Out of a small shop in Southern California is a start up Online Video Platform (OVP) born from a successful Romanian design firm. They’ve taken a path less traveled in the OV space creating a unique little niche for themselves focusing on fully customizable and elegant video players while offering all of the necessary OVP services for very little cash per month. Stemming from the design world VPFactory has spent almost two years fine tuning their Video Player as a Service (VPaaS) solution with a ridiculously easy to use backend that allows creative minds the freedom to fine tune every detail of the video player with unique WYSIWYG and drag-drop editors that even a technophobe can use.
Val Balanescu launched VPFactory in 2010 with his Romanian design and development team, SixtyFour Eights Group with a singular goal in mind, to master the art of beautiful online video players. With that, the original platform offered all the basics, the big 5 I call them; uploading, encoding, hosting, management, and playback with plans starting a mere $9 per month. They’ve grown their services with smart plans allowing publishers, bloggers, and other non-media companies to host their videos basically wherever they like using VPFactory’s hosting solution, Amazon EC2, or any Content Delivery Network (CDN). VPFactory is on what they call the second phase of their existence and growing their services to compete with the big dogs. I had a chance to catch up with Val to talk about this next chapter in their company’s story and he had a lot to say about what they’ve recently launched and what’s to come.
VidCompare: Tell us about VPFactory and your core competency
VPFactory: VPFactory is a pioneer of Video Players as a Service, a concept that combines the flexibility of accepting multiple sources for hosting a video collection, including YouTube, and the advantages of a hosted video player. One of our first goals was to create a smooth end-to-end experience for professional individuals and businesses that understand the importance of publishing their video content online. Secondly, we knew that each industry had its own needs in terms of features and functionalities so the challenge was to come up with answers to all these needs, put them together, and create an easy experience for our customers. Our main focus remains to deliver a simple process and, at the same time, enrich the video player with as many useful capabilities. That’s the reason why so many developers love VPFactory; it simplifies their job when they need to create a custom player, while having great results on the design side of things too (and it makes them great designers too).
VidCompare: What new features have you rolled out recently?
VPFactory: We have been improving the process of uploading, encoding, creating the video player and the video player syndication across multiple websites, thus making it even smoother. We have also added new capabilities like HTML5 and a smarter built-in encoding system. But this is an ongoing process and we are very receptive to new ideas from our users in more than 50 countries.
Some examples features suggested by our users are the Analytics Module and enhanced Advertising. The Ads Module, is the first step we’ve taken to deliver pre-, mid- and post roll ads, as well as overlays through our player. The aim is to generate additional revenue or promote an event, a product or just to resume a training course. This is ideal for intranets or e-commerce websites.
VidCompare: Why did you choose monetization and analytics? How do you feel these new features meet the demands of today’s publishers?
VPFactory: From the beginning, our aim at VPFactory has been to meet the demands of today’s publishers. We’ve listed and responded to our customer demands. Tracking and learning how users react to a video has become a key metric in today’s marketing decisions. Getting that data in real time in many cases translates into responding smarter and faster to your audience.
VidCompare: Can you tell us about some of the customers you service and what solutions you provide them?
VPFactory: I would split our customers base into two categories: first, freelance programmers and web development companies, and second, organizations from a wide variety of categories from non-profits, churches and universities to a variety of companies from different industries. Working together with developers around the world to improve our APIs and features is fantastic, especially because we share the same background. Some of the special projects include a solution for a local educational institution that needed a hosted video solution that would stream behind a pay-wall or many other professional services that use our solution to sell their training collections. The ease of designing video players and the wide range of features help many companies to use our platform to create branded players to display tutorials or testimonials.
VidCompare: What’s coming for VPFactory?
VPFactory: We’re very excited to improve the high-end version of the player, adding unique features to fulfill some new capabilities that our users are asking for. HTML5 and mobile are verticals that we pay great attention to and our next major release will include improvements in this direction. VAST standard and 508 compliance are also in beta testing and will go live very soon.