to which “bridges” have been added. If the user clicks on the Video1 bridget, the main video stops and Video1 starts. When Video 1 is over or is interrupted by the user, the main video resumes. The same happens for the bridget that leads to Video2. The user will watch the video and at some point, the Image1 bridget is displayed. If the user clicks on the bridget, Video2 stops and Image1 is displayed. If the user clicks the Back button (first left button), Image1 disappears and Video2 resumes from where it was interrupted. If the user clicks the Back button again, the main video resumes from where it was interrupted.
An innovative aspect of this “extended” form of video is the ability to post a video bridget on a social service, such as Facebook. Here you have got a new viral video tool.
The full list of WimTV services available to date is
|WimVod||Video on demand streaming with possible monetisation|
|WimBundle||Create video subscriptions (with monetisation)|
|WimLive||Live streaming with event chat and possible monetisation|
|WimCast||TV-style video programming featuring live video and live shows|
|WimBridge||Creating video bridgets (interactive and navigable videos)|
The WimTV Engine houses all the logic behind all WimTV services. The frontend accesses the functionalities of the Engine through controllers and the WimTV APIs.
This architecture allows user to either use the native WimTV pages at www.wim.tv, or to customise their pages by developing front-ends with specific interfaces or even to create their own site. This last possibility is based on WimTV White Label.
To find out more: www.wimlabs.com.
Di Leonardo Chiariglione fondatore e Presidente del gruppo MPEG.