thePlatform Cuts Web Video Costs

Launches “cloud” storage, CDN services

thePlatform, the Seattle-based Web video specialist firm owned by Comcast, has introduced two optional new services aimed at reducing the cost of provisioning broadband video for small-to-mid-sized media companies.

The company, which handles Web video management and publishing functions for large concerns such as The Associated Press, PBS, the NBC station group and Gannett, is now offering content delivery network (CDN) services through a partnership with EdgeCast and outsourced “cloud” storage using its own servers. Through its partner program, thePlatform has also secured discount pricing for Web video services from a number of third-party firms on behalf of its Media Publishing System (MPS) customers.

thePlatform estimates that a mid-sized company delivering 500,000 video views per month could save up to 32 percent on their total cost to deliver video to consumers by using the combination of the new mpsManage CDN and mpsManage Storage services.

“It’s about bringing high-end functionality to the lower end of the marketplace,” says Marty Roberts, vice president of marketing for thePlatform.

For example, while transmitting a gigabyte of broadband video might typically cost a small company about 55 cents per gigabyte, thePlatform is able to offer the same service for 35 cents per gigabyte. thePlatform’s customers also get a minimum 10% discount off list prices from seven of the 65 companies in thePlatform’s partner ecosystem.

They are Panache, an ad-insertion platform; BlackArrow, which provides multiplatform ad management; TubeMogul, which tallies audience and engagement data for syndicated videos managed by thePlatform; LiveRail, an online video advertising technology and optimization vendor; ScanScout, an online video ad network with targeted ad insertion; Gloto, a social media and user-generated content specialist; and Visible Measures, which provides reporting and analytics for online video ad campaigns.

thePlatform is able to secure discounted pricing for its customers because of the sheer volume of video it manages across its customer base. According to measurement firm comScore, thePlatform's clients had a combined total of more than 440 million video views in December of 2008. When considered against independent U.S. online video properties, that aggregate number would place thePlatform’s customer universe third behind overwhelming leader Google (with 5.9 billion videos viewed) and Fox Interactive Media (home of MySpace), and ahead of Yahoo!, Viacom Digital and Microsoft’s various sites.