Recently we at CDN-Advisor were able to touch-base with Martin Hayward, Director of Marketing, Mirror Image Internet, and he provided us with some valuable insights about the present and future of the online video and also what Mirror Image is doing to innovate and make the most of these new technological advancements.
First of all, we can observe that online video industry is growing day by day. The advertisement statistics of YouTube also show that. Moreover, a research indicates that the amount of online video watching during the prime time hours continues to increase. How do you think this rapid growth will affect the industry in future?
- The reality of “second screen viewing” can actually serve as the solution. With more and more consumers owning tablets, it is no wonder that their eyes are constantly wandering from the television to online videos.
- One of the ways to keep consumers engaged with what they are watching on the television is to take advantage of the multi-screen experience. During commercial breaks, broadcast programs should encourage viewers to head to an online or mobile website to continue the conversation. There is ample opportunity to keep viewers engaged beyond just traditional television programming, and marketers need to be aware of that.
- By encouraging viewers to head to an online site, they can enhance the overall experience by pushing more content and messaging to the right viewers. So in a sense, second-screen viewing is not an issue – it can actually help brands overall.
CDN-Advisor: (Followup question)
How do you think this interaction between conventional broadcasts and their online competitors will reflect in their future plans?
- To answer your follow up, this should certainly change conventional broadcast plans. If they are not already actively advocating their viewers to head online during or after programming, then they certainly will be soon.
- More and more consumer streaming services are becoming widely available (Hulu, Netflix, Amazon video, etc.), and often they are free or much less costly than monthly cable bills. Broadcasters are going to have to provide an option to view their content online.
- Cord cutting is changing the future of broadcast and those who do not provide online and mobile access to content will suffer from smaller viewer rates than those programs that enable their content to be viewed anywhere, anytime, through streaming media.
There are numerous CDN providers that offer high-quality streaming and online video hosting. What makes Mirror Image better than other providers in the industry, or what are your most important USPs?
- Not all online video content is created equal. Streamed media can vary in terms of quality. There are the videos that are interrupted so frequently, to buffer or update connectivity, that we’re watching our content in brief intervals. There are the “live” streams that are delivered with such delay that we’re already aware of what happened before it actually happens on our screens, because of social channels and the hyper-connected world we live in.
- In a multi-device world, there are also the streams that simply do not comply with all device types and either will not be supported at all, or will play the wrong format because it doesn’t meet the device requirements.
- Then there is dynamic streaming. Mirror Image has transformed into a Dynamic Delivery Network (DDN), which delivers content that goes beyond bits and bytes. It detects the hundreds of device attributes specific to a particular user’s device and delivers the video in the corrected device format. It streams fast without interruptions or delays.
- Mirror Image created the DDN to engage users, by targeting it to their device and their location. Through our DDN, content is published once and can be played everywhere. In real-time, live and on-demand video is customized and delivered so it can be streamed to any device, including mobile tablets, game consoles and set-top boxes.
What is the biggest problem/deficiency of Online Video & Streaming industry? That could be related to technological issues, marketing, customer’s aspects or anything else. As Mirror Image what is your solution to this?
- At Mirror Image, we see the biggest problem in the industry being the lack of targeting. By that, we are referring to the ability of a company to target their key audience by devices, location, behavior and context.
- Targeting by device type means tailoring your advertisement to the different mobile devices customers might have. An HD video ad played on an iPhone will perform very differently than on a BlackBerry. Device type needs to be considered as a part of the targeting strategy for online video, ensuring content is optimized in real-time, based on the specific attributes of a device and technical capabilities.
- Specific location must be detected in real-time as well, so that the appropriate location-aware ad can be served. Location-based content is received much better, with an overwhelming 80 percent of mobile users preferring ads that are locally relevant. In fact, three-quarters of those consumers have taken action in response to a location-specific ad, according to a recent JiWire study.
- Targeting by behavior means using first and third party behavioral data to dynamically target users, enabling marketers to finely tune the message based on specific actions. For example, a marketer could incentivize a visitor that has placed an item in the cart but never checked out, or a visitor that clicked on a competitor’s ad.
- Finally, contextual targeting means presenting an ad that is contextually appropriate to the content on the page being viewed, which can potentially lead to dramatically higher conversion rates. If someone is researching recipes for spaghetti and meatballs, a banner ad for marinara sauce could appear on the page. The person viewing the page is more likely to click on the ad and complete the call to action if it is specifically relevant to what they are researching or reading in that moment.
On CDN-Advisor we continuously publish about Mirror Image’s new solutions about Video Streaming. Furthermore, Mirror Images broaden its network with increasing number of data centers. In that manner, what are your future plans to enhance your service quality?
- Mirror Image will roll out a number of new custom video solutions in Q4, 2013. Be on the lookout for some exciting news related to this over the next few weeks.
- We also continue to expand our global footprint and we’ll be announcing the presence of some new data centers in Q4 of this year.
About Martin Hayward
As Mirror Image’s Director of Marketing, Martin is responsible for developing and executing a marketing strategy for the company’s Edge Computing Applications, Streaming Media and Content Delivery solutions.
Martin has over 25 years of marketing experience in key areas including product marketing and management, market strategy, marketing communications and market analysis.
Prior to joining Mirror Image, Martin was the Director of Marketing for Telelogic, where he managed a marketing department that supported worldwide software products and services for the telecommunications industry.